Making a Sustainable Transition

Making a Sustainable Transition to the Sustainability Industry

If you ask 20 people for a definition of sustainability, you’ll get 20 different responses.

People see it as a narrow field but in reality it’s actually very broad. Sustainability is about incorporating environmental, social and economic perspectives within your decision making. It’s about understanding the interconnections between these three elements and finding a balance so we can live within the limits our environment provides.

Building a strong sustainability team is no longer optional for organisations. Not only is it beneficial to the environment and community, it also has a long-term impact on productivity, profitability and wellbeing.

Historically, many companies viewed sustainability as the “right thing to do” but at a cost to the business. Now, there is growing momentum and a recognition of the need to focus on this area. Employees want to work for companies that are good corporate citizens, people want to buy from ethical businesses and investors are more aware of the environmental credentials of those they lend to. This trend will only contionue to grow.

As the industry expands, we are seeing increasing demand for experienced candidates. People who want a career in sustainability are typically driven by purpose and a desire to make an impact. It is a sector that is really collaborative and people enjoy working in it because you can see the results and benefits of your work.

With organisations paying more attention to their social and environmental credentials, there is a wide range of opportunities for those looking to transition to the sustainability sector.

What the Industry is Looking For in Candidates

From Chief Sustainability Officers and Heads of Sustainability to Sustainability Advisors and Consultants, there are a variety of roles available at different levels of seniority.

But making a career change to sustainability isn’t easy. At Talent Nation, we see a lot of people who want to transition into this space. We are often asked which courses someone can take to make the transition. While this is an area that is evolving and continual learning can certainly be beneficial in the sector, the reality is there is no substitute for experience.

There is a risk element for companies – they can’t afford to get these hiring decisions wrong. So candidates need to demonstrate they have the skills and experience to effectively perform the role and not leave the organisation exposed.

Due to the reporting requirements of sustainability roles, candidates from audit and assurance backgrounds can be well-placed to transition. Project management skills are key, including stakeholder engagement and management. A sustainability role often also requires experience working efficiently with a small budget and influencing people who may not have sustainability as part of their KPIs.

You need to be a strong communicator because a change management plan requires clear and consistent communication. Knowing how to record, analyse and interpret data is also increasingly important.

Senior staff may find opportunities to make a transition into a sustainability role within their existing organisation. A Head of Corporate Affairs or Head of Strategy, for example, can often have the right skills and knowledge for a Head of Sustainability role. They know the organisation and understand corporate strategy and can then hire in additional subject matter expertise around the climate, human rights or ethical sourcing, that makes them the right fit.

While it can be difficult, it is sometimes possible to make a transition to a sustainability role from a completely different industry. For example, moving from a traditional marketing or communications role into a sustainability-focused marketing or communications role. Or someone with strong data and analytics skills could move from finance into a sustainability role where those skills are highly-valued, evolving rapidly, and hard to find.

Understand Your Passion and Start With Small Steps

Before starting your journey to transition to the sustainability industry, it’s important to understand if this is the right sector for you.

It is a highly rewarding space, but not without its challenges. To break into the industry, like many transitional roles, you may have to compromise on salary in the short-term. You need to be passionate to work in sustainability and it is worth taking the time to clearly define your motivation for wanting to make a transition. You might be passionate about equality, human rights, climate, rewilding or biodiversity. Whatever it is, understand your passion and why it is driving you to a career in sustainability.

Transitioning into the industry can be a long-term game so think about a plan and what incremental steps you can take. If you are still relatively early in your career, see what opportunities there are in your current organisation to take on elements of sustainability to broaden your role. Every business should have some sort of sustainability plan so ask how you can get involved. It will give you an idea of the sector and be valuable experience for your resume. If you are driven by purpose, this is also a great way to make an impact. You don’t necessarily need to change careers or have the word “sustainability” in your job title to make a positive difference.

We’re passionate about growing the sustainability sector and helping to facilitate the movement of talented people from other industries. But we also know quick transitions are difficult and we truly care about matching the right candidates with the right roles.

A career in sustainability can take time and patience and those who are successful are the ones who stick with it. We are here to support people in properly assessing the career change they want to make and plan the best steps to help them on that path.

Purpose-driven People for Purpose-driven roles

Talent Nation is the expert in sustainability recruitment in Australia.

If you’re a purpose-driven professional looking to make an impact and transition into a role in the sustainability industry, give us a call today.

Senior corporate generalists are making the move into ESG roles

Senior corporate generalists are making the move into ESG roles

Take a look at the job postings related to climate, carbon, renewables, and sustainability and you’ll see a vast difference to the numbers just a few years ago.

