Sustainable Finance Specialist – ZSL

Neera Shah
Neera Shah2nd July 2021


We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity. Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we’re working every day to achieve this. From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction. Through the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists and our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos, we guide and enable others in the UK and all across the world. Inspiring, informing, empowering – working for wildlife.

Role Profile

The Sustainable Finance Specialist shall lead ZSL’s engagement with the finance sector. The role will work to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into financial decision-making and risk management processes. This will focus especially on sustainable financing of agriculture, forestry, freshwater, and marine sectors to protect and enhance biodiversity. In addition, the role will coordinate conservation finance efforts across ZSL to explore financing opportunities for biodiversity conservation. The role will oversee ZSL’s finance sector engagement strategy globally and manage a team of sustainable finance associates and consultants.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

This role will cover the 3 key thematic areas outlined below. Your role will be to provide technical finance sector expertise and support ZSL colleagues to understand issues around ESG integration and conservation finance.

Agriculture & Forestry

You will oversee ZSL’s engagement with the finance sector to increase uptake of key ESG criteria. This work will focus on companies financing organisations in the timber and pulp, palm oil and natural rubber sectors. It shall include:

  • Maximise uptake of Sustainable Policy Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT) as an ESG engagement tool used by financial institutions through outreach to financial sector actors and involvement in multi-stakeholder groups such as RSPO and UKSIF.
  • Manage and coordinate SPOTT Technical Advisory Group and Supporter Network.

Marine & Freshwater

You will provide technical input to identify finance sector funding opportunities as well as contributing to design and delivery of projects, as ZSL’s technical lead on conservation finance. For example, this may include:

  • Working with ZSL’s UK Marine & Freshwater team to develop conservation finance projects for oysters, seagrass and saltmarshes.
  • Working with ZSL’s Marine Stewardship and Aquatic Species & Policy teams to explore opportunities around Blue Carbon.
  • Working with various ZSL teams to explore finance sector opportunities for Mangrove conservation and rehabilitation.

Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) 

You will support ZSL’s work to halt the illegal wildlife trade by providing technical expertise on IWT financial flows. A key part of this work will be to;

  • Represent ZSL as part of the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce
  • Work with ZSL’s Counter-Trafficking Advisor to build awareness around IWT financing and solutions to the illegal wildlife trade.

For each of these thematic areas, you may work on donor funded projects or as part of advisory services to commercial clients.

For a full job description, please click here

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