Environmental Social and Governance Analyst

Environmental social and governance (ESG) analysts evaluate companies' sustainability practices, focusing on environmental impact, social responsibility, and governance standards. They conduct in-depth research, analyze data, and produce reports that assess risks and opportunities related to ESG criteria. This role is crucial for investors seeking ethical investment opportunities guiding decisions that align with sustainability and corporate responsibility goals. ESG analysts are crucial in promoting transparency and ethical conduct in business.

At a Glance

Imagine you are a corporate social responsibility (CSR) coordinator at a private equity firm, reviewing new investment proposals against the firm's environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies. Your role demands expertise in CSR, ethics, and navigating policy and regulatory frameworks. You come across a proposal for investing in a company that, despite its solid financial outlook, engages in environmentally dubious practices.

You assess this investment's environmental and ethical risks through detailed analysis, leveraging ESG reporting standards and sustainability tools. The investigation uncovers that the company's profitable operations pose a risk of significant environmental harm, potentially breaching the firm's ESG guidelines and existing regulations.

In response, you propose a series of environmental risk mitigation strategies for the company, including adopting cleaner technologies and enhanced waste management practices. These suggestions are compiled into a report for the investment committee, emphasizing the critical balance between financial gain and environmental stewardship.

Your proposal suggests making the investment conditional on the company's agreement to adopt these improvements. This would ensure the firm upholds its commitment to ESG principles and remains within regulatory compliance. This strategy aligns the investment with the firm's ethical standards and promotes sustainable practices in the broader industry.

Job Duties

Job duties vary from one position to the next, but in general, environmental social and governance (ESG) analysts are involved in the following activities:

  • Conduct thorough environmental, social, and governance data analysis to evaluate the sustainability performance of companies and investments.
  • Prepare detailed ESG reports and presentations highlighting sustainability efforts, risks, and opportunities for stakeholders and clients.
  • Screen potential investments for compliance with ESG criteria, ensuring alignment with ethical and sustainable practices.
  • Monitor and ensure adherence to relevant environmental and social governance regulations and standards.
  • Engage with stakeholders, including investors, employees, and communities, to gather insights and communicate ESG initiatives and impacts.
  • Identify and assess ESG-related risks in investment portfolios or corporate practices, recommending strategies for mitigation.
  • Develop and recommend ESG policies and strategies to guide ethical and sustainable decision-making in the organization.
  • Research emerging trends, best practices, and developments in sustainability and ESG fields.
  • Train company staff and management on ESG principles, trends, and practices.
  • Measure and track the impact of ESG initiatives on environmental and social outcomes and report on progress and achievements.

Work Environment

Environmental social and governance analysts operate within the office and field. In each of these settings, individuals in this occupation carry out various duties.

The office:

  • Compile and analyze quantitative and qualitative data on environmental, social, and governance factors from various sources to assess companies' ESG performance.
  • Prepare reports and presentations summarizing research findings, highlighting risks and opportunities related to ESG issues for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Communicate with stakeholders, including investors, company representatives, and non-governmental organizations, to gather insights and share findings on ESG performance.
  • Keep current on global ESG-related regulations and standards, ensuring analyses align with current legal and industry frameworks.
  • Assist in developing ESG strategies and policies for clients or employers, advising on best practices for sustainability and ethical governance.
  • Engage in ongoing education and professional development to stay informed about ESG trends, sustainability practices, and emerging issues.

The field:

  • Conduct on-site evaluations of companies and their operations to verify ESG claims, including environmental management practices and community engagement efforts.
  • Participate in or oversee environmental impact assessments and audits to gather firsthand information on a company's environmental stewardship.
  • Carry out or facilitate surveys and interviews with local communities, employees, and other stakeholders to assess the social impact of business operations.
  • Visit companies to evaluate governance practices directly, such as board diversity and executive compensation policies, through meetings and observations.
  • Inspect sustainability projects like renewable energy installations or waste management systems to confirm their implementation and effectiveness.
  • Collaborate with external auditors or certification bodies during field assessments to ensure thorough and unbiased analysis of ESG practices.

Where to Work

Environmental social and governance analysts are employed across various sectors, encompassing government agencies, investment firms, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions, such as:

  • Investment management firms.
  • Private equity firms.
  • Commercial banks.
  • Corporate sustainability departments.
  • Environmental consulting firms.
  • Government regulatory agencies.
  • Intergovernmental organizations.
  • Non-governmental organizations.
  • International development agencies.
  • Research institutions and think tanks.
  • Corporate social responsibility teams.