According to one report, from GlobalData, there were about 960 jobs available in the sector in March 2021, compared to 1400 jobs in March 2022, according to a recent report from GlobalData’s job analytics database.

And LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report 2022 found that jobs in sustainability have grown by 38.5 per cent.

But managing director of environment and sustainability recruitment company Talent Nation, Richard Evans says that companies are no longer looking for sustainability and environment specialists, but rather senior corporates are moving into ESG roles.

“We’re seeing the rise of ESG. There is an increased focus from investors and boards leading to roles classified as ESG rather than sustainability.”

And with job postings and vacancies at record highs, many high-level professionals are not looking for jobs in the classifieds. They are seeking appointments with a high value proposition – and that doesn’t just mean the paycheque. Companies are having to really stand out from the crowd when it comes to attracting high level talent.

The shift from ESG to sustainability

It’s common to use the terms ESG and sustainability interchangeably. Since the “E” in ESG stands for “environmental”, it is easy to think that sustainability is one aspect of ESG. However, there are key differences that have implications for corporate strategy, communication, and reporting.

The main difference is that ESG sets specific criteria to define and measure environmental and social governance, on company stakeholders and decision-making – whereas sustainability focuses on just the relationship between a company and the environment.

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Richard Evans is managing director of Talent Nation and specialises in environment and sustainability recruitment.

“Private equity, banks, venture capitalists – they are looking to de-risk their portfolios. Due diligence of funding and acquisitions now needs to include assessments of climate change impacts – particularly with large infrastructure assets,” says Evans.

This includes looking at things like the supply chains and assessing whether there are any potential human rights violations.

“There’s greater transparency these days. There’s an obligation that you’re sourcing things ethically and you’re investing for the long term. We’re seeing the shift from short-term, quarter-by-quarter, results-driven investment decisions to longer-term things like net zero targets. These have longer time horizons, rather than following short-term market fluctuations.

“It feels like everyone at the moment is doing this, right across the board. Real estate has always been a leader. But now banks are looking to bolster ESG credentials to ensure their product offering and structure of finance is rewarding organisations for de-risking their portfolio.”

This creates secure investments, as businesses need to ensure they are not being left with stranded assets.

Senior corporate generalists are moving into ESG roles

Evans also says that he is seeing appointments being made in senior ESG roles where the professional is not necessarily from an ESG background. This, he says, is because ESG roles are now being elevated much closer to the executive, so the individual needs to have a solid understanding of the organisation, of business and finance. The role is about making good business decisions. And going green is good for business.

One large commercial real estate agency for example has recently made two new appointments heading up ESG. The two professionals have decades of experience in the commercial real estate sector, but no obvious background in sustainability or ESG – at first glance.

“The roles are becoming more mainstream and have a broader offering. It’s not just a sustainability subject matter expert… it’s a corporate role now, rather than a specialist role.

“They’re blending sustainability and finance,” Evans says. “Merging functions and complementary skill sets are being brought in.”

All this is good news for companies, professionals and the planet as ESG is being elevated within companies as being essential to business success in the 2020’s.

According to management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, a strong ESG proposition links to value creation in five ways: top line growth, cost reductions, regulatory and legal interventions, productivity uplift, and investment and asset optimization.

Case study: Australia lagging behind Europe

Caitlin Uren is the head of ESG and repositioning in capital markets at JLL Australia, providing targeted strategies to drive investment opportunities.

Prior to this, she worked within the JLL United Kingdom capital markets business, leading asset repositioning. At first glance, she has no obvious background in ESG. So how was she picked for the role?

In fact, Uren has recently returned from living in London, where she says the market is much more ESG-driven than it is over here.

“ESG has been, and continues to be, an absolute focus point for London. The government there is much more advanced in terms of sustainability. In Europe and the UK, all agents have to be knowledgeable in that space. In Australia, it is fairly new.

Uren works in capital markets and focuses on sustainable and value add investment strategies.

She has recently been supporting the sales campaign of the roughly $62 million redevelopment at 73 Miller Street in North Sydney NSW, which was designed to meet environmental commitments. The A-grade office asset targets 5 Star NABERS Energy rating and 5 Star Green Star design.

The company is focussed on ESG across all areas of business, and has invested in training agents in sustainability “for many years”, Uren says.

“We now provide net zero carbon pathways as part of our due diligence process moving forward.”

Uren admits that she is not a sustainability expert in terms of “technical” advice, but that it is beginning to be a requisite that professionals be across ESG, as capital in Australia is now starting to flow around what’s green.

