Vice President, Sustainable Infrastructure Finance | WWF
© WWF-Singapore

Position title: Vice President (VP), Sustainable Infrastructure Finance

Reports to: Director, Asia Sustainable Finance, WWF Singapore

Dotted line reporting to: Finance Practice Core Team, WWF International

Date: Mar 2021

 

I. Mission of the WWF Sustainable Finance Team:

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one of the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organizations with a global network of 6000 experts working 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  key finance sector players including banks, investors, regulators, and stock exchanges, across six focus areas:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 (e.g. agriculture, forestry, and seafood) and infrastructure finance, in addition to cross-cutting issues such as climate and energy, water and biodiversity.

II. Major Functions:

In this role, the VP will join the existing Singapore-based Sustainable Finance team and will serve as the global topic lead for sustainable infrastructure finance in the WWF network, while retaining a key focus on ASEAN, Japan and Korea. The main focus of the work will be on private finance/institutional investors; however, public finance institutions (e.g. development finance institutions) should be engaged on a case by case basis. To execute WWF’s sustainable infrastructure financing strategy, the VP will work with WWF sustainable finance and conservation experts across the network, as well as directly with members of the global and regional finance sector.

III. Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Global lead for WWF on infrastructure finance, including designing and leading implementation measures for a WWF network-wide strategy on sustainable infrastructure finance with a regional focus on South East Asia, Korea and Japan.  

  • Coordinating and/or drafting follow-up publications (to three recent WWF network studies on sustainable infrastructure finance) on sustainable infrastructure financing best practices.

  • Building capacity for regional and global finance sector professionals on infrastructure related ESG risks and impacts and science-based solutions through trainings and workshops (i) in the target region and (ii) globally (maximum 2 workshops per year outside target markets).

  • Building capacity of WWF sustainable finance colleagues e.g. via webinars on sustainable infrastructure finance.

  • Benchmarking FIs’ approaches to sustainable infrastructure financing.

  • Developing, negotiating and steering partnerships with financial service providers on sustainable infrastructure.

  • Representing WWF on relevant steering committees/working groups; including facilitating WWF's input to the roll-out of a global sustainable infrastructure standard (providing and coordinating technical input from WWF network where needed).

  • Working with WWF public finance experts on case by case basis to influence relevant development institutions or individual infrastructure projects with respect to environmental and social safeguards.

  • Thought leadership on the topic of sustainable infrastructure and use of natural infrastructure solutions, including representing WWF on the topic of sustainable infrastructure finance at high-level conferences, panel discussions etc.

  • Engage with WWF network to ensure full support and alignment with WWF conservation goals.

  • Conceptualize and lead the writing of proposals that align WWF strategy and priorities with those of major donors to secure funding for both the Singapore sustainable finance team and regional offices.

  • Regularly provide updates on work progress, opportunities and challenges to a Finance Practice Core Team member

IV. Profile:

Required Qualifications

  • Relevant educational qualifications, Master’s Degree required, in either finance, economics or environment management or other relevant domains;

  • Min. 8-10-year work experience, ideally in the infrastructure sector with a financial institution, private equity fund or development finance institution, with experience in Southeast Asia or North Asia an asset;

Required Skills and Competencies

  • Proven track record in project management and expertise at the intersect of finance, infrastructure and sustainability,

  • Deep knowledge of environmental and social issues within the infrastructure sector including those related to indirect footprint (e.g. via supply chain)

  • Ability to elaborate business case for integrating ESG in infrastructure investments to decision makers

  • Ability to advise FIs on how to integrating ESG factors into financial models for infrastructure investments

  • Knowledge of practical strategies to manage ESG issues & opportunities within the infrastructure sector (knowledge of infrastructure standards, tools, ability to advise on green products development); for example understanding frameworks such as TCFD, Equator Principles, GRESB, etc;

  • Functioning network of relevant stakeholders at the intersection of finance, infrastructure and sustainability,

  • Knowledge of the finance sector levers for change as they relate to sustainability;

  • Ability to analyze ESG issues and to effectively communicate these to FI partners;

  • Ability to navigate through various interests without losing focus.

  • An understanding of international non-profit organizations would be an advantage.

  • Ability to prioritize and operate under tight deadlines;

  • Ability to work independently and proactively;

  • Structured thinker with excellent oral and written communication skills in regional languages will be an asset

  • Adherence to WWF’s values, which are: Courage, Integrity, Respect and Collaboration.

  • Must be able to travel internationally (approx. 10%)

 

V. Working Relationships:

Internal – Relevant departments within the WWF network

External – With financial institutions, regulators, stock exchanges, responsible finance platforms and consultants

Interested candidates should email a CV and a cover letter with the title “ Vice President, Sustainable Infrastructure Finance” to hr@wwf.sg.