Search for jobs on the ECO Canada Job Board.

Education and Skills


If you are considering a career as an environmental social and governance (ESG) analyst, you should have a keen interest in:

  • Corporate social responsibility and sustainability.
  • Environmental studies and conservation efforts.
  • Social justice and ethical business practices.
  • Data analysis and research methodologies.
  • Global economic trends and their impacts on society and the environment.

If you are a post-secondary student considering a career as an ESG analyst, the following undergraduate programs are most applicable:

  • Environmental studies.
  • Sustainable business or business administration focusing on sustainability.
  • Economics focusing on environmental and resource economics.
  • Environmental policy and management.
  • Corporate social responsibility or social enterprise.

An undergraduate degree is typically required for ESG analysts, who assess and guide businesses on environmental, social, and governance practices for ethical and sustainable operations. Obtaining advanced degrees, such as a master's or doctoral degree, can enhance your expertise, provide better career opportunities, and improve your ability to advise on sustainability and ethics in the business world. These programs provide specialized skills highly valued in the professional and academic fields. Relevant graduate programs include:

  • Sustainability management.
  • Environmental ethics and sustainability.
  • Public policy with a specialization in environmental policy.
  • Corporate social responsibility,
  • Business administration with a concentration in sustainable or social impact.

In Canada, ESG analysts may enhance their credentials and expertise through the following professional certifications. These certifications formally recognize expertise in essential areas of ESG and offer ongoing professional development to stay current on emerging trends and best practices.

  • Sustainability and Climate Risk CertificateThe Global Association of Risk Professionals offers certification in climate risk management and sustainability designed for those seeking expertise in sustainability risks, climate risk analysis, and their financial implications.
  • Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program: Offered by the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence, this internationally recognized certification helps professionals gain advanced knowledge and skills in corporate social responsibility and best practices.
  • Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting Credential: This credential, offered by the International Financial Reporting Standards, demonstrates expertise in financial material sustainability information and how it impacts financial performance.

Our Environmental Professional (EP) designation can also help you progress in your chosen environmental career.


Technical Skills

  • Environmental social and governance reporting and standards
  • Sustainability assessment tools
  • Environmental law and policy
  • Data analysis software
  • Financial analysis
  • Risk management frameworks
  • Corporate governance principles
  • Stakeholder engagement strategies
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • Climate change and environmental sciences

Personal and Professional Skills

  • Analytical thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Ethical judgment
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Strategic thinking
  • Emotional intelligence

Environmental employers look for professionals who can combine technical knowledge with soft skills. Watch our free webinar Essential Not Optional: Skills Needed to Succeed in Canada’s Environmental Industry or take our Essential Skills courses.

Role Models

Your Impact

Environmental social and governance (ESG) analysts evaluate and advise businesses' sustainability practices, focusing on their environmental impact, social responsibility, and governance standards. This role influences the environment by assessing how companies manage their ecological footprint, including energy use, waste management, and conservation efforts. It is an environmental role because ESG analysts guide organizations towards more sustainable and eco-friendly practices, encouraging a shift from traditional, potentially harmful operations to greener alternatives.

The sustainability aspect of their work includes promoting long-term environmental health, advocating for renewable energy adoption, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Economically, ESG analysts assist companies in recognizing the financial benefits of sustainability, such as cost savings from energy efficiency and enhanced brand value from responsible practices. Socially, they ensure businesses contribute positively to their communities and adhere to ethical labour practices.

These analysts work with companies to integrate ESG principles into their core strategies to drive the transition to a sustainable global economy. They help mitigate risks associated with climate change, environmental degradation, and social inequality, significantly impacting the planet's health and societies worldwide.

Occupational Classification

Environmental social and governance analysts are classified into the following occupational groupings:

NOC Code: 11100 – Financial auditors and accountants

NOC Code: 11101 – Financial and investment analysts

NOC Code: 41401 – Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) provides a standardized language for describing the work performed by Canadians in the labour market. It gives statisticians, labour market analysts, career counsellors, employers, and individual job seekers a consistent way to collect data and describe and understand the nature of work within different occupations.


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