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Climate activism driving ESG jobs and new appointments

JOBS: The growing appetite for sustainable, ethical and high value ESG investment opportunities continues to underpin the jobs market, and the negative talk globally about things slowing down is just not resonating in Australia’s CBDs.

That’s according to recruiter Richard Evans of Talent Nation, who’s feeling quite bullish on the outlook for 2020. At least in his patch.

Underpinning the trend is the growing activism on climate and sustainability.

“The activists getting involved is sharpening investor attention,” he says.

“Certainly, they’re getting real cut through. In the last six to 12 months they’ve certainly come on the radar.” And that’s in a growing number of sectors, especially around ESG (environmental social governance).

No one is immune, he says, indicating a wide area of public life. Other observers have also noted the growing tsunami of influence, which may or may not have stemmed from the #MeToo movement that cast an ethical and just spotlight onto everything from underpaying staff in take away food chains, and upmarket restaurants and major supermarkets to appalling behavior by the banks.

Every sector is on notice, they say. Ethical and sustainable could be the new black.

Speaking of activists, Evans is currently searching for a new national campaign manager for The Wilderness Society and if you think that’s a job done more for love than money, you’d be wrong. This is a serious professional gig and has salary to match, though we promised not to disclose that.

The move comes after Matt Brennan stepped up as CEO after sharing that role with Lyndon Schneiders – also campaign chief – who is leaving at the end of this year after a massive 25-year stint.

One indication of the strength of ESG, Evans says, is the strong member growth of outfits such as BCorporation, which says you can be “good for business and good for society and the environment at the same time.”

Evans back in June placed a new CEO for the organisation, Andrew Davies.

BCorporation’s new CEO Andrew Davies.

In the corporate world, life goes on. CBUS Property is searching for a new head of sustainability to replace Lorraine Moore who has joined APN Property Group to head up sustainability there. APN is a member of both the Investor Group on Climate Change and Responsible Investment Association Australasia.

Banyule City Council has appointed Allison Beckwith as CEO.

She’s been with the council for more than 12 years and for the past six years has headed up community programs.

Pip Harley is finally moving from the City of Sydney after eight years in sustainability roles and heading back to the private sector. She will be social sustainability manager at Dexus. She was previously with BUPA and Auckland Council.

And speaking of New Zealand, the Property Council’s Auckland office has appointed Natalia Tropotova as senior advocacy advisor. Her background is Master of Public Policy from The University of Auckland and a Bachelor of Arts (1st Class Honours) from University of Canterbury .

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