Position title: Research Associate, Asia Sustainable Finance
Reports to: Head, Asia Sustainable Finance
Date: October 2019
Mission of the Asia Sustainable Finance Team:
World Wide Fund for Nature is one of the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organizations with a global network of 6000 experts across the areas most critical to global sustainable development including food systems, climate and energy, and freshwater, forests and oceans, active in more than 100 countries. Our approach is deeply rooted in science and our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which people and nature thrive. WWF has identified the finance sector as a key driver of global economic activity with which we must engage to successfully deliver on our long-term conservation mission
Positioned at the cutting-edge of sustainable finance internationally, our global sustainable finance team of 80 experts - including 30 in Asia - is dedicated to supporting the finance sector to transition to sustainable and resilient economy via working with key finance sector players including banks, investors, regulators, and stock exchanges, across six focus areas:
Regulations and Guidelines: We provide recommendations and facilitate dialogue between regulatory authorities and financial institutions (FIs) to issue harmonized regulations and guidelines that raise the bar for sustainable finance at the national and regional level.
Standards: We help FIs understand what makes certain standards and certification schemes credible to help them ensure that their due diligence and verification processes assure robust sustainability practices.
Capacity Building: We empower FIs through capacity building on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues through industry-wide workshops and bilateral training sessions. Our trainings cover a range of sectors and thematic focus areas and help FIs to better assess and price risk, value companies, and develop new products.
Research & Tools: We conduct research, develop best practice guides, and benchmark FIs’ progress on ESG integration to ensure timely progress towards a resilient and sustainable financial system. We also help FIs to understand and implement cutting-edge tools so they can better understand, measure, and manage evolving ESG risks and opportunities.
Engagement: We help investors exert their influence and facilitate large scale, meaningful change by providing research and analysis that supports their engagement with portfolio companies over key ESG issues.
Green Financial Solutions: We work with FIs to support the development of innovative green financial solutions based on science-based criteria that create measurable environmental and social impacts alongside competitive financial returns.
In Asia, we work across seven (7) ASEAN countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – as well as in Japan and South Korea. We focus on sustainability issues related to soft commodities finance (e.g. agriculture, forestry, and seafood), in addition to cross-cutting issues such as climate and energy, water and biodiversity.
The research associate will join a team of 12 sustainable finance professionals in Singapore and assist with developing resources (e.g. reports, tools, presentations) to support engagement and policy advocacy with the regional and global financial sector on ESG issues. The research associate will be exposed to a broad and diverse range of work. These include: engaging with banks and other financial institutions/platforms in Asia, undertaking key research activities, and collaborating with, and assisting other WWF offices as they begin to work with financial institutions on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
Conduct research on the risk transmission channels between ESG issues, business and financial performance and socio-economic development
Analyze financial institutions’ performance on ESG integration/risk management and corporate sustainability disclosure and performance;
Create presentations and other materials to support capacity building with regional FIs
Support the design and writing of reports and guides to be used to engage FIs
Support the development of web tools and platforms (i.e. participate in managing IT vendors)
Support external/internal communications efforts around the launch of tools and reports
Support the sustainable finance team with other related tasks on an ad-hoc basis
Relevant educational qualifications; Master’s Degree preferred, in either finance, economics, sustainable development, or environment management
Minimum 1 year working experience in the area of finance, consulting or sustainability; experience working with corporates is preferred
A good understanding of how environmental concerns relate to material business risks and opportunities;
General knowledge of the finance sector levers for change as they relate to sustainability;
Able to prioritise and operate under tight deadlines
Proficiency in Excel and Powerpoint - comfortable working with data
Ability to work independently and proactively
Adheres to WWF’s values, which are: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging
Must speak and write fluent English. Business proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Spanish will be an advantage.