According to Deloitte, 67% of companies have started to use more sustainable materials, while a recent study of 850 companies worldwide found that 80% planned to increase investments in sustainability.
This global sustainability drive is creating a new job market for sustainable-minded business school grads. BusinessBecause spoke with expert sustainable business professors from EDHEC Business School to find out what jobs are available.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysts are responsible for conducting research on prospective investments to provide companies with a well-rounded understanding of the impact investments could have on society and the environment.
As an ESG analyst, you spend time analyzing data to determine the environmental, social, and corporate governance risk associated with a certain investment.
The demand for ESG analysts is on the rise. Investors are increasingly looking to align their portfolios with ESG values and the global drive for sustainability ensures that companies must evaluate whether investment opportunities they pursue are both responsible and sustainable.
“Today, most asset managers are pressed by their clients to integrate sustainability issues in their investment processes. Not only to mitigate (ESG)-related financial risks but also to contribute to a more social and greener economy,” says David Zerbib, academic director of EDHEC’s MSc in Climate Change and Sustainable Finance.
Pursuing a specialist sustainable finance degree could set you up with the skills necessary to launch a career as an ESG analyst.
2. Corporate Social Responsibility Officer
Corporate social responsibility officers (CSR) are a force for positive social change in a company. They lead the development and management of policies related to social responsibility and manage a network of people.
Companies across the world are swiftly responding to rising public demand for ethical and environmental accountability. The need for CSR officers is therefore growing.
The role utilizes several key management skills while also requiring an understanding of how sustainable practices can be incorporated into wider corporate strategy.
An advanced degree, such as an MSc in sustainable business or finance, can give you the skills and expertise to launch your career as a CSR officer. Doing so could allow you to earn a competitive salary and work for top corporations or NGOs.
3. Sustainability Specialist
Growing consumer demand for sustainable business processes mean it’s vital for companies to make changes to their products, services, and business models.
Sustainability specialists work on producing and integrating cost effective sustainable strategies that support an organization's long-term sustainability goals. Sustainability specialists can work in various settings, from government institutions to industrial facilities.
“From a business perspective, you have to look at ways that you can innovate the company. This means coming up with a means that will help imagine new futures that are more sustainable,” explains Bastiaan Van Der Linden, program director for the MSc in Global & Sustainable Business at EDHEC.
Landing a job as a sustainability specialist means you will be active in areas such as corporate brand management and marketing. You will have the opportunity to promote positive changes to the environment and guide the brand image of your company.
Sustainability-focused MScs teach specific skills related to sustainability marketing, this means upon completing a course you’ll know how to develop sustainable marketing strategies.
4. Sustainability Consultant
Sustainability consultants are dedicated to helping companies become more socially and environmentally conscious.
On a day-to-day basis, they carry out research and spend time conducting on-site assessments to measure a company's carbon footprint, energy performance, and other ecological damages.
In this role, you’d spend time analyzing the impact that company policies have on the environment, while working on creating sustainable solutions that can make a genuine difference.
Environmental awareness paired with a strong business acumen can help you excel in a career as a sustainability consultant and give you the chance to develop a core understanding of environmental issues and the corporate world.
“It is valuable to have skills in one of the key areas of finance as well as knowledge of sustainability issues which are the most prevalent today,” adds David.
5. Climate Risk Manager
Businesses must respond to the threats posed by climate change by identifying potential risks and responding with management strategies.
Climate risk managers have an important role within companies to review policies and implement risk management solutions based on the effect that ESG-related risks could have on company valuations.
To be a successful climate risk manager, you need to be able to help your company understand potential risk areas and how to mitigate them at a corporate level.
An educational background in sustainable business or climate finance places you in a great position to launch this career and equips you with knowledge in financial risk management and climate risk regulation.
These are just a few of the many sustainability focused jobs that are available. As the transition to sustainable business practices grows, more and more opportunities are likely to become available for grads.