ESG Reporting & Sustainability Data Analytics – Through the Candidate Lens

30 May 2022 by Ruth Smith
blog author

​Every reputable business on the planet is focused on meeting at the place where Performance, Purpose, and Profit coincide. Sustainability is no longer a tick box exercise, but crucial for there to be a tomorrow. Acre is at the front line of a recent surge in the requirement for ESG Reporting & Sustainability Data Analysts.

This role is essential for someone who can make sense of environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, enabling a business to be fully transparent and mitigate negative impact across the value chain. They would assess all corporate data while adhering to any relevant frameworks; looking at a company’s waste, water, emissions, and carbon usage and collate it into a report for external reporting, internal engagement, marketing and so on.

According to the KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting 2020, as many as 80 per cent of companies worldwide report on sustainability. We know from experience that reporting on Sustainability - whether mandatory or voluntarily - is a fantastic launchpad for any business looking to raise the bar, continually improve, attract the best talent and create profitable, meaningful, long-term returns for people and the planet; so why does the word ‘reporting’ send so many candidates running for the hills?

Acre is working with businesses to revitalize the role; to firstly attract but also retain the best professionals in the analytics and reporting space. Below, we share our top 3 observations with you:

1. Evolution

As George Bernard Shaw once said, ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’

You’d be hard pushed to find someone who is happy to conduct the same monotonous tasks continually, without offering them the opportunity for variety, change and progress.

If the vision is never tweaked or enhanced, the outlook becomes stale. Analytic reporters need a scope for input. They are as driven as anyone else in the sustainability sector and have great ideas, but it can seem that their ideas are often hampered by constant delegation and constraint by the parts of the process that not everyone wants to share.

By giving an Analyst the opportunity to input on top-line sustainability, as well as the bottom-line grunt work, the team could surprise itself and pick up some excellent, innovative new ideas, evolving the strategy organically as opposed to maintaining the status quo.

2. Sustainability – And Beyond!

As we’ve outlined, Analysts with the ability to take technical data and translate it into a language the business understands, are currently incredibly hard to find, attract, and onboard. As such, we find that if our clients enter the hiring process with the mindset that a good Analyst will perform effectively in the technical confines of the role outlined for 18-24 months before it becomes crucial to advancement in the team, it will lead to a more honest and effective relationship between employer and employee.

Many hiring managers feel this is hard to articulate ‘What’s Next’ to someone they’re hiring, but what if advancement meant that you let go of your best people, out of your team, and into the organisation elsewhere?

A sustainability data reporter will question why they would leave their job for the same position elsewhere. The new role offered to them needs to be more varied compared to their current position, with exposure to different departments and stakeholders. A role that leads to a move where they are ‘launched’ into other parts of the business as the Sustainability Champion could be very attractive in the med-long term.

Offering the ability to build new relationships or commercial awareness of how sustainability can be applied to any business unit’s goals and outcomes, can be a critical driver for attracting candidates to your organization, as it broadens the horizon of opportunity.

While the role must retain a data-centric focus, providing the right candidates with extra opportunities to diversify their workload or engage with other areas of the business is often the gleaming (organic) carrot they wish to have dangled before them.

3. Know the Person behind the Role

Considering the frameworks for sustainability reporting and data handling process can be similar across all companies, it is often the exposure to and nature of the work undertaken in the market itself that strongly appeals and therefore draws a candidate in.

This will vary depending on the candidate’s personal preferences and motivations; if they have a personal interest in a particular hobby (e.g. wine tasting), they are more likely to be attracted to a position within that field.

They may also have personal preferences in business type, that may attract and retain them to a role or organization. For example, Feyi Osifuwa chose her new role at Greene King through Acre for multiple reasons, one of them being the chance to work in a role that is business to customer-facing, rather than business to business. On top of this, important elements such as progression and the opportunity to create impact shine through, according to Feyi: For me, something I looked for is space where I can do more than just provide data but also give insight and suggestions on what to do with this data”.

It’s important to be inquisitive and receptive to motivations and situations to fully appreciate the importance and opportunities behind sustainability reporting.

If you are interested in exploring the above topics further or want to know more about potential opportunities in this space, please reach out to Ruth at