Sustainable investment boom and net zero commitments drive ESG talent wars

Consultants and recruiters say that pushing companies to operate in a more sustainable manner is driving a surge in demand for professionals with environmental, social and governance expertise.

More than one-fifth of the world’s largest companies have made some form of commitment to achieve Net zero emissions Investors are paying more attention to the social impact of the companies they support, thus creating prosperity in the expert market Corporate sustainable development.

“The bottom line is that demand far exceeds supply, so there will be a real battle for talent, which will include compensation,” said Sarah Galloway, co-head of sustainability practices at recruitment agency Russell Reynolds Associates.

Recruiters and executives said that the demand for ESG experts is booming in professional services, including management consulting companies, boutique consulting companies, and real estate companies.

But as more and more companies and fund managers promise to reduce their carbon footprint and pay more attention to non-financial performance, they are facing increasing competition in attracting and retaining ESG employees.

Companies such as AstraZeneca, Aviva, BT, Legal & General and Rolls-Royce Commitment to net zero Emissions by 2050.

Recruiters said that experts are also attracted by private equity funds as chief sustainability officers and ESG leaders, with very different salaries.

“Private equity firms have realized that unless a company has a very strong sustainability or ESG story, you can’t IPO it, so they are all hiring very high-level ESG or sustainability heads… oversee them. Investment portfolio,” Galloway said.

She believes that Deliveroo is “purely bombed for ESG’s’S'”, referring to Plunged 26% The share price of this takeaway app when it floated in March.Some big investors have Express concern Before the disastrous IPO, the group’s treatment of employees, as well as its dual equity listing and governance.

Julie Hertzberg, head of the new ESG consulting business at Alvarez & Marsal responsible for analyzing client portfolios and potential acquisitions, said that private equity buyers recognize that ESG certification for evaluating potential and existing investments is now a requirement.

“At some point, many countries will have regulatory requirements for reporting [of ESG information]”,” Herzberg said, “everyone knows this is coming. This is the accumulation of it. ”

Industry insiders say that even ESG skeptics are hiring experts. “Most markets are still where they are looking for hygiene factors. They want the checked box to say,’Hey, we have an ESG strategy,’” said Stuart McLachlan, CEO of environmental consultant Anthesis.

Increasingly, it is expected that auditors will review non-financial indicators and company accounts, which has also promoted the demand for new expertise in accounting firms. Accounting firms are recruiting experts and providing auditors with training.

Scott Knight, Head of Audit at BDO, said: “ESG indicators and reports are rapidly becoming a top priority for companies, especially as investor scrutiny is becoming more and more stringent. We intend to advance regulatory reforms by expanding our capabilities and capabilities in this area.” The fifth largest accounting firm.

“When we evaluated this in the past, the appetite did not exist, but now the market is developing rapidly,” he added.

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About the Author: Agnes Zang