Interview Transcript

What type of personality or character would you encourage to really enter the ESG space?

I would probably not seek out a job in impact or sustainability. I would go with whatever that person is studying, such as finance or economics, or sociology or English, and search for the impacts within that industry. As we were saying earlier, embed yourself into these industries and really seek how to create and measure your own impact or that of the industry that you are in, because the jobs in CSR are few and far between. They’re going to be hiring people, most likely, who are already inside the company. Likewise, the impact funds, there are not so many successful impact funds in the world, so they’re not going to be paying particularly well, or have that many jobs. They almost always tend to hire people either from finance, directly, or from the NGO world, in an emerging market.

I would say, instead, to take a job in a different sector, where you can apply your passions and your expertise in a new way, and see what kind of impact you can help a company generate.

This is what we spoke about before, around forcing change or making change, in taking your new mindset, as a young person, and placing it in, whether it is a CPG company, around plastic or whether it is in big tech, around privacy and behavioural advertising. You think the biggest changes are going to come from people working those sectors and then implementing change?

Personally, yes. That said, if you have a brilliant scientific mind, I think you’re going to get paid ten times as much to go to a hedge fund. But if you do stay in research, there is so much need to solve the plastics problem, certainly. But there are so many other problems around nutrition, around climate change and energy use and batteries and storage. There are so many very pertinent and, potentially lucrative, issues to solve down the line. It’s a much less lucrative choice in the beginning, because I have many friends that left climate science and ended up at a hedge fund, but it’s certainly much more of an impact.

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