We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity. Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we’re working every day to achieve this. From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction. Through the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists and our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos, we guide and enable others in the UK and all across the world. Inspiring, informing, empowering – working for wildlife.

Role Profile

The ZSL Sustainable Business programme (ZSB) and ZSL Sustainable Finance programme (ZSF) sit within the Sustainable Business & Finance (ZSBF) department. The two programmes operate in parallel but with high degrees of collaboration and ongoing feedback loops, reflecting the interconnected programme-level Theories of Change. ZSB’s impact objective is for business and financial sector practices to be drivers and/or enablers for protecting and enhancing biodiversity and habitats. Practically, this means achieving the following outcomes through the private sector:

  • reduce biodiversity net loss and transition to sustainability;
  • increase biodiversity net gain; and
  • catalyse additional funding for conservation.

ZSL is seeking a Sustainable Finance Project Manager who will report to the Sustainable Business & Finance Programme Manager. The role will predominantly focus on the implementation of our FI engagement strategy and will also coordinate ZSL’s conservation finance and enterprise efforts across the Society. The role will manage a team of associate sustainable finance specialists and FI engagement consultants located globally as well as manage relationships with conservation finance and enterprise partners.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Financial Intermediary Engagement Technical Support, Implementation and Impact

  • Maximise uptake by FIs and impact of SPOTT in supporting best practice implementation by companies.
  • Manage and coordinate the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and the SPOTT Supporter Network (SN).
  • Identify and recruit TAG and SN members from FIs.
  • Responsibly and strategically coordinate outsourcing capacity and oversee service delivery and quality assurance of a pool of associate sustainable finance specialists and FI engagement consultants to:
    • Develop standardised engagement materials introducing SPOTT and how to use it.
    • Develop training curricula on soft commodities and biodiversity targeting FI audiences – in collaboration with other ZSL stakeholders
    • Deliver case studies on FIs approach to ESG and publicise these accordingly. 
    • Provide technical input, analysis & commentary on annual SPOTT assessment results. 
    • Research and produce high quality technical outputs contributing to the field of sustainable finance.
    • Deliver technical reports to support target audience engagement. 
    • Conduct targeted webinars / events / trainings. Input into the alignment of commodity-specific SPOTT company assessment and reporting frameworks to consistently improve the way SPOTT assesses and monitors companies and alignments with other transparency/ reporting initiatives, and to secure the adoption of frameworks by FIs.
  • Liaise with internal and external stakeholders for the production of reports and infographics where necessary.
  • Input into flyers, factsheets, thematic guides, presentations and promotional materials as necessary.
  • Maintain a robust and effective Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system to assess impact and inform future strategy.

Conservation Finance and Enterprise Technical Support, Implementation and Impact

  • Working with the relevant Section Heads, provide leadership to other ZSL programmes and projects on conservation finance and enterprise opportunities and engagement with external stakeholders.
  • Develop and manage new partnerships and collaborations with complementary organizations, such as FIs, to develop conservation finance and enterprise opportunities for
  • Work across the Society to identify research needs and priorities on conservation finance and enterprise, including the development of business case studies.
  • Explore new opportunities in conservation finance and enterprise and lead the development of proposals to generate resources for the department and partners, with an initial priority focus on UK marine and freshwater opportunities; mangroves and blue carbon and Net-Works.
  • Maintain a robust and effective Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) to assess impact and inform future strategy.


  • Build strategic alignment between the Sustainable Finance strategy and activities and other departments within ZSL.
  • Conduct SPOTT and ZSL FI mapping update and research, alongside assessing M&E results to inform future strategy.
  • Revise and implement a programme strategy, which aligns with the ZSL200 Strategy, ZSL Conservation Plan and the wider Sustainable Business & Finance programme strategy.

Fundraising & Business Development

  • Support project fundraising in conjunction with the Sustainable Business Project Manager, to ensure continued and new funding sources for the department.
  • Oversee development of project proposals aligned with the Sustainable Finance strategy designed to sustain and expand FI engagement.
  • Support the Sustainable Business Advisory Manager on business development for advisory services, including developing and implementing a sales and marketing plan, representing ZSL at sales meetings, proposal development and job budgeting.
  • Maintain positive relationships with donors and clients, including acting as Key Account Manager for high impact clients and donors.

Person Specification

Qualifications & Experience

  • A degree in a relevant subject such as Finance, Economics, Sustainability, Environmental Sciences or equivalent.
  • Substantial experience in FI engagement, conservation finance, conservation enterprise and/or sustainable finance roles.
  • Experience managing complex projects and stakeholder networks with diverse expectations.
  • Experience managing staff and/or consultants, spanning different countries, cultures and time zones.
  • Proven ability to work effectively with teams and senior managers
  • Experience working within or with an international not-for-profit NGO or charity setting is highly desirable
  • Experience working in emerging markets, Africa and Asia in particular, is highly desirable


  • An understanding of sustainable finance and ESG integration within the financial sector, and an awareness of the stakeholder landscape.
  • An understanding of the development and operation of conservation finance mechanisms and conservation enterprises.
  • Knowledge of international and national sustainability and specifically biodiversity related policies and legislative frameworks in the financial sector. (desirable)
  • Experience with forest-impact commodities (oil palm, timber, rubber, cocoa, coffee, etc). (desirable)
  • Experience with the blue economy (blue carbon, seaweed etc). (desirable)
  • The successful candidate will have a good understanding of international conservation issues. (desirable)

To Apply

Applicants will need to upload their CV plus a covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability) and can do this by clicking the “Apply for this job online” button on our website. If you have any queries regarding these positions or when applying through the system please contact Human Resources at [email protected].

Closing date for applications: Midnight (23:59) Sunday 23 May 2021
Expected interview Dates: 27 and 28 May 2021 (via Microsoft Teams)