SACAbout the Sustainable Apparel Coalition

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is an industry-wide group of more than 250 leading apparel, footwear, and textile, brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits, NGOs, and academic institutions working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of products around the world.

Through multi-stakeholder engagement, the SAC seeks to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built upon a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel, footwear, and textile product sustainability performance delivered by the Higg Index that spotlights priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation.

The SAC was incorporated as a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization and launched the groundbreaking Higg Index suite of tools in 2011. 

The Opportunity

The Director of Stakeholder Engagement is a crucial role to the organization. A radical change of the industry can only happen if all actors, private and public, work together to make the apparel and footwear industry truly sustainable. It can only happen if policymakers, civil society, and other key stakeholders identify the SAC and Higg Index solutions as robust, credible, and trusted tools that enable real transformational change. The Director will develop and foster proactive engagement and cooperation among SAC’s members, the broader industry, and identified strategic stakeholders.

The Director will manage the SAC’s stakeholder and public affairs engagement program, acting as a key SAC contact for identified worldwide stakeholders, responsible for the development and ongoing quality management of the right network of relationships to support delivery of the SAC Strategic Plan.

This role requires a professional who is experienced and confident with facilitation of diverse stakeholder perspectives.

This is a full-time role, reporting directly to the VP of Membership & Stakeholder Engagement, with a planned start date in March 2021, to be located in one of SAC’s global offices. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Stakeholder and Policy Engagement Leadership
    • Develop a comprehensive, dynamic, and agile SAC Stakeholder and Policy Engagement strategy, framed by and focused on integration with the SAC strategic plan, delivering measurable outputs against the aspirational objectives and key focus areas
    • Collaborate and coordinate with key internal and ecosystem stakeholders, including Higg Index, Membership, Marketing and Communications, SAC Policy Working Group, the Policy Hub, and more to ensure clear strategic alignmen
    • Manage the successful implementation of the SAC Stakeholder and Policy Engagement strategy by:
      • Identifying and coordinating engagement with appropriate technical expertise to inform the ongoing evolvement of the Higg Index suite of tools
      • Delivering smart, meaningful influence with relevant policy bodies and initiatives at the appropriate levels
      • Monitoring, synthesizing, and assimilating relevant market and industry trends
      • Enabling the SAC to play an effective influencing role within the apparel and footwear industry, delivering strong positioning and direction on key issues
      • Managing and supporting reputational enhancement with key stakeholders
      • Identifying major engagement opportunities and synthesizing them to develop a plan of SAC actions that support an increase in global relevance, increased adoption of use of the Higg Index, and the sustainability leadership of SAC’s global membership 
      • Managing and facilitating relevant stakeholder engagement working groups as needed to define and develop relevant strategies, implementation plans, and policy positions
      • Developing and maintaining strategic organization partnerships for the SAC
    • Act as SAC’s primary senior stakeholder engagement contact for global stakeholders
    • Manage the development and implementation of ‘internal’ SAC stakeholder engagement policies and processes to support the effective and efficient implementation of the SAC Stakeholder Engagement strategy
  • Team Leadership
    • Lead and manage the Stakeholder Engagement team
    • Ensure the continuous education and growth of the team while increasing their overall competencies; nurture a transparent environment that supports constructive criticism
    • Model effective matrixed work schemes, based on the SAC organizational design, recognizing and addressing issues and opportunities
  •  Sustainable Revenue
    • Ensure the implementation of sound financial practices, including: budget management, cash flow, pricing strategy, and cost control
    • Identify, collaboratively develop, and implement opportunities for growth and diversification of funding opportunities to support SAC stakeholder engagement activities and impact programs  

Qualifications, Experiences, and Attributes

The ideal candidate is / has:

  • 10+ years of significant accomplishments and advancement in Stakeholder and/or Public Affairs Management in sustainability matters
  • Knowledge of sustainability issues in the fashion industry or other related industries and, ability to facilitate this knowledge into well-articulated arguments
  • Knowledge of policy-making processes
  • Proven ability to develop high-impact, multi-level external engagement programs
  • Clear thinking/problem solving; ability to simplify strategy into specific actions with clear accountability and make decisions with speed and accuracy based on best available information
  • Excellent social skills to interact and engage with the variety of SAC members: brands, manufacturers, NGOs, retailers, service providers and trade associations
  • Comfortable with ambiguity, leads with curiosity, and operates with a growth mindset; able to ruthlessly prioritize and remain calm in high-stress situations; confident decision-maker
  • Empathetic, with ability to engage with and influence a variety of stakeholders, members and staff; able to anticipate unique needs of different audiences across multiple levels and regions
  • Ability to cut through and make sure consensus is reached in a multi-faceted discussion
  • Track record for working in a team-based, fast-paced, deadline-driven environment, with the ability to multitask and handle changing priorities
  • Excellent communication skills: experience working across multiple levels, functions and regions; ability to deliver messages effectively verbally and in writing
  • Fluent English skills (speaking and writing), and proficiency in at least one additional language
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other parts of the SAC team, treat others with respect and care, and work as part of a global, multicultural organization

SAC offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience. SAC's members are global organizations, and as such, the SAC staff sometimes works early or late hours.

This is a full-time position located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, or flexible within the EMEA region.

To Apply

SAC has retained Schaffer&Combs, a certified B Corporation, to support this high-priority search. In order to apply, please submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter via this posting. All candidates will receive an email invitation to complete a short self-assessment within a few business days of submitting their applications. Your responses in the self-assessment will help us learn more about you, and support a more robust conversation with our team, should we advance your candidacy.

Please refrain from contacting SAC directly. All inquiries should be directed to Schaffer&Combs at SAC@schaffercombs.com. We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis.

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