The institutional world, she says, is “absolutely on board” with ESG and “making great strides”. But she says what’s holding Australia back is private ownership.

“To date those landlords aren’t as incentivised to spend the capital required to improve the environmental performance of those assets. We are doing our best to demonstrate the important to invest now or face the risk of brown discounts.”

But Uren says she is passionate about her role and believes in the sustainability vision of the company and its power to influence investors.

Given that net zero was not part of active conversations in the finance world even last year, and that capital markets ESG professionals are new in Australia, Uren agrees that she is probably one of the early entrants.  But this means the field is wide open for opportunities.

“There’s a huge educational opportunity in Australia… to learn lessons from best practice in Europe.”

Professionals can see when companies are not genuine

To attract professionals who can help them achieve the value creation that comes with going green, Evans says that organisations need to have a high value proposition and genuine direction.

While the average salary for senior environmental compliance roles has jumped 35 per cent to $360,600 in the past two years, it’s not just the salary that companies need to offer to attract these senior professionals.

“The market is moving so quickly. Demand is rising and roles are more senior, business-critical and mainstream. ESG is necessary to attract employees and clients.

“I’ve never seen so much demand for sustainability… All the consultancies are really busy. So the proposition needs to be right for candidates.

“These candidates don’t respond to advertisements because they don’t need to – there’s so many options. The value proposition needs to be high to attract them – and that doesn’t just mean salary.

“Salaries are increasing and they need to be competitive, but the strategy and direction for the organisation needs to be clear. People won’t take a role for the salary increase if they don’t feel that the executive and board are making strides in this space. Applicants can see when companies aren’t genuine.”

 

** Written by Rose Mary Petrass – https://thefifthestate.com.au/jobs-news/so-youre-not-an-expert-in-sustainability-then-you-must-be-perfect-for-that-esg-role/ **

People Accelerating Impact: A Conversation with Co-Directors, Climate Change and City Resilience at City of Melbourne, Tiffany Crawford and Krista Milne

People Accelerating Impact: A Conversation with Co-Directors, Climate Change and City Resilience at City of Melbourne, Tiffany Crawford and Krista Milne

The thought of jobsharing a leadership role might be daunting to some, but through a shared sense of purpose, a commitment to communication and support from line managers, organisations can reap the rewards of getting two for the price of one.

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People Accelerating Impact: A Conversation with One Girl CEO Dr Chrisanta Muli

People Accelerating Impact: A Conversation with One Girl CEO Dr Chrisanta Muli

Experts agree that improving access to quality education for girls is one of the most powerful yet underused strategies to tackle climate change – a fact that has underpinned Talent Nation’s support of not-for-profit organisation One Girl since the beginning of our partnership in 2018.

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UN Global Compact - Driving Local Solutions for Global Challenges

UN Global Compact – Driving Local Solutions for Global Challenges

We are in an unprecedented period in Australia as we grapple with the impacts of climate change, social justice issues and a global health crisis, not to mention the roll-on effects on the economy. The inherent relationship between the economy, society and the environment has never been more apparent, and sustainability is now front and centre of people’s minds.

Last week, I attended the UN Global Compact conference, Making Global Goals Local Business, and it could not have come at a better time. The two-day event aimed to highlight how responsible action from local businesses can help create solutions to global challenges, and support the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Virtual and online keynote speakers included Paul Polman, Co-Founder and Chair of Imagine; Kylie Porter, Executive Director of Global Compact Network Australia; Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of United Nations Global Compact; Ming Long AM, Chair of AMP Capital Funds Limited and Deputy Chair of Diversity Council Australia – and many more.

Discussions struck a balance between the realities of society and the inequality and abuse of our planetary boundaries. Still, there was also genuine optimism for the future amongst some doom and gloom, highlighting the role of connection and collaboration between people and businesses to drive real change. There was much to take away from this forum, but several insights that stood out to me were:

  • When it comes to tackling social issues, it’s important to call things for what they are. For example, should we use the term “unconscious bias” or call it out as racism?
  • Australia has a long way to go before we achieve gender equality and disappointingly, we are going backwards. The World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Index ranks Australia at 50th place globally compared to New Zealand, which ranks in 4th place. Leadership comes from the top and 5 of the top 6 countries have female leaders.
  • There has been a notable rise in circular economy thinking, an approach to economic development intended to benefit businesses, society and the environment together. With 40-50% of business revenue coming from nature, it’s clear that we need to stop incentivising the destruction of the environment.
  • There is a significant opportunity, and dare I say it obligation, for business to go beyond simply “not being bad” and make a real impact. With the push towards organisations being carbon positive, it’s time to think about how we can incentivise regeneration and living infrastructure projects that contribute to the environment and society.
  • The cost of inaction is far greater than action – we need to move beyond short term thinking and invest in a sustainable future.

