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Common Jobs in ESG and Sustainability

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As companies increasingly integrate ESG (environmental, social, and governance) considerations into their business strategy and operations, there will be a growing number of job opportunities in the field. Therefore, the demand for ESG talent is expected to increase, and those with ESG credentials can anticipate higher remuneration.

ESG covers a wide range of topics, and the qualifications, job responsibilities, and roles will differ depending on the sector and areas of focus. For sectors such as manufacturing or insurance, more technical knowledge, and greater depth of analysis around carbon footprint and implementation will be required. For professional services, the focus will be more on social and governance aspects of ESG.

Several jobs will be created across the three components of ESG: environmental, social, and governance.

Environmental jobs will focus on setting and delivering the Net-Zero or Carbon footprint strategy of a business. This will require the individual to work with various parts of the business and its suppliers to establish initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. Key qualifications will include advanced technical degrees such as and have a good understanding of sustainability indices and frameworks. Example roles include Sustainability Manager, carbon analyst / manager.

Social jobs will help an organisation evolve and adopt policies and actions that will positively impact its employees, customers, other stakeholders, and the broader society. Topics will include DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), human rights, ethics and justice and labour practices. Example roles include Head of DEI and Diversity Manager.

The governance roles will cover decision-making, role and make-up of directors, compensation, and oversight of top executives. Example roles include ESG governance manager and public relations manager.

However, many ESG and sustainability roles may cover all three components.

Typical roles within consulting and corporates start from analyst through to leadership positions such as Head of ESG or Head of Sustainability, where the responsibilities are substantial and material to a business. Within banks, the roles can be varied ranging from an analyst position to more specialised ones such as green bonds specialist.

ESG and sustainability is fast evolving, and it is here to stay.

Additional reading:

1. What kind of jobs can you get with a qualification in ESG? (Corporate Governance Institute)

2. 11 Best ESG jobs to start a career in sustainability (The Impact Investor)

3. Jobs of Tomorrow – Social and Green Jobs for Building Inclusive and Sustainable Economies (WEF)

Photo credit: Aaron Burden (Unsplash

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