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Head of ESG

Company Name: Solon Capital Partners
Company Location: Accra, Ghana
Work Type: Partially-Remote
Job Location: Anywhere in West Africa
Employment Status: Full-time
Date Posted: June 11, 2024
Apply By: August 13, 2024

Company Background: Solon Capital Partners (“Solon”) creates, partners and invests to deliver financial returns and transformative impact. Building on a 13-year track record, Solon employs a differentiated model based on business creation, partnership and patience to maximize impact scale and financial returns while mitigating risk. Solon pursues its twin missions of climate and community through a portfolio of innovative businesses now operating across three impact verticals and nine countries in Africa and beyond.

The Opportunity:  Solon is seeking a passionate and motivated ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) professional to oversee its growing portfolio of impact investments. As a key advocate for social and environmental stewardship, the Head of ESG will foster partnerships, evaluate risks and opportunities, and spearhead Solon’s commitment to creating meaningful and ethical change within the African investment landscape.

Responsibilities: The Head of ESG will integrate ESG principles into investment strategies and portfolio oversight. They will lead ESG assessments of potential investments, engage with portfolio companies to ensure compliance with relevant standards, oversee stakeholder reporting, and drive positive impact throughout the organization and portfolio.

Key responsibilities include:

  • ESG Strategy Development and Implementation: Collaborating with various teams to develop and execute ESG strategies for the fund and portfolio companies, integrating ESG goals into business operations, including by defining impact areas, indicators, and targets, as well as managing relevant policies.
  • ESG Management Systems and Compliance: Maintaining an Environmental and Social Management System for the fund and portfolio companies, including the development and updating of ESG policies, guidelines, and monitoring and review practices.
  • Leading ESG for New Ventures: Acting as a hands-on leader of ESG initiatives and responsibilities for early-stage portfolio companies until a permanent company-level ESG leader is hired.
  • Safeguarding, Child Protection, and Communities: Overseeing portfolio-level child and vulnerable person protection policies and practices, driving continuous improvement in the organization’s safeguarding culture, and leading audit and response initiatives.
  • Compliance: Performing risk assessments and designing robust policies and processes to identify and mitigate ESG risks and ensure compliance with local and international regulations and best practices.
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Relationship Management: Cultivating relationships with key stakeholders such as government agencies, NGOs, local communities, suppliers, and investors to garner support for ESG and compliance initiatives.
  • Stakeholder Reporting and Impact Assessment: Overseeing the preparation and management of reporting obligations, ensuring accurate and transparent disclosure of ESG performance to internal and external stakeholders, and developing methodologies to measure the company’s environmental, social, and economic impact in collaboration with portfolio company management.
  • Employee Training and Engagement: Leading training sessions and workshops to educate employees on impact and ESG principles, compliance requirements, and their role in promoting sustainable practices with a view to reinforcing a culture of impact awareness, ethical conduct, compliance, and environmental responsibility among employees.
  • Innovation and Knowledge Sharing: Staying updated on emerging trends and practices in impact investing, ESG, and compliance. Sharing insights and recommendations with the leadership team to drive innovation and collaboration in advancing ESG goals and impact practices across the organization.

Qualifications:  This role is ideal for candidates looking to apply their skills in a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment. Solon seeks to hire individuals who are intelligent, motivated, and have a track record of accomplishment.  The successful candidate will have:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a relevant field such as Environmental Science, Sustainability, or related disciplines.
  • Proven experience (5+ years) in ESG management, sustainability, or corporate social responsibility, preferably within Africa.
  • In-depth knowledge of relevant international ESG standards and reporting frameworks, including the IFC Performance Standards, United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, ILO Standards, EDFI principles, etc.
  • Familiarity with international child protection principles and standards.
  • Experience working with rural, remote, and vulnerable communities.
  • Strong attention to detail paired with an ownership mindset.
  • Excellent English and French-language communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Integrity, professionalism, and unimpeachable ethics.
  • Sound and practical judgment.

Prior work experience with an international NGO, multinational corporation, or ESG consultancy is a strong asset. Prior living or working experience in West Africa is also a strong asset.

Location: The role is a remote work arrangement and requires the candidate to reside in West Africa full-time. Travel throughout West Africa will be required, along with occasional global travel.

Work Hours:  The role is full-time with flexible working hours, though meetings and deadlines based on standard business hours in the GMT time zone will need to be accommodated. Work outside of standard business hours may be required from time-to-time.

Salary: Solon offers competitive compensation packages focused on attracting, retaining, and rewarding top talent.

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