It’s clear that we have reached a critical turning point, and decisive action is crucial if we are to change our global trajectory. Something that sticks in my mind is that many movies about the future depict a broken, devasted planet. It makes me wonder – what can each of us do to create a happier ending for all?

How much does a Head of Sustainability earn?

Our aim when researching and producing the Environment and Sustainability Remuneration Report was to fill a gap in the market that we found to exist around robust remuneration data. Over the coming months we will be profiling each role contained within the report and you can read the full Executive Summary here. To enable us to produce the report we collected information from over 200 companies with 412 distinct data sets provided across eight different roles . This data has come from a variety of industries and locations, across both Australia and New Zealand.

Remuneration for a Head of Sustainability

For a Head of Sustainability, the survey showed that the average Total Remuneration (TR) paid at this level across Australia was $314,159, made up of an average Total Fixed Remuneration (TFR) of $253,890 and an average Short Term Incentive (STI) of 21% paid out of a possible 29.8%. Long Term Incentives were only offered to a small number of respondents surveyed at this level; however those offered were significant in value.

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Head of Sustainability – Gender

All other roles surveyed in the Sustainability sector had a higher ratio of females to males however the Head of Sustainability position was held by more males than females. The top 3 salaries at this level among those surveyed were female and, across all roles females are remunerated 2.3% higher than their male counterparts.

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Head of Sustainability – Location and Sector

With most major Head Office’s located in Sydney, salaries for Heads of Sustainability are significantly higher in New South Wales than in Victoria. At the top of the salary packages are those working in Mining and Metals, with Industrials and Materials the bottom of the range with below average remuneration.

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Head of Sustainability – ASX vs Non ASX Listed

ASX listed entities remunerate at a significantly higher level (+12%) than private or non-listed entities.

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What does this mean?

Even during times of COVID we are finding that the demand for highly skilled Heads of Sustainability is unwavering. Everyone was caught unaware with the outbreak of the pandemic however with the advent of Modern Slavery Legislation in Australia, and an increased focus from investors on Climate risk, there is no excuse for being unprepared in these areas.

The role of the Head of Sustainability has clearly evolved over the last decade with these individuals now accountable for sizable teams, budgets and with a direct line to the Executive and boardroom.

What does a Head of Sustainability do?

The Head of Sustainability is responsible for Sustainability Strategy, Risk, Governance, and Reporting, engaging at Board and C-level, as well as across the organisation, to ensure sustainability leadership and alignment of these areas to the overarching business strategy and direction

Required skills and experience

  • A university degree or equivalent is essential with post graduate studies desirable.
  • 10+ years of experience in a professional sustainability environment.
  • Progressive experience in Sustainability leadership roles.
  • Extensive knowledge of sustainability performance measures, global practices, and emerging issues.
  • Engagement with the investment community including ESG analysts, fund managers and institutional investors.
  • Management & leadership experience.
  • Ability to build personal and organisational credibility and build beneficial internal and external relationships

Beyond the Resume

To attract and retain a Head of Sustainability that can deliver the right outcome for your organisation you need to understand where you are in your journey. With increased scrutiny from government, investors, and employees you cannot pay lip service to these roles. The intensity of these roles has increased over the years; but fortunately, so has the capability of the individuals that are in them.

The area is evolving rapidly so how do you know who is capable, and who is not? It is still an emerging area and as the only recruitment firm to specialise in this area across Australia and New Zealand; we have the connections, and experience, to know what to look for so that the candidate you hire is the right person for your organisation.

The best and most reliable way to hire the talent you need is through a robust and high-quality network. A referral from a trusted source within your network is going to carry more weight than a myriad of qualifications and the most impressive work experience on paper. Through our years of experience of placing people into these roles, the very best Heads of Sustainability are those that have a deep understanding of the interconnections between business and sustainability. People like this often aren’t actively searching for roles, but given the right opportunity at a company that fits, can be motivated to move (if the conditions are right).

Talent Nation has been at the forefront of the Sustainability industry for 10 years. As Australia’s only specialist Environment & Sustainability recruitment agency, we have are passionate about connecting purpose-driven people with purpose roles and companies within Australia and New Zealand. This article provides information of a general nature across a number of sectors, however we are more than happy to give more specific advice relevant to individual or company circumstances. For a detailed discussion on how we can help, contact us on 03 9600 0115.

