A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CLAUDIA STRASSERRA
The Day in the Life series by Bureau Veritas Certification compiles a variety of interviews from employees throughout the company. We discuss their background, current role, and what an average workday looks like – both the highlights and the challenges. Read the articles to discover a #DayInTheLife of some of our many valued employees.
Claudia Strasserra joined Bureau Veritas in 2009 as CSR Market Developer. A few years later, she was appointed Bureau Veritas Italy’s Sustainability Sector Manager, heading up a team of people devoted to social and environmental sustainability issues. Today, harnessing her years of expertise and experience, she also serves as the company’s first Chief Reputation Officer. She discusses how the corporate social responsibility landscape has changed, keeping up to date, and balancing her two roles.
Chief Reputation Officer
I want to show the positive force of companies, how they’re working together with employees to create a better working place
I remember the specific moment that launched my career in sustainability: It was 2001, and I was pregnant with my second child. While reviewing the EU commission website, I came across a communication on corporate social responsibility (CSR). It was the first time I’d heard of the concept, but the message really resonated with me: companies cannot simply focus on profit. I knew then that I wanted CSR to be my future job.
That was an innovative mindset then, but over the last few years we have seen a boom in sustainability services and requests. CSR is no longer a “nice-to-have” but integral to core business strategy. Institutions, global and national legislations, consumers, media – they’ve changed the picture. Now, clients contact me first in order to understand what they can do to improve their CSR polices.
An evolving role
Taking on the added duty of Chief Reputation Officer in 2021 felt like a natural extension. As Sustainability Manager, I take a long-term, big picture perspective: our business is about building solid relationships with stakeholders to secure the future. I now have additional responsibilities, but the focus is the same. Balancing two roles is a challenging act, where priority-setting is crucial.
Staying ahead of the curve
At Bureau Veritas, we embed environmental and social responsibility in our values and our actions, and a key part of my role is communicating this. I write articles, organize webinars and run LinkedIn Live sessions each month. I love this part; it helps us reach and engage with a wider audience.
I spend time reading and attending seminars to stay updated on new programs and understand emerging elements from legislation and taxonomy. I also organize monthly trainings and workshops for our auditors, and share information I’ve learned with clients and colleagues. Knowledge transfer is key in this industry.
Capitalizing on client interest
An Italian national standard on Gender Equality coming into force in February could be very advantageous for those who adopt its guidelines. As such, we’ve been designing a new service for certification. This means structuring the product, finding and training auditors, and liaising with clients. Once these initial steps have been taken care of, my team takes over. There are around 15 of us on the Sustainability team, with wide-ranging expertise. We really do work as a team, and there is great strength in that.
Action sparked by passion
Since starting as Chief Reputation Officer, a big part of my day-to-day is dealing with the media. This can mean urgent deadlines, critical PR or journalists’ requests. I often have to reorganize my schedule to reprioritize, as I can’t predict what my week – or my day – will look like. I do it because I am passionate about sustainability. You can’t do this job well if you don’t feel it in your heart. This is something everyone on my team shares. It means that we’re motivated and committed to constant improvement.
Driving the sustainability agenda with Bureau Veritas
Claudia’s team focuses on key sustainability programs including carbon management, SA8000, antibribery & compliance and diversity & inclusion. Bureau Veritas offers a range of CSR services from training to certification, supporting organizations to boost their reputation and improve their sustainability reporting and performance. Learn more here
Thank you to Claudia Strasserra! For more of our #DayInTheLife series, keep an eye on our website. We have more great interviews coming soon.