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Four new roles on the market in 2021

Jan 15, 2021

Sustainability and ESG initiatives are a hot topic for 2021. But how can companies successfully implement them? Judith Kelly outlines four new roles on the market that bring sustainability to the forefront.

Climate action is now a priority item on every board agenda. In 2020, we witnessed a dramatic escalation in activity and real urgency from every sector to plan and implement the relevant sustainable finance and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives.

Further, the Irish government continues to position Ireland as a hub for green finance as part of the ‘Ireland for Finance’ strategy. Investors are increasingly using non-financial factors such as ESG standards as an important part of their investment screening process.

The challenge for us is to understand what new positions are being created, and how we source relevant candidates when established and experienced talent pools do not already exist. By working closely with key stakeholders within client companies – including boards, executive management and investors – to understand recruitment needs, we have been able to identify four main roles and several related positions that you can expect to see this year.

Chief Sustainability Officer

The Chief Sustainability Officer will become a key leadership role within every organisation of sufficient scale. The office will sit alongside Risk, Finance, Treasury, Corporate Finance, and Internal Audit as a key corporate function. The office will be responsible for building sustainability frameworks and programmes across all parts of the business and embedding people to manage and setting a proactive and positive sustainability culture across the organisation.

ESG Strategy Director

Large corporates from all sectors are aiming to build sustainable practices into every part of their business from procurement, to supply chain and operations, to manufacturing, to packaging. You will also see a call for ESG Integration Director/Managers.

ESG Investment Director/Manager/Analyst

With financial services firms looking to ramp up sustainable investment research and product offerings, many need investment managers with sustainability knowledge and expertise. Similar roles such as Head of Sustainable Investment and ESG Finance Lead will also feature in 2021.

Chief Impact Officer/Director

This role is to oversee the measurement, verification, management, reporting and improvement of the company’s social and environmental impact and the value that these will deliver to stakeholders. You could also see listings for ESG Reporting Manager as well.

Judith Kelly is a Director at FK International.