Headhunter Says Top ESG Professionals Becoming Disillusioned by Lack of Commitment

Despite the recent surge in corporate sustainability commitments across several industries, top environment, sustainability and governance experts are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the lack of proper commitment by companies. The result is a notable increase in senior ESG professionals searching for new employment opportunities after realizing that their bosses were not as serious about committing to sustainability practices as they initially claimed.

TWS Search Partners founder and sustainability market headhunter Tom Strelczak says he has seen an increase in the number of inquiries from candidates dissatisfied with their previous positions in Q1 2024. According to Strelczak, some ESG specialists are beginning to feel like their sustainability positions were just “glorified risk-management functions” rather than impactful positions.

Global efforts to fight climate change have left corporations feeling increased public and regulatory pressure to reduce their impact on the environment. With ESG becoming a major trend in the financial world in recent years as well, many corporations embarked on a hiring frenzy that began at the start of the decade before finally slowing down considerably in 2023.

The slowdown in ESG hiring was mostly due to a major clampdown on green investing by lobby groups and politicians in the United States that left many asset managers reluctant to pursue social and environmental ambitions. Strelczak adds that some companies have built such large sustainability teams that the recent ESG downturn has left team leaders at the helm of the largest cost centers their companies have built over the past 10 years without a definite means of exhibiting their value.

An emphasis on short- rather than long-term commercialization also increased demand for research-oriented experts capable of constructing portfolios and developing products but reduced interest in ESG experts with stewardship skills. Strelczak says his company hired numerous individuals with NGO backgrounds who doubled and in many cases tripled their salaries by transitioning into the asset-management field. The headhunter says these folks believed the “glitzy marketing spiel” from CEOs and CIOs who were willing to “say anything about ESG” when it was one of the most trending topics.

However, Strelczak says American-centric asset managers stopped “shouting” about ESG when things got tough and senior ESG employees realized their impact would be quite limited. Consequently, the headhunter says, many ESG experts are leaving their glitzy jobs at asset-management companies and trying to move to other firms companies are more committed to ESG where they “can actually be heard.”

These reports of disillusioned ESG professionals cast a shadow on the successes that many entities such as Reflex Advanced Materials Corp. (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF) are registering in the integration of ESG practices in all their operations and reaping the benefits of those efforts.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Reflex Advanced Materials Corp. (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/RFLXF

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