CSR energy jobs rise from near zero to 9%

By Dominic Ellis
Robert Walters' research finds the energy and utilities sector advertised 9% of all CSR-related jobs, up from near 0%

CSR-related job roles are booming as companies seek to bolster their ESG credentials.

A new report from global recruiter Robert Walters, ESG: Mindset over Must, found CSR job vacancies jumped 74% in the last year, up 54% on 2019, and half of FTSE companies now link pay and bonus to ESG goals.

The Energy & Utilities sector advertised 9% of all CSR-related jobs, up from near 0%.

Nearly a third of CSR vacancies (28%) are for senior roles. The consumer goods industry is leading the CSR charge, accounting for a quarter of hires, and 40% of all UK roles are advertised within London although the Midlands, North West and Scotland have seen marked growth.

Chris Poole, Managing Director of Robert Walters UK, said: “Right now, businesses are under more scrutiny than ever. Processes, suppliers, materials, and policies often have more of an impact on consumer actions than a finished product. As governments strive to achieve environmental targets, and the choice widens for customers on socially-conscious products and services – ESG will increasingly become more critical for survival, and not just for investment.”

Other industries which have maintained their recruitment drive in this area include Real Easte & Construction, Professional Services, Technology, Media & Telecoms (TMT) and Financial Services – which represents 19%, 13%, 11% and 8% of CSR-vacancies this year respectively.

Daniel Connors, Associate Director of Robert Walters UK, added: “The impact of global warming has hit a number of industries hard this year – including financial services and insurance – where the damage caused by recent hurricanes, wildfires, and floods, presents risk factors for location of offices and even towards potential investors.”

Last week at COP26, 60 of the FTSE100 companies signed up to a pledge to stop their contribution to climate change by 2050. In addition, nearly half of the FTSE100 already link executive pay and bonus structures to environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures – with this expected to rise in the coming years.

Craig Howells, Principal Consultant at Robert Walters, said some thought that in a global crisis, ESG targets would be the first to go.

"However, many companies strengthened their commitment to ESG during the pandemic. The suggestion also that people would care more about jobs and rocketing government debt over, for example, more socially conscious behaviour, appears misplaced.”

Not surprising to see is the increase is location agnostic or completely remote roles increasing by 100% in the past year, as the impact of the pandemic combined with a candidate shortage continues to be felt.

Daniel O’Leary – Business Director at Robert Walters, said businesses which are failing to meet the expected ESG performance standards should expect to see a knock-on impact on their reputation.

"As a workforce strategy, ESG has become a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent; numerous studies have shown that, when weighing up potential employers, millennials are hugely influenced by how a business responds to and tackles social issues.”

PwC research found 93% of FTSE 100 companies disclosed a purpose beyond financial returns for shareholders - up from 71% last year.

'Building the workforce of the future' is a key objective as companies strive to develop new vital skills and more inclusive workforces.

"Centrica have identified a future STEM skills shortage as a risk for their business, and are taking action, for example, through upskilling engineers to be able to install EV charging infrastructure," it notes.

It also highlights Drax' work with Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) technology, for capturing and storing CO2 at scale, at a rate of up to 16 MtCo2 annually. "Drax’s leadership will likely speed uptake of CCS globally as their investment in the technology will demonstrate its efficacy at scale."

  • Air Products, a leading global industrial gases company, was awarded a gold medal for its CSR performance from EcoVadis, a multinational CSR ratings agency, for the fifth year running.
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