Celebrating 5 years of championing sustainability knowledge

The Australian Supply Chain Sustainability School (the School) is celebrating its five-year anniversary and this milestone is an opportunity to reflect on how far not only the School has come, but also our industry.

School CEO, Hayley Jarick says that “organisations are leading the charge to a more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable future in the ‘decade of change’. And they know that the only way to make a difference is to act collectively and enable their partners to act.”

Sustainability knowledge has moved from being niche to an operational imperative and the School has come into its own and is well placed to meet growing industry demand. “There is a lot of opinion readily available and expert information is becoming harder and harder to decipher through the noise. The School cuts out the noise and provides our members a free learning platform about the topics that matter in our industry,” says Jarick.

Since the School launched in 2015, it has grown steadily from just 8 founding Partners, 200 Members and 10 learning modules. Now, the School boasts 30 Partners, 1,684 Member companies, 2,698 registered users and there have been over 4,300 learning resource views. In addition to these key growth areas, the School has succeeded in:

  1. Developing an online self-assessment tool for businesses to rate their knowledge and develop a custom sustainability learning program. 
  2. Making sustainability training accessible to regional Australia (anywhere with internet). 
  3. Created informative, relevant resources by industry for industry.  
  4. Meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #17: Partnerships grew from…
  5. Launching a new website, that meets digital best practice from its user experience to learning management system capabilities. 

Jarick is proud of the evolution of the School so far and says that “it’s been a privilege to be connected to the School since it launched five years ago, wearing a few different hats along the way. I am fortunate to be the latest in a line of leaders that have lifted the School up over this time.  I was excited to launch the new website last December with a stack of new functionality for Members and Partners but my proudest moment has been speaking with new Members after Partner supplier workshops and seeing so many new faces join the cohort of companies bettering the industry.” 

She continues, saying that becoming a Member “gives you the resources you need to better your company but organisations that are looking to lead the industry should become Partners. We have a range of Partner categories to suit all types of organisations and their needs.  Our Partners enjoy developing resources, events, workshops, personalised School landing pages, managing their priority supplier’s learning, managing project learning, attending exclusive events, as well as showcasing their successes through the School’s channels.”  

Laing O’Rourke can attest to the benefits of Partnering with the School, saying that “the School’s work to help upskill and support the supply chain on sustainability has made a real positive difference to our business and the industry. The resources and collaborative learning environment the School has set-up has and will continue to play an important role to promote and influence the right skills, services and products to match the sustainability needs on our projects.” 

The School has many long-standing supporters who have been pivotal to the School’s continued success such as Founding Partner, Downer Group. Ricky Bridge, Downer’s Group General Manager – Sustainability, Reporting and Data Analytics, says that this “milestone marks five remarkable years of being the ‘go to’ innovative online platform for our contractors and suppliers to engage in education and knowledge on sustainability related issues and better equip the supply chain for future success.” 

Robin Mellon, CEO of Better Sydney, reflected that “it’s been amazing to see the School’s trajectory over the past five years – three of which I spent as the School’s inaugural Chief Executive Officer – and how the team is working with more partners, more projects, more topics, more governments and not-for-profits, and more learning resources than ever before.” 

So, what is on the horizon for the sustainability industry and how will the School continue to adapt to the needs of the market? Jarick says that “a lot of people in the sustainability field come from an environmental perspective with a tremendous ability to influence people with a like-minded desire to take care of the planet. We are seeing a trend for broader social and economic sustainability to be incorporated into this mix which had brought with it challenges and benefits. 

For instance, people are taking on board the intent of the Modern Slavery Act and changing their management approach of those who don’t initially comply with sustainability goals. Instead of blacklisting and avoiding non-complying companies, now the trend is to use your position of influence to work with others towards compliance. This is transformational for the industry and means that many in the industry will need to learn or refresh their emotional intelligence and conflict management skills.” 

Jarick states that “the School is constantly evolving to changes and future needs. We are evolving the types of resources we have, to cater for changes in how people want to learn. We are adding new resources every month and reviewing old resources to ensure our catalogue only contains the best resources. We are also looking to expand the School in new markets, so watch this space.”   

For more information, please contact:  

Hayley Jarick, Chief Executive Officer
Supply Chain Sustainability School  
E: ceo@supplychainschool.org.au 

How much does an Environment Manager earn?

