Manager, Climate - South Pole



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South Pole is an energetic, global company offering comprehensive sustainability solutions and services. With offices spanning all continents across the globe, we strive to create a sustainable society and economy that positively impacts our climate, ecosystems and developing communities. With our solutions we inspire and enable our customers to create value from sustainability-related activities.

The Fund Management team is responsible for developing and managing sustainable impact funds, as well as other facilities, vehicles and platforms for investments in climate action. Our scope of expertise covers a variety of topics related to sustainable land-use, low-carbon energy, climate-smart cities and/or clean technology, to name just a few. If you are a smart, ambitious and dynamic sustainability professional with a strong passion to make a real difference in the fight against climate change, the below position may be right for you!

Job summary:

As a Manager, Climate-resilient Landscapes you will coordinate with regional stakeholders to partner with existing sustainable landscape programs in West Africa as part of the investment approach of an innovative impact fund managed by South Pole. The fund will enable the most vulnerable people in rural landscapes to effectively adapt to climate change by providing soft loans and technical assistance to small businesses and projects promoting climate-resilient agriculture, forestry, and nature-based solutions. A central pillar of the fund is a landscape approach that seeks to address broader objectives of inclusive development, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation.

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Your responsibility will be to build on existing landscape initiatives and multi-stakeholder platforms that help drive business opportunities for Ghanaian cocoa farmers, based on jointly identified landscape-level risks and opportunities for climate-resilient development. You will forge effective partnerships, liaise with regional companies in the cocoa supply chain and relevant government authorities, and develop the regional presence of South Pole as a basis for further business development. Lastly, you will contribute to sourcing small businesses working on sustainable land management, evaluating technical assistance opportunities for projects, and monitoring implementation.

Join an international, multidisciplinary, growing team dedicated to developing effective solutions to stimulate private sector investment in climate change adaptation, climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and inclusive sustainable development.

Main tasks & responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement initiatives to help improve the climate resilience of vulnerable populations in the West African cocoa belt
  • Forge and strengthen regional partnerships with companies working on sustainable land management, NGOs, farmers’ associations and cooperatives, as well as regional government authorities
  • Convene multi-stakeholder dialogues, conduct workshops, write high-quality reports, design key performance indicators for landscape-level interventions, and ensure compliance with environmental and social safeguards
  • Source land use projects that may be suitable for debt financing, carbon finance, or investment readiness funding by impact funds managed by South Pole
  • Evaluate investment cases of small and growing businesses working on sustainable land management
  • Develop the regional presence of South Pole and represent the company in the West African region

Requirements:

Essential:

  • A minimum undergraduate/bachelor’s degree, preferably in agriculture, forestry, or sustainability-related fields; international or development economics; political economy; or finance and business administration
  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience in rural West African areas particularly relating to sustainable land use projects and/or agricultural produce sourcing
  • Track record of successful program and project management with regional NGOs, agricultural companies, or development finance institutions, including direct contact with local and regional stakeholders
  • Action orientation and business development proclivity with a good eye for new opportunities
  • Ability to think in complex, evolving systems
  • Expertise in land use and water projects
  • Intermediate understanding of the functioning of export-based agri-value chains
  • Existing network of agriculture or forestry companies, farmers’ associations or cooperatives, national or sub-national government authorities, NGOs, and investors; ability to manage a network of external partners and collaborators
  • Understanding of evaluation methods for sustainable development impacts
  • Understanding of monitoring ESG risks and risk mitigation strategies
  • Demonstrated familiarity with the sociocultural context and fabric in West Africa
  • Experience managing budgets of over USD 100k in size
  • Professional proficiency in English and French (highly desirable)
  • Ability to frequently travel regionally

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Desirable:

  • Familiarity with climate change risks and adaptation in rural landscapes and climate change adaptation and resilience
  • Expertise in waste/sanitation and clean energy projects
  • Experience in venture capital, micro finance, or business model incubation
  • Knowledge of carbon markets and/or carbon project development, including; country legislation (jurisdictional REDD+ / NDCs) or multilateral carbon programs (e.g. FCPF)
  • Basic understanding of GHG accounting

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