Associate Director, Climate & Sustainability

Mid-level Communication Professionals New York, New York


APCO Impact is a unique consultancy that takes an integrated and focused approach to social impact and sustainability. We partner with corporations, brands, nonprofits, foundations and governments to drive sustainability and weave positive social impact into decision-making at all levels. Our focus is on addressing root causes, changing systems and moving towards a more regenerative, equitable future. Our team brings together a range of experts across climate and sustainability, ESG, equity & justice, corporate purpose and philanthropy. Specialists in both strategy and operations, our teams are multi-generational and comprised of individuals who bring a mix of lived and professional experiences across the gamut of social and environmental issues.  We are continually investing in our own knowledge so we are positioned to help clients see across trends and around the corner.

APCO Impact sits within APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs agency, allowing us to bring specialized expertise in the social sector, while also bringing to bear APCO’s global network of best-in-class policy, communications and advocacy professionals.  Our core team includes staff from The Tembo Group and Global Philanthropy Group, which are two boutique philanthropic and social impact consulting firms acquired by APCO over the past year.

The Associate Director, Climate & Sustainability will be joining a team of global professionals who operate across sectors and geographies, helping build our new Climate and Sustainability practice. While we have been doing this work for some time, we are now bringing it all together to strengthen our ability to serve and support ambitious implementation of climate strategies for business, investors, governments and non-profits for the benefit of all.

Role Description

The Senior Associate Director, Climate & Sustainability will work closely with and report to the newly appointed Global Lead, Climate and Sustainability. We are seeking someone who is a builder and collaborator with a deep commitment to urgent action on climate change, driving towards Net Zero by 2050 or sooner. This person has deep experience working with clients and has content experience and knowledge in some of the key cross cutting areas – circular economy, sustainable food production, ESG metrics and reporting, infrastructure, policy, renewables, water, transportation, supply chain, oceans and/or the SDGs. We also are seeing strong links with climate finance in 2021 and envision this will only get stronger – experience with CA100+ Net Zero Company benchmark, TCFD, scenario development and disclosure a huge plus but not required.

Core responsibilities:

Working closely with the Global Lead, Climate and Sustainability, you will work to establish and cohere a strong client practice, leading with client delivery in the climate and sustainability space.

  • Business development: Lead and support on new business outreach that includes research, pipeline management, proposal and pitch writing, budgeting, and planning; regularly generate own leads, actively contributing to the business development activities of the company
  • Project leadership: Lead and manage client projects, building trusted relationships with clients and APCO colleagues, providing guidance on topical climate strategies for clients across a range of projects and topics
    • Manage and supervise large/complex consulting mandates throughout their entire project cycle: initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure
    • Plan and implement projects to ensure the most efficient and highest-quality implementation
    • Interact and build relationships with our international and French clients and manage the timely delivery of mandates
  • Content Leadership: Have a strong grasp on climate and sustainability content and can develop and structure effective projects that deliver climate action plans
    • Provide guidance on and technical leadership in the development of proposals for the corporate sector on topic corporate climate strategies, climate change mitigation solutions and implementation of advisory projects
  • Communication: Provide clear direction and feedback on how best to communicate strategic thinking across different contexts, authoritatively presents and facilitates across all project workstreams internally and externally; and can manage diverse stakeholder input and the project’s strategic perspective in real-time
  • Culture & conduct: Professional, constructive and collaborative across all aspects of work
  • Equity, diversity, & inclusion: Demonstrate through your behavior and decisions a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and integrate and prioritize equity in project work, including research and strategy recommendations in deliverables and client/partner conversations
  • Productivity & accountability: Set a high bar for your work product, proactively own your workstreams and deliverables, flag challenges where required, and deliver on time and on budget

About you:

You should have approximately 6-10 years of full-time work experience, ideally with a strong strategy background from an agency, consultancy, business, non-profit or government with a focus on climate change and/or sustainability issues. You have a demonstrated track record and/or commitment to climate change and client-facing experience.

You are a team player who: 

  • Has a solid content background in climate and sustainability
  • Enjoys solving complex problems in developing opportunities, ideas, and solutions
  • Communicates your argument and perspective clearly and convincingly, verbally and in writing
  • Brings experience in developing common agency- and consulting-style deliverables, such as synthesized issue insights and strategy options and recommendations
  • Values delivering for, and collaborating with, clients, funders, and partners
  • Has high integrity, a high bar for quality and rigor, hands-on attitude, and proactivity
  • Is committed to applying and advocating for an equity lens in the workplace and in the work itself. This includes seeking and honoring diverse research inputs and interrogating and challenging biases and stereotypes

About APCO in New York

Founded in 1984, APCO Worldwide is an award-winning, independently owned global communication and business strategy firm with offices in major cities throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. APCO combines a global perspective with local expertise to help clients around the world manage challenges, opportunities, perceptions and reputations. APCO clients include corporations and governments; industry associations and nonprofit organizations; and many of the top Fortune 500 companies. The firm is a majority women-owned business.

APCO Worldwide, named one of the Best Agencies to Work For in North America by PRovoke Media for four consecutive years and a 2020 Top Places to Work in PR by PRNews, offers a collegial work environment, countless training and development opportunities, and a competitive compensation and benefits package.