Our aim when researching and producing the Environment and Sustainability Remuneration Report was to fill a gap in the market that we found to exist around robust remuneration data. Over the coming months we will be profiling each role contained within the report and you can read the full Executive Summary here. To enable us to produce the report we collected information from over 200 companies with 412 distinct data sets provided across eight different roles . This data has come from a variety of industries and locations, across both Australia and New Zealand.  

What should an Environment Manager job description look like?

The role of an Environment Manager is pivotal in any modern organisation, with their main remit to ensure that a business commits to an agenda that will lead to a secure future. This multi-faceted role involves working to achieve the most efficient use of resources, de-risking the business from an environmental perspective and voluntary and mandatory industry-wide reporting.

In the wake of the Australian bushfires, there is an increased focus on climate change, and the role this plays in such devastating events. How Australian corporations can work to address the effects of climate change falls largely into the remit of Environment Managers, and this renewed focus has driven an increase in interest in the role. With the role being an unusual and varied one, finding the right person for the role can be an interesting challenge. The role is, above all, tasked with helping a company uphold environmental standards and take steps towards a greener future. It is a role that will appeal to someone who wants to make a real difference to the way an organisation affects the environment and help them implement strategies that reduce ecological damage and promote long-term sustainability

What Skills Should Hiring Managers Look For?

The skills an Environment Manager requires are varied. They are required to work across many different functions, from managing a budget, to liaising with cross functional stakeholders to develop and promote an environmental strategy, and communicating plans to directors, colleagues, stakeholders, vendors and customers. An Environment Manager holds an important and increasingly visible role in any organisation that is required to manage and reduce waste and promote ecological sustainability. As this is increasingly on the forefront of the Australian consumer’s mind, any business who is not seen to be taking these practices seriously, and have a strong and visible plan in place, risks suffering significant losses.

To attract the right candidate to an Environment Manager position, a hiring manager must understand everything the role entails. Of course, the role must then be positioned with the right package to ensure strong candidates are attracted to the role.

Remuneration for a Environment Manager

After surveying over 200 companies, our research has shown that the average Total Remuneration (TR) package paid for an Environment Manager was $186,662, made up of an average Total Fixed Remuneration (TFR) of $173,079, and a Short-Term Incentive (STI) of 8.2% paid out from a possible 11.7% average potential bonus. The majority (81%) of respondents were eligible for Short Term Incentives; while Long Term Incentives are rare at this level.

Environment Manager – Gender

Nearly twice the number of females vs males hold the Environment Manager position in Australia. Total Fixed Remuneration is nearly on par, with males receiving slightly higher bonuses (including Long Term Incentives) and therefore a higher overall package.

Environment Manager – Location and Sector

Environment Managers in Queensland are paid well above the national average (driven by the Mining and Metals sector), with New South Wales and Victoria significantly lower. Mining and Metals along with Utilities and Energy sit well above the national average at this level.

Environment Manager – ASX vs Non ASX Listed

ASX listed entities are remunerated at a lower level than private or non-listed entities by nearly 7%.

What does this mean?

To attract a skilled and qualified Environment Manager, the package depends on the sector, but generally it should comprise a base salary in the ballpark of $186,000, with a short-term incentive of ~11% in place, the component paid dependent on business and individual performance.

Beyond the Resume

To attract and retain an Environment Manager who not only has the required skillset but also the passion for the role, it’s important to delve deeper than a CV. What you can learn about a candidate on paper, or even in an interview situation, is limited- often you don’t know who you’ve really hired and how they really fit until they’re a few weeks or months into the role.

The best and most reliable way to hire the talent you need is through a robust and high quality network. A referral from a trusted source within your network is going to carry more weight than a myriad of qualifications and the most impressive work experience on paper. In our experience, the very best Environment Managers are those who not only have the skills but have a passion and desire that the work they do truly makes the world around them a better place. This plays out not only in the workplace, but in their personal life and with every interaction they have. People like this often aren’t actively searching for roles, but given the right opportunity at a company that fits, can be motivated to move (if the conditions are right).

Talent Nation has recruited within the Environment industry for the past decade. As one of Australia’s only specialised Environment & Sustainability recruitment agencies, we are passionate about connecting purpose-driven people with purpose roles and companies within Australia and New Zealand. This report provides information of a general nature across a number of sectors, however we are more than happy to give more specific advice relevant to individual or company circumstances. For a detailed discussion on how we can help, contact us on  +61 3 9600 0115.

How much does a Sustainability Manager earn?

Our aim when researching and producing the Environment and Sustainability Remuneration Report was to fill a gap in the market that we found to exist around robust remuneration data. Over the coming months we will be profiling each role contained within the report and you can read the full Executive Summary here. To enable us to produce the report we collected information from over 200 companies with 412 distinct data sets provided across eight different roles . This data has come from a variety of industries and locations, across both Australia and New Zealand.  

