Paula Ivey

President and Founder

Paula IveyOverview:

Paula is the president of The CSR Group, LLC (, a company she founded in 2002, which specializes in CSR/Sustainability Strategy and Communications. Over the past 12 years, CSRG has played a leadership role globally in the rapidly evolving field of Sustainability/CSR. Paula has worked with dozens of Fortune 500 companies on Sustainability/CSR Strategy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainability Reporting, and CSR Communications. Her work has centered on Sustainability Strategy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainability Reporting, and CSR Communications. Clients have included Dell, Global Foundries, Brown Forman, The Coca Cola Africa Foundation, Devon Energy, The McGraw Hill Companies, AMD, Whole Foods, Burt’s Bees and many others.

She has extensive knowledge and understanding of the leading standards of sustainability including the CDP, the GRI, LEED, ISO 26000, ILO Standards, the DJSI, and many others. Paula excels at guiding companies in their development of a holistic sustainability strategy, and in guiding and training executives about sustainability. Her work has focused in the area of supply chain responsibility/responsible sourcing, and she was a key speaker at the APEC Ministerial meetings in Bali Indonesia about greening the supply chain. 

She designed the CSRG sustainability management tools including:

1. Sustainability Strategy Suite:

  • The CSRG Sustainability and CSR Self-Assessment Tool
  • The Benchmarking Tool
  • The Stakeholder Mapping Tool

2. Supply Chain Responsibility Tool Kit:

A suite of 15 tools designed to facilitate the development and management of supply chain responsibility including tools that cover:

  • Supplier Code of Conduct development
  • People & Society
  • Energy and Climate 
  • Water & Waste
  • Geographic Risk
  • Implementation/Management

Key client work:

  • Worked with Whole Foods Market on Supply Chain Responsibility 
  • Led key meeting and working group of Whole Foods Top 100 Suppliers to address SCR issues in the Natural Products Sector
  • Worked with a client to develop a strategy for launching a system for managing and tracking chain of custody and other issues in the food sector down to the multi-ingredient level.
  • Led the strategic development of initial GRI and Non-GRI Sustainability/CSR Reports for numerous clients.
  • Managed the development of strategic communications about sustainability for numerous companies
  • Led stakeholder engagement with a local community over an environmentally sensitive development (Platinum LEED)
  • Led multi-stakeholder engagement meeting on domestic agricultural labor issues for a client
  • Conducting benchmarking across industries and within competitive sets for many companies on numerous issues.
  • Using our self-assessment tools and others, develop holistic sustainability strategies for numerous companies.
  • Developed holistic stakeholder model through which all of our work flows.
  • Developed a maturity model to assess where a company is along a continuum of sustainable development.
  • Developed a multi dimensional global internal communications campaign about ethics and CSR, which was translated into 9 languages for a Fortune 100 company.
  • Developed and managed all aspect of running the business for 11 years.
  • Worked with a client to assess their values and how values were being communicated and embedded at best practice companies.
  • Developed a plan for the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation to use their distribution system to combat AIDS across Africa.
  • Conducted a stage one and two carbon-footprinting project for a client
  • Conducted an extensive analysis of the DJSI, the CDP, the G-S, and others for a Fortune 50 client to assess their strengths and weaknesses and to develop a strategy for applying to each.

Educating about Sustainability:

Paula was on the faculty (currently on leave) at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas for 8 years where she created and taught the first courses at the undergraduate and MBA level on CSR and Sustainability. The courses that she developed and teaches include:

  • Sustainability Issues in Marketing
  • Global Issues in Sustainability and CSR
  • Strategic Sustainability and CSR (MBA)
  • Communication for Non-Profits and Social Entrepreneurship

She is also on the faculty at the Bainbridge Island Institute (BGI) – where she teaches an MBA (Masters in Sustainable Business) course on Applied Sustainability.

Paula also served on the University of Texas President’s Task Force on Sustainability, and then on the standing committee on Sustainability for the University President’s Office. Paula worked with professors in many other colleges to bring interdisciplinary and integrated education on sustainability to the university. 

She has overseen student projects for corporate clients such as Frito Lay, Starbucks (3 projects), ACCO, Whole Foods, and many others corporate relationships that she brought with her to the university through her consulting work. 

Paula has agreements with two publishers Berrett Kohler and Greenleaf Publishing, a leading publisher based in London, to write a book about Supply Chain Responsibility, which will be published in 2014.

Leadership: She was an official delegate to the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) - the World Summit on Sustainable Development -in Johannesburg, South Africa, August-September 2002. She served on the first academic advisory council for the UN Global Compact, amongst many other leadership roles. She is a noted leader in her field and a frequent speaker and consulted expert on CSR and Sustainability.  Please see the attached media and speaking engagement list for further detail on her leadership role.  

Prior to founding The CSR Group LLC, Paula was the Director of Corporate Ethics and CSR with Compaq Computer Corporation, and has held other senior management positions in her career, including roles in marketing and in geology earlier in her career. 

Additional Professional Experience: Paula's experience includes working as a consultant to the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2002, held in Adelaide Australia. She was also the Director of Marketing at numerous companies. She served on the Host Committee for the Asian Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) in Seattle. She worked for Tenneco Inc. in International Development. 

Education: Paula holds a Master's degree in International Business (MBA) from Thunderbird (The American Graduate School of International Management) and a Bachelor's degree in Geology from the University of Texas at Austin. She completed a Managing Ethics in Organizations course at Bentley College. She is a graduate of the 1997 class of Leadership Texas. Paula is proficient in Spanish and French, and has US and Australian residency.

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