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Sustainable Finance Advisor

The role of a Sustainable Finance Advisor is to provide advice on all aspects of financial sustainability strategies and devising sustainable finance frameworks. The role ensures businesses are aligned with global standards, providing advice on risk frameworks, and measuring impact.

A Sustainable Finance Advisor collects and analyses sustainability data, identifies trends, and interprets, advises, prepares and presents reports to convey investment recommendations to a sophisticated clientele such as financial institutions, asset and fund managers, development finance institutions, consultancies, and private fund managers.

Sustainable finance analyst looking at graphs

The information in our job profiles aims to give a general overview of the role and a guideline to what it involves. The content is not intended to be exhaustive and roles will vary depending on the organisation and sector. The salary ranges are a guide only, as these are dependent on the size and location of the organisation.

The salaries for Sustainable Finance Advisors with 0-5 years’ experience range from £30,000 to £60,000. Responsible Investment / ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Specialist salary range:

Entry level range
Early career range
Experienced range
Senior leadership range

How does this role align to the green agenda?

Businesses and organisations of all sizes will need to evolve and adapt business models and strategies to respond to the green transition, considering both the risks and opportunities presented. Sustainable Finance Advisors work with companies to develop strategies and solutions to enable a sustainable, lower carbon future.

To increase long-term investments in sustainable economic activities and projects, sustainable finance refers to the process of taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into account when making investment decisions.

Sustainable finance advisor giving a presentation

Skills and capabilities

Technical knowledge

A Sustainable Finance Advisor will demonstrate knowledge and have one to five years of experience across the following:

  • Sustainable finance
  • ESG (environmental, social and governance), climate change, carbon accounting, net zero
  • Standards such as ISO 32210
  • Reporting frameworks, standards, and benchmarks such as TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures), PRI, ISO 32210, GRESB, ISSB and CDP
  • Emerging regulation such as EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy
  • Commercial acumen and ability to interpret complex qualitative and quantitative information, translating this to a simple message.

Transferable skills

  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Writing
  • Effective communication
  • Analytical thinking
  • Attention to detail.

A day in the life

What a typical day entails will depend on the size of the firm and the team you are working with. The following details will be consistent with an employee who is part of a small, new team within a large international organisation.

This employee regularly interacts with their small team of four, collaborating daily. As the team is small, it allows junior employees the opportunity to gain experience in areas they might not usually be exposed to this early on in their career. For example, an introduction to project management, partaking in the delivery of workshops and more exposure to clients. This often requires junior employees in the team to embrace challenges they may not face at larger firms and to take on more responsibility. As this is an evolving industry no day looks like the day before. Employees are required to be agile, dynamic, and keen to pivot and refocus their attention on other tasks when needed.


Sustainable finance advisor working on a laptop

Some example projects junior employees might work on include:

  • Developing a sustainable finance framework for a private infrastructure manager’s new impact fund
  • Conducting gap analyses for clients against ESG regulatory requirements, good practice, and peers to provide recommendations
  • Providing an external review of Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reports

The role allows for some flexibility such as options for hybrid working, allowing employees the freedom to decide what works best for them and the wider team. A typical junior employee will spend 50% of their time in the office.

Entry routes

Potential career progression

Sustainable Finance and ESG services typically found in the management consulting, accounting, legal and public relations industries will be particularly busy for years to come. The career path for these professions will be bountiful.

ESG metrics are being used by investors to supplement due diligence, control risk, and spot undervalued investment opportunities. Therefore, future opportunities may lead to roles for specialists interacting directly with multinational organisations; working as an ESG Analyst conducting sustainability-focused research; or Senior Financial Consultant roles.

In the context of smaller or newer teams, roles can be less defined than they are at larger firms. This presents both pros and cons. Junior employees can sometimes help define how their own progression will look, asserting some control over their next role. However, a degree of uncertainty is to be expected, with junior employees not always knowing what their next step will look like.

Relevant sectors

  • Construction and the Built Environment
  • Energy
  • Financial services
  • Professional services
  • Transport
Sustainable finance advisor looking at a graph on a computer screen

Learn about the green agenda across different sectors

Information kindly supplied by:
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Pinsent Masons

Pinsent Masons LLP is a multinational law firm which specialises in the energy, infrastructure, financial services, real estate and technology, science and industry sectors.

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IEMA is the membership body for environment and sustainability professionals