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Chief Sustainability Officer Jennifer Ahearn and the Cayman Islands Government: 5 Things to Know

January 30, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Jennifer Ahearn has been named chief sustainability officer for the Cayman Islands Government's Civil Service operations.

Here are five things to know about Ahearn and the Caymany Islands Government sustainability strategy for Civil Service operations.

1. Scope and Scale: The Cayman Islands is a self-governing British Overseas Territory, according to Wikipedia. The islands include Grand CaymanCayman Brac and Little Cayman. The population was roughly 81,000 people as of 2022.

2. Sustainability Strategy: Within the Cayman Islands Government, the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency focuses on:

  • Cultivating a lasting legacy of sustainability in the Cayman Islands by achieving environmental, social, and economic balance, with a view to maximising benefits across all three areas of this triple bottom line to make the lives of current and future generations better.
  • Addressing the existential threats posed by climate change through an updated national Climate Change Policy.
  • Supporting the transition to renewable energy through the National Energy Policy and programmes designed to save energy and reduce cost of living.
  • Enabling the implementation of integrated, sustainable solid waste management through ‘ReGen, Cayman’s Energy & Recycling Centre.’
  • Maintaining and enhancing the ecosystem services provided by our unique natural environments.
  • Ensuring the Islands are prepared to proactively respond to disasters and emergencies in order to preserve lives and livelihoods.
  • Facilitating the development of a framework to enable holistic, balanced decision-making across the three pillars of sustainable development.

3. Consulting Perspectives: The Cayman Islands in March 2023 hired PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to determine which of the United Nations’ 17 sustainability goals are most relevant to the islands, according to Cayman Compass.

Franz Manderson_Cayman-Islands
Franz Manderson, deputy governor, Cayman Islands

4. Jennifer Ahearn's Experience and Focus: Ahearn previously was chief officer for the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency within the Cayman Islands Government. In that role, she was "instrumental in building the Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency from the ground up," according to a prepared statement from Deputy Governor Franz Manderson.

In her new role, Ahearn is now "responsible for facilitating strategic initiatives to integrate sustainability into all aspects of the Cayman Islands Government’s business operations. She will have oversight of the organisation’s operational policies and strategies, and collaborate with cross-functional teams to promote a culture of sustainability across the Civil Service while ensuring alignment with the civil service mission and values," the government announcement said.

5. Leadership Perspectives: In a prepared statement, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said: “Ms. Ahearn’s twenty plus years of experience in various leadership roles across government, combined with her relevant experience and expertise, make her ideally suited to take on this role and support the Civil Service on our continuing journey to enhanced sustainability, efficiency and service excellence."

Added Manderson: “The appointment of the Chief Sustainability Officer serves as a tangible demonstration of our commitment to sustainable working methods. This role will not only facilitate harmonising our operational strategies and service delivery with sustainability principles and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but also fortifies our competitive edge and resilience in an ever-evolving world.”

Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, minister for sustainability and climate resiliency, Cayman Islands

Noted Minister for Sustainability and Climate Resiliency Katherine Ebanks-Wilks: “I look forward to collaborating with the Deputy Governor, Ms. Ahearn, and the wider Civil Service as we work together to make the Civil Service the most sustainable and climate resilient employer in the Cayman Islands.”

Ahearn concluded. “I am humbled and honoured to be considered for this critical position. I am committed to contributing to the positive evolution of the civil service and look forward to helping chart the course for an organisation with enhanced reputation, cost efficiencies and heightened stakeholder engagement, while ensuring there is a balance across the economic, social, and environmental pillars that are the “triple bottom line” of sustainability,” she said.  Ms. Ahearn also thanked the staff at the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency for their support as she moves into her new role.

Chief Sustainability Officer: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

The bottom line: Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO customer needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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