Press Release: ON Partners Validates Consumer Demand for Sustainability is Transforming Executive Leadership Roles

Mar 5, 2024

ON Partners data confirms a consistent increase over the past decade in sustainability-focused C-Suite executive leadership roles across functional domains —


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CLEVELAND, OH.: March 5, 2024 (Global Newswire) – This month, ON Partners, a pure-play retained executive search firm building diverse C-level and board leadership teams, confirmed consumer demand for sustainable products has increased the need for companies to fill executive leadership roles that support and drive sustainability efforts across functional domains.

ON data shows an upward trend in such roles from companies over the past decade. As consumer demand for sustainability grows simultaneously in an economic environment of inflation, the push for leadership positions emphasizing quality and speed has increased, specifically in the manufacturing and food supply chain sectors. Additionally, companies are actively exploring the integration of AI and new technology solutions to meet consumer demands while ensuring cost-efficiency and performance-driven operations.

According to the recent PwC’s June 2023 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, consumers are prioritizing how they spend their money with areas that are of value to them. Data in the survey showed that despite economic challenges, 96% of respondents intend to adopt cost-saving measures by 2024, and 80% of consumers are willing to pay up to 5% extra for responsibly sourced and manufactured products.

“Sustainability and transparency are playing an immense role right now across the value chain for food services and packaging,” said Kevin Burns, partner of ON Partners.  “Companies are more conscious of carbon reduction, and the quality of products has always been a vital focal point for brands. Due to the demand for product transparency, companies are emphasizing data analytics, chief data science officer, and quality officer roles.  These positions are in high demand, and the resiliency of the company is dependent on the standard of leadership within each role.  There is no substitute right now for quality product and quality leadership.”

Sustainability has transitioned from being an external corporate messaging initiative to a pivotal factor directly influencing the bottom line of businesses. This transformative shift has cascaded throughout businesses, prompting a surge in demand for executive leadership roles tasked with integrating sustainability across various functional domains, including data management, operations, quality assurance, engineering, and supply chain management.

ON Partners’ data underscores this trend, revealing a notable 21% increase in roles dedicated to sustainability transformation. Companies are exploring additional avenues for growth and sustainability in this domain, leveraging diverse channels and sources.

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Moreover, sustainability is intricately linked to the resilience of supply chains and operations, ensuring consumers receive quality products promptly and consistently. According to the White House Supply Chain Resilience Brief issued in November of last year, innovation in supply chain management has lowered production costs and generated economic efficiencies.  While this, at times, has been at the expense of resiliency, the model of just-in-time supply chains cannot absorb significant disruptions.  This creates the need for diversification.

“There has been a shift in the strategy of companies, specifically in distribution, transportation, and manufacturing, as it pertains to supply chain resiliency and the incorporation of predictive technology in the production and distribution of goods and services,” said Heidi Hoffman, partner at ON Partners.  “All of the benefits of the just-in-time approach created various shortages and depended on certain consumer-specific businesses being in one centralized location.  Now, you can obtain specific goods and services that were dominant only in one key location geographically, virtually anywhere globally.”

Continued Hoffman, “Ultimately, the consumer prioritizes value in terms of quality and cost.   It has resulted in these businesses needing to excel at both the process and the predictive technology that drives value and efficiency into the supply chain. Chief supply chain officers face the challenge of evaluating the true cost benefits of new technology against their long-term impact on existing business models.”

For further insights into ON’s strategic approach and companies’ prioritization of executive leadership roles within sustainability, visit

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Since 2006, ON Partners is the only pure-play executive search firm building diverse C-level and board leadership teams. We rebuilt the institution of executive search for the way you work. Our approach includes present partners who engage with their clients from the first brief to the final decision, individually crafted solutions that are unique to each client, and an easier experience all around. Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms and to the Inc. 500/5000 Lists nine times, ON Partners is consistently ranked among the top 20 retained executive search firms in the U.S.

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