What should a Sustainability Manager job description look like?

Responsible for the development, management and implementation of an organisation’s sustainability strategy and agenda, a Sustainability Manager’s role is pivotal in understanding how an organisation has an impact on the world around them through business practice. This can be in terms of an organisation’s impact on the environment, resource consumption, supply chain practices, community engagement, employee engagement and the impact of their business practices or products and services in general.

The Sustainability Manager is also involved in technical support, education and business development, ensuring sustainability is integrated seamlessly into all elements. They play a crucial role in driving consistency and transparency, ensuring the organisation’s core sustainability commitments are maintained and ultimately exceeded.

What Skills Should Hiring Managers Look For?

Qualifications

  • A university degree or equivalent is essential with post graduate studies desirable.

Industry experience

  • 7-10+ years of experience in a professional sustainability environment.
  • Previous experience and active participation in various sustainability programs.
  • Experience managing projects in challenging and sometimes national or global scale environments
  • Management & leadership experience.

Skills and knowledge

  • A strong and up to date theoretical understanding of sustainability.
  • Strong data management, budgeting and sustainability reporting skills
  • Ability to build personal and organisational credibility and build beneficial internal and external relationships.
  • Ability to manage external contractors to meet deadlines and goals
  • Ambitious with a high level of energy and commitment
  • Decision maker and solutions oriented
  • Able to adapt quickly to changes
  • Excellent written, verbal communication and influencing skills
  • Sustainability reporting bodies and indexes

Remuneration for a Sustainability Manager

 After surveying over 200 companies, our research has shown that the average Total Remuneration (TR) package paid for an Environment Manager was $180,856, made up of an average Total Fixed Remuneration (TFR) of $163,526, and a Short-Term Incentive (STI) of 11.2% paid out from a possible 17.4% average potential bonus. A small proportion of respondents were eligible for Short Term Incentives; while Long Term Incentives are rare at this level.

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Sustainability Manager – Gender

Although the female to male ratio of respondents at a Sustainability Manager level was 2:1, males on average command slightly (2.8%) higher salaries than their female counterparts.

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Sustainability Manager – Location and Sector

Packages for Sustainability Managers in the Finance Sector (driven by those located in New South Wales) are on average significantly (19%) higher than other sectors, with Mining and Metals 3% above the average TR. All other sector’s packages are clustered closer together, with Real Estate paying slightly below the average salary followed by Industrials and Materials, then Consumer Discretionary and Staples. Government, Education and NFP’s paying 9.3% below the average.

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Sustainability Manager – ASX vs Non ASX Listed

ASX listed entities remunerate at a significantly higher level (+20%) than private or non-listed entities.

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What does this mean?

To attract a skilled and qualified Sustainability Manager, the package depends on the sector, but generally it should comprise a base salary in the ballpark of $180,856, with a short-term incentive of ~11.2% in place, the component paid dependent on business and individual performance.

Beyond the Resume

To attract and retain a Sustainability Manager who not only has the required skillset but also the passion for the role, it’s important to delve deeper than a CV. What you can learn about a candidate on paper, or even in an interview situation, is limited- often you don’t know who you’ve really hired and how they really fit until they’re a few weeks or months into the role.

The best and most reliable way to hire the talent you need is through a robust and high quality network. A referral from a trusted source within your network is going to carry more weight than a myriad of qualifications and the most impressive work experience on paper. In our experience, the very best Sustainability Managers are those who not only have the skills but have a passion and desire that the work they do truly makes the world around them a better place. This plays out not only in the workplace, but in their personal life and with every interaction they have. People like this often aren’t actively searching for roles, but given the right opportunity at a company that fits, can be motivated to move (if the conditions are right).

The team at Talent Nation has over 15 years’ experience in placing Sustainability Managers into organisations within Australian and New Zealand, and are happy to work with you to structure the right package to ensure you attract the people who will really drive your sustainability plans forward. We want to work with our clients to ensure you are having a positive impact on the world around you; to work towards a better future for all.

Talent Nation has recruited within the Sustainability industry for over 15 years. As one of Australia’s only specialised Environment & Sustainability recruitment agencies, we are passionate about connecting purpose-driven people with purpose roles and companies within Australia and New Zealand. This report provides information of a general nature across a number of sectors, however we are more than happy to give more specific advice relevant to individual or company circumstances. For a detailed discussion on how we can help, contact us on  +61 3 9600 0115.

The Modern Slavery Bill: What is the latest?

