A Guide to Rising Salaries in the Sustainability & ESG Market - War for talent as COP26 paves the way for new sustainability hires

02 December 2021 by Samantha Calvey
blog author

​COP26 has laid the foundations for a more stable future but if the climate crisis has taught us anything, it’s that a collaborative approach is fundamental for skyrocketing success in sustainability.  

While governments and policy makers get to grips with understanding what is expected of them, in order to steer towards reaching the Paris Agreement goal, the onus is on everyone across the globe to play their part. 

Samantha Calvey is a Recruitment Consultant within the Sustainable Business team at Acre. She focuses on recruiting for junior to mid-level roles within infrastructure, manufacturing and professional services. 

She said: “There is a rise in opportunities within the Sustainability sector, both in-house and in consultancy, offering a fantastic opportunity for those looking to move into the sector or for the opportunity to step up. The increase in opportunities and appreciation for sustainability skillsets growing is causing a rise in the salaries on offer for those eager to attract the best talent, making it an extremely competitive market for those hiring” 

 Working in a purposeful role that embraces accountability and engages others to commit towards a brighter environmental future is an attractive prospect, with a salary to match. Sustainability salaries have increased across the globe since 2018, according to the 2020 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) Salary Survey.  

A total of 1,542 corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR/S) professionals took part in the survey and revealed a higher remuneration package, which is a fitting testament to the growing importance of the sustainability sector. 

Data from the survey, conducted by Acre, Carnstone and Flag, also highlights that average in-house role far surpassed consultancy positions which has widened the average salary gap between the two from £11,500 in 2018 to £16,000 in 2020. 

The survey highlights that 90 per cent of respondents possess either an undergraduate and/or post graduate degree, while out of all the professionals who took part in the salary survey, 89 per cent said they would recommend a career in the sustainability sector and over a quarter reported to be very satisfied with their jobs. 

Salaries have increased too, according to the results, with 27 per cent of in-house consultants and 15 per cent of consultants reportedly earning in excess of £100,000. 

It means there is no better time to embark on a career in sustainability, or to take a step up if you are already enjoying a meaningful role and are ready take it to the next level. As more companies invest in clean technologies to measure their carbon footprint and aim for a carbon net zero existence, more skilled workers will be required to embed robust sustainability practices. 

We have an urgency to place new mid-level candidates in exciting roles spanning the sustainability sector. COP26 has demonstrated that there is a lot to do in the fight against climate change and you could play a key role in this momentous feat, if you are searching for the ultimate in job satisfaction. 

To discuss upcoming opportunities, please contact Samantha Calvey via samantha.calvey@acre.com  

​Samantha is a Recruitment Consultant within the Sustainability Business team. She focuses on recruiting for junior to mid-level roles within infrastructure, manufacturing and professional services.