Head of Climate Research

The following statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of this position.

About SASB & The SASB Foundation

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)’s mission is to help businesses around the world identify, manage, and report on the sustainability topics that matter most to their investors. SASB Standards identify the subset of environmental, social, and governance issues most relevant to financial performance in each of 77 industries. SASB is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Standards matter because progress on disclosure brings us closer to progress on performance. When investors can compare companies and direct capital to those best managing business-critical sustainability issues, capital markets and society are more resilient as a result. At SASB, we believe the capital markets are a powerful lever of change for a more sustainable and just world. We need transparency at scale to enable this lever.

We are a dynamic, fast-growing organization that has quickly gained market support. Leading global investors support SASB Standards as a core component of corporate disclosure. We develop products, resources, and education to support the adoption and use of our Standards and are funded by a mix of earned income and grants. We have a talented staff and executive team, with our work overseen by two high-profile boards, drawing members with experience at major asset owners and asset managers, companies, the FASB/IASB, the US SEC, the Big 4 accounting firms, and academia. Our work is supported by major institutions and forward-thinking individuals.

Are you right for our mission and this role? Please make your case in your cover letter.

Job Summary

As the Head of Climate Research, you are passionate about the intersection of climate science, economics, and finance. You are excited to leverage this expertise to illuminate the connection between climate-related impacts and financial risk and return, corporate and investment strategy, and the integrity of financial systems. You understand the role that corporate disclosure plays in driving capital markets, and are excited to take on the challenge of developing standards that enable the transition to a low-carbon economy.

You are eager to take on the challenge of defining SASB’s climate research strategy, including leading efforts to ensure SASB’s industry-specific disclosure standards reflect the most current economic and climate research. You can synthesize multiple sources of information into clear, impactful, evidenced-based recommendations to inform decisions by SASB’s standards board. As a Lead Analyst on the team, you provide technical expertise and leadership for the SASB Research Team members, leading our climate-related standards development activities.

You bring with you a strong set of existing relationship with key, through-leading climate-focused institutions, and you are motivated to identify and establish new relationships with key stakeholders to provide valuable input when forming SASB’s climate research strategy.

You are an effective communicator who can speak credibly on behalf of SASB’s research and standards development process, inspiring confidence in a wide range of stakeholder groups – including companies, investors, academics, and subject-matter experts.

You are a strong believer in SASB’s mission and are willing to execute and support organizational projects beyond standards-development. You enjoy working collaboratively and leveraging your expertise to achieve SASB’s broad organizational objectives.

Reports to: Director of Research – Projects

Areas of Responsibility

SASB’s work is dynamic and fast-paced. While the primary areas of responsibility are as follows, we value adaptability and a collaborative mindset.

Standard Setting

  • Develop comprehensive climate research strategy to ensure SASB can effectively identify, analyze, and document emerging evidence connecting climate change to financially material impacts across industries
  • Engage the Standards Board to solicit viewpoints and drive consensus with respect to climate research priorities and the research and standard-setting project portfolio
  • Actively monitor global regulatory developments that affect the financial materiality of climate change as well as developing disclosure requirements, translating these developments through to research and standard-setting priorities
  • Actively review climate-related academic and other research publications relevant to standards-development activities, including investor interest in as well as the financial impacts of climate change
  • Lead efforts to translate climate-related research through to clear standard-setting priorities, and to define specific projects to drive changes to the standards
  • Lead the execution of climate-related standard-setting projects, including working with SASB’s sector analysts to develop and propose revisions that improve the decision-usefulness and cost-effectiveness of the standards
  • Serve as SASB’s internal subject matter expert on climate change, working with analysts to define industry-specific climate-related research and standard-setting priorities by providing expertise, identifying resources, and soliciting input from companies, investors, and subject matter experts

Market Relations

  • Maintain and further develop existing relationships with companies, investors, and leading research organizations focused on the intersection of climate change, economics, finance, and business
  • Develop plan to identify and engage key climate-focused organizations in SASB’s standards development process
  • Leverage relationships to provide expertise to drive forward industry-specific research and standard-setting activities by SASB’s sector analysts
  • Effectively communicate SASB’s climate research program, including engaging companies, investors, and subject matter experts effectively to solicit input to help define priorities and associated projects. Ensure the market clearly understands SASB’s climate-related research strategy and how it can engage

External Communication and Thought Leadership

  • Effectively communicate SASB’s climate research strategy to a wide range of audiences and across formats including in-person speaking events, webinars, briefings, and other forums
  • Identify ways to translate SASB’s research into educational materials that support SASB’s mission. Lead or serve as key technical expert supporting the development of thought-leading publications demonstrating SASB’s knowledge and expertise in the intersection between climate change and industry-specific financial materiality. This can include publicly available materials and materials available to clients of SASB’s earned income programs such as the SASB Alliance, licensing offerings, and/or FSA Credential
  • Serve as point of contact for SASB’s advisory groups on climate-related activities, providing regular updates on SASB’s climate research strategy and progress

Organizational Projects

  • Lead and/or support organizational climate-related projects, including cross-departmental collaborations, that are aligned with research team and organization goals

Qualifications

The Head of Climate Research is a strategic, intellectual curious, collaborative, highly-organized and self-directed critical thinker. The Head of Climate Research thrives in synthesizing a complex set of information into tangible, practical actions that are aligned with and deliver significant value in evolving the SASB standards to continue to meet market needs. In addition, the Head of Climate Research will have:

  • Advanced degree (e.g., Ph.D.) in a relevant technical field (climate or environmental science / engineering) required
  • Demonstrated thought leadership in climate-related research, including strong quantitative skills using robust scientific methods, and strong research record including multiple publications or other relevant expertise or experience
  • Ability to translate complex quantitative and qualitative information into a clear, comprehensive, and prioritized climate research strategy that is aligned with team and organizational objectives, including the ability to identify the implications of climate-related research on business performance and corporate disclosure
  • Ability to design and manage a strategic portfolio of climate-related research projects, including the ability to identify and track opportunities, prioritize define, and select projects, and track projects through to completion on time and within budget
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and/or maintain productive relationships with thought leading-organizations on climate change
  • Demonstrated experience in technical writing and presentation skills, including multiple publications and public speaking events
  • Collaborative leadership style with an ability to define project requirements and support project execution by others, as well as leading key projects internally
  • Thrives in an entrepreneurial fast-paced environment
  • Ability to bring big-picture thinking and equally execute with high attention to detail
  • Deep commitment to the mission of SASB

Special ADA Requirements

SASB is in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and does not discriminate applicants or employees with disabilities, and will make reasonable accommodation when necessary.

  • For the purposes of ADA, the “Essential Duties and Responsibilities” and “Qualifications” are essential job functions.
  • Work is normally performed in a typical interior/office work environment, with typical office noise, equipment, and with staff tending to other business transactions.
  • Both standing and sitting are required for extended periods of time, with majority of work of the job done sitting.  Approximately three-quarters of the time performing job duties is spent using a computer keyboard.
  • Various types of office equipment/supplies are used to accomplish the job requirements and include, but are not limited to phones, computers, pens, pencils, calculators, computer keyboards, telephone, printers, etc.
  • Required to drive personal auto to other work sites for meetings, conferences, etc.

Location & Logistics

This is a full-time position with benefits, located in San Francisco, CA. [SASB will be operating remotely until January 2022 due to Covid-19]

US work authorization required. SASB will not sponsor applicants for this position for work visas.

TO APPLY

Please submit your resume and cover letter via email to [email protected], with the email subject as “Head of Climate Research.”