As the environmental challenges facing the world grow, so too has Microsoft’s commitment to ensuring that the company’s activities are in line with the best available science and the expectations of leading stakeholder communities. The CELA Environmental Sustainability (ES) team coordinates overall science-based, measurable, and scalable sustainability investments and outcomes across the company – engaging with business groups to set goals related to reductions in the environmental impacts of business operations and positive environmental outcomes resulting from technology and policy development.
In 2020, Microsoft made a commitment to be water positive by 2030. In order to achieve this, Microsoft is working to reduce water use across our operations, replenish more water than we use while increasing access to water and sanitation services in communities where we operate The Sustainability Water Program Manager provides leadership and direct accountability for Microsoft’s world leading commitment, including reducing operational water intensity, oversight of the replenishment portfolio across 40 priority locations and driving increased water access. The water program lead will also play a critical role in driving customer and partner engagement, innovation and adoption of water technologies and policy engagement to protect freshwater in regions where we operate across the globe, from Silicon Valley and the Puget Sound to India and Israel. The water program lead will also bring general sustainability expertise to partner with teammates leading Microsoft’s carbon negative, zero waste, and land protection efforts.
This position requires extensive cross-group coordination at all levels of the company, strong sustainability subject matter expertise, robust business acumen, excellent communication skills, the ability to synthesize complex business problems and devise and execute on plans which address big challenges and opportunities in the water management and stewardship space.
- Set the strategy and serve as a central accountable party for fulfillment of Microsoft’s water commitment. Manage coordination and key internal stakeholders to develop water forecasts, targets, and solutions.
- Engage with internal and external stakeholders to develop, maintain, and refine our methodology and corporate standard for tracking fulfillment of the commitment, in a way that drives impact and creates a replicable model that other companies can adopt.
- Drive Microsoft’s efforts to influence water policy, to unblock barriers to our strategy and contribute to sustainable local/regional water planning based on community needs.
- Lead efforts to leverage Microsoft’s technology to help customers increase awareness and strengthen management of water resources, set and manage water related goals and optimize water replenishment.
- Represent Microsoft’s water program to partners, customers, and other key stakeholders at external events, and with the press. P
- ublish lessons learned on Microsoft’s water program to contribute to the ongoing evolution of the corporate water stewardship space.
Water Program Management:
- Build a budget and execute work within the approved program budget, in partnership with ES team Business Manager.
- Ensure that program decisions optimize for benefits across multiple Microsoft commitments.
- Negotiate partnership agreements in support of replenishment, reduction, and accessibility commitments.
- Evolve the water replenishment strategy, lead project identification, evaluation and management of replenishment projects, structure and manage contracting process, and track progress against replenishment targets.
- Lead third party quantification of replenishment projects and develop internal resources/briefs on priority locations identified for replenishment projects.
- Develop and enhance Power BI reporting tools to support publishing the internal replenishment report.
- Support efforts to improve data maturity and provide education and support on water-related topics across the company, with a focus on guiding stakeholders in reducing their water consumption and making progress against the company’s water positive commitments.
- Provide cross-company coordination through leadership of the water workstream v-team. Evaluate supply chain water risks and support our suppliers in optimizing water use, managing water risk, and achieving their water commitments.
- In support of Microsoft’s public commitment to ensure that more than 1.5 million people have access to clean drinking and sanitation water, manage Microsoft’s existing NGO relationships focused on helping underserved communities in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, with plans to expand efforts to China, Malaysia, and South Africa.
- Conduct ongoing research and scoping to identify and select additional water access implementation partners.
- Embed environmental justice considerations into programmatic activities, where relevant.
- Drive high-impact cross-team projects as needed to meet the changing business environment and ensure the team is achieving its commitments.
- Successful project management, including work with strategy consultants and other external agencies, on strategic efforts requiring hands-on experience across multiple functional disciplines and business organizations.
- Bachelor’s Degree AND 3+ years’ experience in corporate social responsibility, philanthropies, corporate affairs, or related area
- OR 5+ years’ experience in corporate social responsibility, philanthropies, corporate affairs, or related area.
- 7+ years of experience in a leadership role at a technology or engineering organization, non-profit, or governmental agency
- 7+ years of experience leading environmental sustainability programs with diverse stakeholders, with a specialization in water initiatives
Additional or Preferred Qualifications
- 7+ years’ experience in corporate social responsibility, philanthropies, corporate affairs, or related area. In-house counsel experience
- 3+ years’ experience managing a corporate social responsibility or related program.
- 3+ years’ experience working in or with a large, matrixed organization.
- Master’s degree
- Deep experience with corporate water sustainability efforts, including reduction and replenishment activities and driving the development of cross-company water management plans
- Understanding of global sustainability related policies, regulations, standards, and literature
- Attention to detail, strong strategic execution
- Understanding of technology and associated operational environmental impact
- Fluency in sustainability markets and natural capital assessments
- Proven track record in project management
- Experience leading and executing projects in a complex organizational environment and working on several diverse projects simultaneously
- Strong business acumen and communication skills with the ability to influence across non-direct reporting teams
- Demonstrated experience delivering mutually satisfying agreements in negotiations with others by listening to their objectives and acting as the company’s representative to find common ground
- Ability to translate ideas into clear, high impact communications
- Ability to excel and drive clarity in an ambiguous environment