UK businesses are now advertising 20 times more for Director of Sustainability job roles than they were two years ago.

Analysis of all UK job postings by people advisory firm New Street Consulting Group (NSCG) shows the average monthly vacancies for sustainability directors has jumped from 10 per month at the beginning of 2020 to more than 200 per month this year.

The number of Director of Sustainability job adverts spiked in the first half of 2022. Within the six months following the UN’s Climate Change Conference COP26, March saw a record high of 212 roles advertised, whilst there were 204 and 202 roles on the market in February and April respectively.

This is around double the levels seen in the same months last year.


Job adverts 

NSCG’s review of the job adverts shows that UK businesses are prioritising recruitment of environment-focused directors to develop sustainability strategies. A quarter of adverts (26%) specified this as the top-ranking specialised skill, with companies also expecting Directors of Sustainability to have specialised finance, business development and marketing experience.

Average salaries for a Director of Sustainability have risen 7.7 percent in the past six years, with the median wage now standing at £62,200 and top salaries reaching £110,000 per annum.

Natalie Douglass, Director at NSCG, commented: “There’s been numerous studies and anecdotal observations about the impacts of the pandemic on changing public attitudes towards sustainability and the wider ESG agenda. The sustainability job vacancy data really puts this into perspective.

“The growing number of senior-level sustainability job adverts shows how seriously companies are taking notice of mounting eco-anxiety. With a growing importance on board agendas, we’re now seeing a surge of senior positions focused on tackling organisations’ social and environmental responsibilities such as Chief Impact Officers and Chief Purpose Officers.”

Additional research by NSCG in October last year of 1,000 senior executives found that 82 percent are concerned that the next generation of business leaders don’t have the green credentials to build sustainable companies.

“These leaders have a big job on their hands, however, it’s not just their responsibility to make sure companies remain relevant and eco-compliant. Being sustainable needs to be genuine and therefore must run throughout operating strategies and company cultures. Now is the time for businesses to be assessing whether they have the skills and expertise across their organisation to drive this,” adds Ms Douglass.





Editor at HRreview

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.