Ricardo: Head of Environment, Social & Governance (ESG)

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Head of Environment, Social & Governance (ESG)

  • Role type
  • Full time

  • Location
  • Flexible

Job Description

Ricardo plc is a leading environmental and engineering consultancy, with more than 3,000 people operating in over 20 countries around the world. Within the company we have an environmental consultancy division, which helps our clients respond to issues across the sustainability agenda including climate and product risk management, development of new business models, and sustainability reporting.

We have recently made a commitment to increase disclosures related to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects of our wide range of operations and services. As the statement (found here: https://ricardo.com/news-and-media/news-and-press/ricardo-to-provide-increased-visibility-of-its-esg-agenda) indicates:

“The enhanced operational reporting of ESG will build on the best practice work Ricardo’s environmental consultants are delivering with clients around the world. This includes supporting both governments and the private sector in achieving their goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use scarce resources more effectively and efficiently. In addition, it builds on the work of Ricardo’s engineering teams in the development of improved technology to tackle climate change through areas such as zero emission mobility and renewable energy technology development.”


The opportunity

We are seeking an experienced ESG practitioner to take forward our corporate ESG activities at Group level. The role will report to the Group Strategy and Transformation Director and will focus on developing the Ricardo ESG strategy, considering appropriate frameworks and reporting mechanisms (such as, but not limited to TCFD and Science Based Targets).

You will have an encompassing knowledge of sustainability, CSR, and wider social, environmental and governance issues within the built environment, including Net Zero Carbon, ESG Strategy, environmental management, sustainable procurement and environmental compliance.


Specific requirements of the role:

Key responsibilities:

  • Lead the formulation of Ricardo’s ESG vision, mission and operating principles together with the development and implementation of a strategy to support them
  • Developing the corporate approach to the Net Zero agenda
  • Work with key internal stakeholders, including the Group Risk Manager, in the development of appropriate reporting and verification mechanisms and metrics for ESG and GHG reporting
  • Support the preparation of materials for the CEO / Board
  • Understand the needs of the investor and analyst community with respect to specific ESG criteria and drivers to ensure that we are positioned optimally to these stakeholders
  • Champion sustainability throughout the business, securing and leveraging senior level commitment and support for integrating sustainable development into core processes and decision-making
  • Build sustainability principles into business planning, and also regarding decisions on capital investments (physical assets) and operations (eg test facilities)
  • Support the development of the Ricardo brand as an ESG leader, and seek to support additional ESG opportunities working in conjunction with both Group and divisional marketing teams
  • Networking with appropriate stakeholder / trade bodies and other partners in the market to increase Ricardo’s influence
  • Leverage (collaborative) funding opportunities associated with ESG
  • Work with colleagues delivering consultancy projects for ESG and related services, as required, and support the development and delivery of projects


Key competencies and experience:

  • Strong technical knowledge of the ESG agenda and broader sustainability, environmental management, environmental legislation, environmental science etc both within the UK and Europe and other key markets Ricardo operate in – e.g. United States, China, Australia.
  • Specifically, demonstrable experience across a number of the following in a corporate or consultancy capacity:
  1. Climate-related financial risk / opportunity impact assessment
  2. GHG mitigation strategies
  3. Science Based Targets
  4. Net-Zero strategy development
  5. Sustainability strategies / corporate reporting (ESG / CSR)
  6. ESG / technology due diligence
  7. Pledges
  • Proven experience of policy related work in the ESG / sustainability space
  • Strong understanding of ESG market drivers and challenges, particularly for listed companies in the UK
  • Existing and senior level relationships with a range of relevant organisations / stakeholders
  • Strong influencing skills, both internally and externally and experience building strategic relationships with key stakeholders, including up to the C-suite level
  • Exceptional commercial awareness, particularly regarding link between ESG performance and corporate profile and investability


Skills and behaviours:

You will have a financial, economics, engineering or science qualification/background with practical and management career experience, with a focus on delivering a selection of sustainability projects.

  • Flexible approach including a willingness and ability to work across a wide range of ESG-related topics
  • Great communicator and highly emotionally intelligent, with strong stakeholder engagement skills, and an ability to build consensus amongst groups of often very different stakeholders
  • Ability to translate complex technical issues into appropriate language for senior management, Board Members, employees and the financial community
  • Excellent numerical skills, report writing and oral presentation skills (in English)
  • Effective and proactive team worker and collaborator across teams, capable of supporting and developing peers and junior staff members
  • Desirable to hold an MBA or Masters qualification in Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Energy Management, Sustainability or similar

The role can be based at any of Ricardo's offices, with significant travel in the UK and occasional international travel.

This is a fast-paced and challenging environment offering you the opportunity to make your mark. You will have support from the wider business for your career to develop into a wide range of future opportunities within Ricardo. 

In return for your commitment, drive and enthusiasm, we offer an attractive benefits package, a personal development plan, and the opportunity to make a difference in a challenging and rewarding field.  Ricardo is an equal opportunities employer, and we are happy to discuss a range of flexible working options.