Location Chicago
Job-type Permanent
Salary $Competitive
Reference 15478

Acre is excited to be partnered with Ulta Beauty. Ulta Beauty is the largest U.S. beauty retailer and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skincare products, hair care products, and salon services. They provide an unparalleled experience for their customers, one brilliant idea at a time.

Ulta Beauty looking to hire a Senior Director, of Sustainability Strategy to shape and drive an ambitious and far-reaching sustainability program. ESG is an important part of their overall business strategy centred around four key Pillars: People, Product, Community, and Environment. Ulta has built a strong foundation for Ulta's ESG work and they are now looking to take it to the next level.

The Senior Director, of Sustainability Strategy will be a key member of Ulta's Enterprise Strategy and Transformation team, reporting to the Senior Vice President, Enterprise Strategy and Transformation. The successful candidate for this role will be required to develop and execute Ulta Beauty's long-term strategy, aspiration, and vision for the 'Product' and 'Environment' pillars of their overall corporate ESG strategy. This individual will be responsible for establishing long-term company-wide strategies, goals, and objectives, and will work with their executive leadership team, subject matter experts and external consultants to centralize, operationalize and lead commitments in these areas.

This leader will be responsible both for developing the long-term strategy for the Environment pillar, and for pulling together all aspects of environmental work in partnership with the ESG Executive Sponsor and leadership team. Working with subject matter experts, external consultants, and with support from the Sr. Manager, ESG Programs, this role will develop strategies and lead organizational initiatives to drive GHG emissions reductions, including strategies for Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and establishing SBTi targets. He/She/They will engage with and influence vendors, brands, and other key partners who impact Ulta Beauty emissions and identify opportunities to collaborate to achieve industry-wide impact. This role will also develop strategies for waste, water, and overall product lifecycle sustainability which align with company objectives and priorities.

The leader in this role will also be responsible for Ulta's Product pillar which includes their corporate stances around key elements of strategy including ingredients and packaging, collaboration with leadership on sustainability strategy for Ulta's brand, Ulta Beauty Collection, and leadership and oversight for consumer-facing Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty™ program. Conscious Beauty is a critical customer-facing initiative for Ulta Beauty, founded with the objective of providing guests transparency and helping them navigate assortment related to products that align to their personal values - across clean ingredients, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainable packaging, and positive impact. The Sr. Manager, Conscious Beauty will be responsible for the day-to-day execution of this program, reporting to the Sr. Director, Sustainability.


  • Work closely with the SVP of Enterprise Strategy and Transformation, Ulta Beauty's General Counsel (Executive Sponsor for ESG), and other executive leaders to shape, develop, and implement Ulta Beauty's long-term sustainability strategy (product and environment) across the business

  • Maintain a leading view of emerging trends and industry developments, engage with external stakeholders, and leverage external relationships within to keep a finger on the pulse of how the ESG landscape is evolving, to inform potential shifts to strategy and opportunities for industry collaboration

  • Develop a system for reporting of key sustainability targets, outcomes, and measures, in alignment with wider business objectives; and ongoing business integration, influencing key functions to integrate KPIs and ensuring top-level visibility for overall Impact

  • Partner with key internal and external stakeholders and cross-functional leaders across Merchandising & Marketing to lead Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty; define overall strategy and multi-year execution roadmap and fit within Ulta Beauty's broader corporate strategy and vision; develop strategy to evolve key program requirements over time (e.g., restricted ingredient list, testing standards, product claims/labels, and packaging standards) in concert with emerging consumer needs, market dynamics, competitive positioning, regulatory/legislative context, and technological innovations

  • Engage with internal and external stakeholders across the organization who execute strategies, and inform sustainability commitments

  • Provide guidance, direction, and support to the Sr. Manager of Conscious Beauty and the Sr. Manager ESG Programs to meet their goals and objectives, manage their performance, and drive personal development and engagement

  • Develop strong relationships across Ulta Beauty's business teams (Communications, Finance, Growth and Development, Legal, Merchandising, Operations, People, and Procurement) to bring leadership and alignment and to maximize engagement in sustainability strategies and initiatives

  • Support opportunities to communicate standards and guidelines with suppliers and external partners as well as raise awareness of sustainability ambitions both internally and externally

  • Develop board-ready communications & materials for presentation to the Executive Team, outlining key issues, objectives, and recommended solutions

  • Scope and manage work-streams, closely manage progress against objectives, highlighting roadblocks as soon as they arise, and take responsibility for high-quality, timely execution of deliverables

  • We are looking for a strategic, passionate, and inspiring leader to shape strategy, drive change, motivate teams, and ensure the programs are embedded across the organization, where ownership and performance can be realized. The successful candidate will have the unique ability to influence both internal and external sustainability efforts and drive meaningful change which will have a positive impact for Ulta's guests, associates, business, and the world around us.


  • Extensive experience working within the sustainability field including environmental and/or product, ideally within consumer products, retail, and/or beauty preferred

  • Excellent strategic thinker - with proven experience of developing innovative strategies; while adopting a hands-on approach to ensure execution and continued adoption

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills - ability to identify smart solutions with the right level of pragmatism. Confident in demonstrating the ROI of sustainability initiatives

  • Proven track record of making things happen through cross-functional teams

  • Strong leadership and confident influencing skills at all levels of the company - including team leadership, thought leadership, collaboration, partnership across diverse team environments

  • Excellent time management, planning, project management, and organizational skills. Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment, manage multiple priorities, meet tight deadlines and make ongoing decisions with key stakeholder input

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including sharing ideas and information across diverse audiences and driving business decisions. Ability to synthesize clearly and simplify complex subjects to a wide audience

  • A passion for sustainability

  • High emotional intelligence/IQ and strong relationship management skills

  • Self-starter who can work independently, collaborate, and drive an agenda

  • Comfort with ambiguity and ability to shape, elevate and move planning forward

  • Highest level of integrity and good judgment

  • Ability to travel up to 10%

The Senior Director, Sustainability Strategy must demonstrate a critical blend of excellent management and leadership capabilities, and a significant breadth and depth of experience in sustainability. The ideal candidate is proficient in strategy development, critical thinking, and program execution with a passion for beauty, sustainability, and an aptitude for retail. The ability to influence, advise and manage many cross-functional players across levels is critical.