Exploring careers in sustainability in India we find that there are some niche opportunities offered to MBA graduates from top tier schools like the ISB MBA or an IIM MBA. Some examples of career roles offered after an ISB MBA or a top tier MBA in India are Portfolio manager roles and Sustainability Consultant roles.
The Growing Landscape of ESG & Sustainability MBA Careers in India:
In this article, we'll delve into the burgeoning opportunities in ESG and sustainability careers in India by analyzing job descriptions from prominent companies like EY, Accenture, Michael Page, and Capgemini.
Skills Required for Post MBA ESG and Sustainability Careers:
A common thread across these job descriptions is the requirement for a diverse skill set:
Strong Communication: Efficient communication, encompassing both written and spoken forms, plays a pivotal role in conveying ESG strategies, objectives, and advancements to stakeholders.
Analytical Skills: ESG professionals need the ability to analyze risks, environmental impacts, and sustainability data to make informed decisions.
Stakeholder Management: Building relationships and managing stakeholders, including leaders, vendors, and government agencies, is key to successful ESG roles.
Strategic Thinking: ESG roles often require strategic thinking to align sustainability goals with broader business objectives.
Data Management: Proficiency in data management and analysis tools like Power BI, Qlik, and Excel is essential for ESG reporting and analysis.
Reporting Standards: Familiarity with various reporting standards such as BRSR, GRI, TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures), and SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board).
ESG Expertise: An understanding of ESG principles, including GHG emissions reporting (Scope 1, 2, and 3), responsible investment, and climate policy, is fundamental.
Financial Acumen: Knowledge of the finance landscape in India is crucial, especially in the context of green and sustainable finance.
Why is ESG an important area for every MBA graduate in India?
There are several key points regarding ESG frameworks and investing in India:
ESG investing is a global phenomenon, set to exceed USD 50 trillion by 2025, supported by influential investors like BlackRock and Brookfield.
India has witnessed a remarkable surge in ESG fund AUM, reaching INR 123 billion in 2021, marking almost a fivefold increase in just two years.
India now boasts at least ten ESG mutual funds, offering investors diverse sustainable investment opportunities.
ESG reporting has been made compulsory for India's top 1,000 listed companies by market capitalization, starting from the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
These companies must submit a comprehensive 'business responsibility and sustainability report' (BRSR), in the annual report, disclosed to stock exchanges, published on official company websites, and separately provided to shareholders.
Prior to the BRSR, companies were required to produce a less informative 'business responsibility report' (BRR).
The BRSR represents a significant improvement, aligning with international standards like the GRI framework and delivering in-depth qualitative and quantitative ESG data.
Institutional investors are increasingly embracing ESG investing to align financial returns with ethical and non-financial considerations, bolstered by evidence of its positive correlation with returns.
Governments and regulators worldwide are implementing policies to combat climate change and socioeconomic disparities, further driving the ESG investing momentum.
Reliable ESG information and disclosure are essential for making informed decisions about capital allocation and investments, benefiting investors, lenders, governments, and regulators alike.
Post MBA Careers: ESG Roles and Responsibilities Offered in India
Assistant Manager - Sustainability Lead at EY: The key responsibilities include managing carbon footprints, aligning with EY's sustainability goals, and fostering sustainable transformation.
ESG Business Architecture Manager at Accenture: This position focuses on business stakeholder engagement and customer relationship management. The role emphasizes understanding customer challenges, prioritizing business problems, and integrating data and analytics technology platforms. Additionally, it involves overseeing data/analytical solutions and reporting.
ESG and Sustainability Lead at Michael Page: This role involves developing an ESG framework, fostering a culture of ESG awareness within the organization, and streamlining operations. Key responsibilities include preparing reports and communicating with external stakeholders.
ESG Consultant at Capgemini: Capgemini seeks ESG consultants and risk modelers with expertise in various ESG areas, including strategy, risk management, responsible investing, and climate risk assessment. The role involves staying updated on industry developments, collaborating with CxOs, and assisting clients on their ESG journey.
KPMG: KPMG India, like many other leading firms, recognizes the significance of ESG and sustainability. Their ESG practice is focused on helping enterprises navigate the complex web of ESG, corporate social responsibility (CSR), climate change, and sustainability-related challenges and opportunities. The position offered by KPMG is specifically in Sustainability Finance advisory services, highlighting the finance sector's growing role in advancing sustainability. The KPMG India offers a managerial role focused on sustainability finance advisory services.
