The Society seeks an individual with substantial sustainability, governance and corporate experience to plan and execute a two-year assignment in the broader context of the Society’s longer-term ESG strategy, working with companies, investors, ESG research firms (ERFs) and standard setters.
Context: ESG factors are increasingly important to the disclosure and governance practices of public and private companies. Companies, even those with mature ESG disclosure and risk management approaches, lack clarity about the information investors and ERFs believe is relevant and often do not understand the process by which that information is analyzed and integrated into investment and proxy voting decisions. Moreover, many companies do not have the ability, reporting frameworks, or opportunity to engage on ESG issues with ERFs, which could meaningfully improve the company’s assessed ESG performance and/or its own disclosures.
Investors often must try to process inconsistent ESG disclosures from companies that are not responsive to their investment requirements or proxy voting guidelines. In addition, investors—in the context of portfolios containing hundreds or thousands of companies—do not have the capacity to efficiently engage companies on an individual or even sectoral basis, which could close the gap in understanding between companies and investors.
ERFs, for their part, also struggle with collecting and analyzing ESG disclosures from thousands of companies that lack relevant information and, crucially, appear in a language or nomenclature that inhibits the efficient analysis of those disclosures. And like many investors, ERFs lack the capacity and time needed to engage with individual companies or even sectors in order to achieve a higher standard of factual accuracy and contextual relevance.
ESG Engagement Platform for Companies, Investors and ESG Research Firm: The Society for Corporate Governance is undertaking an effort to equip its members with the information and understanding to improve corporate ESG disclosure and governance through greater understanding of: the underlying ESG risks and opportunities (e.g. climate change and deforestation); investor concerns; ESG reporting frameworks and standards; and ESG research firms (ERFs). Closing the gaps of understanding and practice among companies, investors and ERFs, and thereby tangibly improving the integration of key ESG risks such as climate change, risks from reduction in ecosystem services including deforestation, unsustainable commodity production practices and social risks and impacts, can be achieved through the creation of an ESG engagement platform that establishes a practice of consultation and collaboration on ESG issues – particularly among key advisors to the boards of companies such as corporate secretaries and securities counsel. Harmonizing expectations of companies, investors and ERFs regarding the relevance of ESG information and the process through which such information is assessed and integrated by investors and ERFs will tangibly improve the quality and quantity of ESG disclosures and the environmental and social risk management of investors.
Roles and Responsibilities: Key activities of the ESG Director, under the supervision and direction of the Society SVP & GC include:
• Conceiving and drafting thought leadership materials on E&S issues, securities regulation, corporate governance and disclosure and risks relevant to investors; • Conceiving and executing regular sectoral convening with companies, investors and ERFs (and other stakeholders); • Plan and execute seminars for companies on key E&S issues (including climate change, supply chain, deforestation/biodiversity risk, human rights, gender equity and other relevant issues); • Plan and execute efficient engagement opportunities for companies/investors/ESG research firms/others; • Design and execute benchmarking surveys of Society members with respect to ESG issues and practices; and • Leverage Society events at the national and chapter level to highlight ESG trends/issues
Qualifications: The candidate will have:
- 5+ years of ESG, governance and corporate/legal experience; - Exceptional verbal and written communication skills suitable to an environment working with attorneys and C-level executives; - Legal experience preferred; - Ability to work efficiently, independently, and multitask under tight deadlines; - Demonstrated project management skills; - Enjoy working with members and volunteers; - Knowledge of or a strong interest in sustainability and business; - Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills with attention to detail; and - A demonstrated ability to work collaboratively.
Periodic travel is required.
About Society for Corporate Governance, Inc.
Founded in 1946, the Society for Corporate Governance (the "Society") is a non-profit membership
organization (Section 501(c)(6)) comprised principally of corporate secretaries and business executives in
governance, legal, ethics and compliance functions at public, private and not-for-profit organizations.
Members are responsible for supporting their boards of directors and executive management in matters
such as board practices, compliance, regulation and legal matters, shareholder relations and subsidiary
management. The Society seeks to be a positive force for responsible corporate governance, providing
news, research and "best practice" advice and providing professional development and education through
seminars and conferences. The Society is administered by a national staff of 12 located primarily in New
York City, by members who serve on the board and standing committees, and through the member
activities of 21 local chapters.