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Director of Climate & Impact

Remote (South Africa) +1

WaterConnect is a new purpose-driven venture that develops water and sanitation infrastructure projects to catalyze investment and enhance climate resilience for people, cities, and watersheds. WaterConnect partners with infrastructure developers, utilities, engineering firms, and equipment suppliers operating in low- and middle-income countries to co-develop infrastructure projects, bringing them from concept to financial close and construction. With the goal of accelerating the flow of projects, WaterConnect offers project development funding and expertise to supplement the pre-existing resources of its partners. WaterConnect will coordinate closely with Water.org and WaterEquity, which offer complementary products, including project construction financing. WaterConnect is at pre-launch stage and expects to fully launch in Q3 2024.  



Summary


The Company seeks a Director of Climate & Impact to establish climate as a strategic area of focus, and lead on impact management and ESG risk management for the company. This is a newly created senior position in a start-up company taking up a new business line in collaboration with the family of Water.org companies. The role will build a product offering focused on climate and impact for new water infrastructure projects. The role will train and guide the global project development team to evaluate climate, impact, and ESG considerations in the project pipeline, and will oversee climate and impact related service offerings. The Director of Climate & Impact will work closely with colleagues at WaterEquity and Water.org and will serve as a climate and water expert across the family of companies. As a new position in a spin-off that is pre-launch, the Director of Climate & Impact will be a leadership position with opportunities to build the business from an early stage. 


The ideal candidate will have hands-on experience in infrastructure planning, development, or investment, technical expertise in climate risk and resilience, and exposure to the water sector. S/he will be someone who thrives in a dynamic start-up culture, excels at independent work and proactive communication, and is able to manage diverse projects simultaneously. The ideal candidate is comfortable working remotely with colleagues in diverse geographic locations and demonstrates exceptional business judgment. Because the Company is in its start-up phase, the position will evolve rapidly as the team grows and priorities change.  


Requirements

Job Responsibilities  


Lead on Impact Management for the Company 

  • Develop policies and practices for climate-resilient and impact-driven infrastructure project development
  • Train the team to implement policies and practices
  • Partner closely with colleagues at affiliated companies, Water.org and WaterEquity, to ensure alignment with impact and ESG requirements


Strategic Focus on Climate and Impact 

  • Co-lead design and delivery of products for climate, impact, and financial performance  
  • Oversee services to enhance climate resilience and reduce emissions as part of the infrastructure project development process. For example, identify the service to be offered, draft terms of reference, build a network of third-party vendors, and provide quality control over results 
  • Consider additional services to enhance impact and reduce ESG risk, for example to extend service to low-income communities or invest in nature-based solutions upstream of the project
  • Identify market trends such as green lending, sustainability certifications, new regulations, that can mobilize capital for WSS infrastructure


Evaluate Pipeline

  • Oversee the project development team to assess project pipeline against impact criteria
  • Determine activities and services necessary to ensure projects meet climate-resilience and impact criteria
  • Review legal agreements to ensure they reflect impact and ESG goals


External Communications on Climate & Impact

  • Provide guidance for marketing materials to frame the Company’s strategic value around impact
  • Participate in business development conversations with potential partners, and raise awareness about the business opportunity in aligning with high impact standards
  • Other strategic partnerships and engagements as necessary


Qualifications


  • Passion for addressing the global water and sanitation crisis 
  • Bachelor’s degree and advanced degree required, in relevant field such as business, economics, sustainability, engineering, environmental management, or urban planning
  • Minimum of 10 years of directly relevant experience, including:
  • Minimum of 5 years experience in infrastructure project development, infrastructure investments, infrastructure asset management, infrastructure advisory, or at a utility
  • Minimum of 5 years experience in climate, with a focus that could include climate risk assessments, climate adaptation planning, resilient design, disaster risk management, and/or climate scenario planning
  • Familiarity with best practices and industry standards in impact management and ESG
  • Preference for additional direct experience in the following areas:
  • Water resources management
  • Greenhouse gas accounting and setting targets to reduce emissions
  • Willingness and ability to play both leadership and hands-on role as part of small team 
  • Appetite to build, proactive problem-solving mindset, Comfort with evolving role in start-up business  
  • Ability to work alone and collaborate with team members across diverse locations and time zones 
  • Excellent communication skills and experience training team members and partners in new concepts


Position location 


Remote, flexible location contingent on applicant ability to accommodate global time zones and high degree of comfort using remote-working technology. Role includes regular collaboration with colleagues, partners, and service providers in the Americas, Africa, India, and East Asia. Preferred locations include India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.  


Physical Requirements 


Role includes regular on-line collaboration across time zones. Colleagues, partners, and service providers are based in the Americas, Africa, India, and East Asia. This role involves extended periods of sitting and reaching. This role requires the ability to see, talk, and hear. Travel may be required up to 20% of the time.


Benefits

Overall compensation will be commensurate with education and experience and structured to reflect a competitive package for a full-time senior-level team member. 


No relocation benefits or visa sponsorship will be offered.


Submit a cover letter with salary requirements and a resume. Both documents must be in English. Applications are encouraged by July 5, 2024.


WaterConnect is an equal-opportunity employer and on an intentional journey to determine how we can champion diversity, equity, and inclusion not only within our organization but also within our industry. We are committed to creating a diverse work environment that is characterized by engagement, a sense of connection, and respect for the differences and contributions of all our professionals. WaterConnect recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law.


Don’t meet every single requirement? If you are enthusiastic about this role but find that your experience does not perfectly match every qualification listed, we still encourage you to apply. Your unique skills and perspective could make you the ideal candidate for this position.


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