Companies Offering Post MBA Careers in Sustainability in India:
EY: EY is actively contributing to the ESG ecosystem in India, hiring professionals who can drive sustainability initiatives and carbon reduction strategies.
Accenture: Accenture, a global technology and consulting leader, is at the forefront of ESG integration, emphasizing data analytics and business engagement.
Michael Page: This recruitment agency collaborates with organizations that are committed to sustainable solutions and offers roles to professionals looking to lead ESG and sustainability functions.
Capgemini: Capgemini is seeking ESG consultants and risk modelers with a focus on ESG strategy and integration, underlining the importance of ESG expertise in consulting.
KPMG: KPMG India, like many other leading firms, recognizes the significance of ESG and sustainability. Their ESG practice is focused on helping enterprises navigate the complex web of ESG, corporate social responsibility (CSR), climate change, and sustainability-related challenges and opportunities. The positions offered by KPMG are specifically in Sustainability Finance advisory services.
Opportunities in Sustainability Roles: The responsibilities associated with this position encompass a wide array of sustainability-related tasks:
ESG Maturity Benchmarking: Evaluating the maturity of an organization's ESG practices.
GHG Emissions Assessment: Assessing greenhouse gas emissions across Scope 1, 2, and 3 categories.
Responsible Investment: Advising on responsible investment strategies and climate policies.
ESG Due Diligence: Conducting due diligence to assess ESG risks and opportunities in business operations.
Financed Emissions Assessments: Evaluating emissions associated with financial investments.
Green Finance: Structuring frameworks for green finance and assessing green finance opportunities.
Reporting on ESG reporting standards like GRI and BRSR.
Climate Change and Sustainable Finance
India's ESG and sustainability landscape is evolving rapidly, creating diverse and rewarding career opportunities. Organizations across industries are recognizing the importance of ESG principles, and this shift is driving the demand for skilled professionals who can navigate the intersection of sustainability, technology, and business strategy. Whether you're interested in driving sustainability within a specific organization or providing advisory services as a consultant, India's ESG ecosystem offers a wealth of possibilities to make a meaningful impact on businesses and society. The time is ripe to explore and embrace the dynamic world of ESG and sustainability careers in India.
What's new at top Indian Business Schools in the domain of Sustainability careers for MBA graduates:
1. In August 2023, at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), The Arun Duggal Centre for ESG Research (CESGR) and Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), a prominent global provider of high-quality business operations data and analytics, embarked on a collaborative research endeavor. Their objective is to pioneer a groundbreaking data product tailored for ESG impact assessment within the Indian context.
2. During the same month in 2023, at a juncture when environmental consciousness is gaining paramount significance, sustainable fashion has emerged as a pivotal facet of conscientious consumer behavior. The Indian School of Business (ISB) hosted its inaugural Sustainability Conclave. This single-day event featured insightful panel discussions involving industry luminaries and seasoned professionals deeply entrenched in the realm of sustainable fashion. Furthermore, the Conclave showcased exhibition booths hosted by some of India's foremost sustainable fashion brands.
3. IIM Bangalore is set to organize an international conference titled 'Walking the Talk: Corporate Governance & Sustainability in a Changing Landscape' on the 12th and 13th of January 2024.
4. In July 2023, IIM Lucknow 's PGP-Sustainable Management conducted the event Sanrakshan which is The Business Sustainability Conclave. This event witnessed remarkable achievements, as it drew the participation of esteemed industry leaders, delegates, and dignitaries who generously shared their practical experiences and valuable insights on sustainability.
The landscape of ESG and sustainability careers in India is evolving rapidly, mirroring the global trend towards sustainable practices. Leading firms like KPMG are actively seeking professionals who can navigate the complexities of sustainability finance and ESG-related challenges. As India continues to make strides in sustainable development, the demand for skilled individuals who can drive ESG initiatives, assess environmental impacts, and advise on responsible investments is expected to grow. For those looking to make a meaningful impact on India's sustainable future, a career in ESG and sustainability offers a promising path forward.
We hope this has got you started in terms of what this career option has to offer and the kind of work one can expect in sustainability. These are pointers for aspirants to the ISB MBA to continue their research if the sustainability sector enthuses them.