On 1 January 2019, the Modern Slavery Act commenced, an Act that requires a new statutory modern slavery reporting requirement for larger companies operating in Australia.

Now is the time to start preparing the information required for the first report, which is due either later this year or mid next year, depending on your financial reporting period.

Review the reporting periods here.

There is still time to allow you to ensure you have the right people in place to understand and rigorously scrutinise all aspects of a Supply Chain. It allows all levels of the business to familiarise themselves with the reporting requirements and ensure there are processes in place to fulfil these requirements.

For those for whom Modern Slavery is already a concern, the delay for this Act to come into play is no doubt frustrating. Bringing transparency and rigour to Australian business’s approach to Modern Slavery is the first step to ensuring all Australian products have been made and sourced in a way that does not exploit any vulnerable human.

The introduction of the Modern Slavery Bill is a major stepping stone for Australia in terms of stamping out human exploitation that, too often, is hidden in plain sight. The Bill seeks to cover the activities of both private and public-sector organisations with annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million (businesses with less than $100m revenue can opt to report voluntarily); requiring that they publish a report every financial year in conjunction with modern slavery regulations. The reporting requirements are as follows:

  1. the identity of the reporting company;
  2. the structure, operations and supply chains of the company;
  3. the risks of modern slavery practices in the operations and supply chains of the reporting entity, and any entities that the reporting entity owns or controls;
  4. the actions taken by the reporting entity and any entity that the reporting entity owns or controls, to asses and address those risks;
  5. how the reporting entity assesses the effectiveness of such actions;
  6. the process of consultation with any entities the reporting entity owns or controls or is issuing a joint modern slavery statement with; and
  7. any other information that the reporting entity, or the entity giving the statement, considers relevant.

The goal of this report is to force these businesses to scrutinise their supply chain to identify the risk of modern slavery, and outline what they are doing to address these risks. To ensure high-level engagement, the statement has to be approved by the board of directors or equivalent and signed by a director.

So, why is this so important?

The Walk Free Foundation, the publishing organisation of the Global Slavery Index, estimates that on any given day in 2016, 40.3 million people were victims of modern slavery. Of these people, 24.9 million were in forced labour and 15.4 million were in forced marriages. Even more shockingly, 1 in 4 of these victims were children. The majority of countries have laws against modern slavery, but few governments have sought to hold businesses accountable.

As stated by The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, the purpose of the bill is to “to encourage identification and disclosure of instances of modern slavery, and to clean up supply chains.” Increasing pressure from Government, as well as expectations from employees and customers around corporate social responsibility, is creating changes in the way many do business. By requiring organisations to report each year; identifying the risks in their supply chains, as well as highlighting the due-diligence processes they have in place to assist them in tackling modern slavery, the idea is that negative attention will be drawn to companies who are slacking on their social responsibilities.

By making information such as this public, it is anticipated that customers will hold their suppliers accountable for the entirety of their operations; requiring that they demonstrate that they are not engaging in unethical practices. The modern consumer no longer simply wants the most inexpensive option, they want their dollar to go further and create positive social and environmental impact. This shift, coupled with reporting regulations of the new Bill, will create transparency in companies that may have previously had none; raising expectations of what constitutes ‘good business.’ By creating a new benchmark for success, organisations must willingly demonstrate the integrity of their operations and can no longer plead ignorance when it comes to the darker corners of their supply chains.

Dr Jennifer Burns, the Director of Anti-Slavery Australia at the University of Technology, Sydney, states that slavery is common in Australia’s labour force, particularly within “hospitality, construction and agriculture”. The Supply Chain Sustainability School, functioning both here in Australia and in the UK, is an organisation seeking to target modern slavery in the construction sector. They acknowledge that, while the estimated number of people living in modern slavery conditions in Australia is lower than many other countries, the majority of our supply chains lead directly to the Asia Pacific region, where roughly 30 million people are subject to human trafficking, forced labour and debt bondage.

The purpose of the School is to combat businesses engaging with these illegal and inhuman practices by increasing sustainability knowledge and competency along the construction and infrastructure supply chains. If you’d like to get involved, well we’ve got good news for you! We’re currently hiring a Partner Engagement Manager to help the Supply Chain Sustainability School achieve financial and strategic growth, to assist with their mission of creating a greener, more sustainable construction sector.

Overall, this new commitment to stamping out modern slavery practices will not only help protect the world’s most vulnerable, but raise the bar when it comes to defining corporate success. By acknowledging the importance of this human rights issue, change can be adopted right now to provide every individual with freedom as a basic right.