Chief sustainability officer, sometimes known by other titles, is the corporate title of an executive position within a corporation that is in charge of the corporation's "environmental" programmes. Several companies have created such environmental manager positions in the 21st century to formalize their commitment to the environment. Normally these responsibilities rest with the facility manager, who has provided cost effective resource and environmental control as part of the basic services necessary for the company to function. However, as sustainability initiatives have expanded beyond the facility — so has the importance of the position to what is now a C-level executive role.
As of 2005, nearly all of the 150 largest companies in the world had a sustainability officer with the rank of vice president or higher, and numerous MBA programs had incorporated sustainability training. A 2011 study found that the majority of top corporate sustainability executives are two degrees removed from their CEO in the corporate hierarchy, meaning that their boss reports to the CEO.