A Day in the Life of an ESG Analyst
Although it is not easy to pigeon-hole ESG roles, it is generally accepted that the primary objective of an ESG Analyst is to research relevant material on the Environmental, Social and Governance risks, opportunities and capabilities of an organisation or analyse the activity data of the organisation.
Individuals applying for ESG Analyst jobs will probably have a relevant degree in a subject like Environmental Sciences, Geography, Finance, or another Sustainability-related subject and may have even studied for an MBA in a related area.
Starting the day like most professionals, an ESG Analyst will venture first into their email inbox before checking on the relevant markets for their sector. There are a number of ESG Analyst jobs across the likes of investment management, private equity and property firms. Therefore, it is likely that the next port of call will be to search for news alerts regarding any pertinent ESG stories, ranging from sustainable finance to responsible investing, that may have recently developed.
The same role will vary from one company to another, though it is safe to say that a significant portion of ESG analysis work is made up of research and data analysis. An ESG Analyst will monitor ESG issues for the organisation, working on reports related to performance and working with the company to improve their ESG impact. Their role is to help integrate ESG practices into the business strategy of the firm, and such recommendations may range from switching to renewable energy, to investing in clean tech, to collaborating with non-governmental organisations (NGO’s).
In addition to copious research, an ESG Analyst will also typically undertake data analysis. For example, if they are working for a sustainability NGO, they may have more of a focus on analysing the ESG policies of similar entities and evaluating the extent of public policy driving or impeding integration of ESG issues into special-interest areas of the community.
On the other hand, if the role sits within an investment management firm or similar, then the analyst will either assess the ESG impact of potential investments or review possible opportunities to invest in positive ESG projects. They do this by accessing public information via annual reports, policy papers and market data, as well as private information, as obtained through interviews, surveys, questionnaires and direct conversations with the company.
ESG Analysts will spend a great deal of their time talking to people across the business, including key stakeholders, so strong communication, presentation and negotiating skills are important.
Through their research, the ESG Analyst aims to evaluate whether a particular investment will do better or worse for the company’s ESG impact, whether the ESG risks align with the investor’s risk appetite and whether the risks can be mitigated in a way that offsets the company’s carbon footprint.
The ESG Analyst would then collate their findings into a written report, usually with recommendations. In some cases they may also be expected to prepare a verbal presentation to explain their findings to the business. Analysts may continue monitoring ESG issues throughout the year with a view to contributing to the firm’s annual reports and reporting on the performance of certain investments.
Candidates can expect to start on around £35,000 as an average annual salary for ESG Analyst roles in the UK, depending on the size of the company.