Vice President of ESG and Sustainability

New York, NY

The American Express Corporate Affairs & Communications (CA&C) team is a strategic function that works to enhance and protect the continued strength of the American Express brand through public relations; corporate sustainability (CS) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG); communications; and colleague engagement. American Express has a formal ESG strategy with three pillars (i) Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, (ii) Build Financial Confidence, and (iii) Advance Climate Solutions.


The VP of ESG & Sustainability will directly lead the implementation and support delivering against American Express' ESG pillars, in particular the Advance Climate Solutions pillar, to track, monitor and achieve the company’s goals and objectives to enhance our operations and capabilities to back colleagues, customers and communities. The VP of ESG & Sustainability will collaborate with key internal business units to develop and strengthen our governance structures, support integration into company frameworks, lead ESG reporting and disclosures and other related initiatives and capabilities.


The VP of ESG & Sustainability will report directly to the Head of Corporate Sustainability, lead the ESG team and work with all members of the Corporate Sustainability team. They will partner closely with Corporate Affairs & Communications, Global Real Estate & Workplace Experience, Global Risk & Compliance, Finance, General Counsel's Organization, Controllership and Finance and others across the company. This is a high-impact role within a dynamic and fast-growing team that touches nearly every aspect of the business.


Responsibilities

ESG & Sustainability Strategy

  • Supervise and support ESG goals, particularly the Advance Climate Solutions pillar, ensuring company-wide coordination and implementation of targets and strategic objectives.
  • Partner with leaders across business units (Communications, Global Real Estate & Workplace Experience, Procurement, Legal, Investor Relations, Treasury, Global Risk & Compliance, and others) to advance American Express' ESG strategy.
  • Lead on addressing regulatory, investor and client requests and coordination on ESG strategy and delivery with business units as needed.
  • Engage with industry organizations, including SBTi, CDP, RE100, World Economic Forum, ESG rating and ranking agencies, and other key organizations as needed and position American Express as a credible leader in ESG.
  • Finalize net-zero emissions target setting and validation in alignment with SBTi, roadmap, and value chain and scope 3 emissions to meet the company's net-zero by 2035 goal.
  • Supervise ESG and climate-related reporting and disclosures including the ESG Report (in alignment with GRI, TCFD, SASB, GHG Protocol, SDG’s, etc.), Proxy, CDP, GHG Inventory and third-party assurance, and other non-financial disclosures. Work with third-party consultants and ensure timely and quality results and approvals.
  • Provide expertise and review of content and data related to regulatory requests, ESG bond requirements, and related business unit needs.
  • Evaluate, recommend and support onboarding of data management solutions including tools and processes to track, monitor, and evaluate progress and performance against ESG goals and commitments.


Governance and Team Management

  • Assist the Head of Corporate Sustainability and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer with management and coordination of the ESG Steering Committee and working groups, with specific administration over the Advance Climate Solutions Working Group.
  • Serve as a key member of the Head of Corporate Sustainability's leadership team to deliver on ESG goals, projects, and strategic priorities.
  • Manage ESG team. Coordinate with business unit leads responsible for delivery against ESG goals to ensure they are working to task.
  • Present and prepare presentations on ESG and sustainability to internal and external stakeholders including the Board of Directors and committees as needed.
  • Collaborate with Internal Audit and Corporate Secretary’s office to ensure strong and accurate governance, controls, processes and responses on ESG-related governance matters.
  • Represent ESG team in regulatory exams, investor queries, and other engagements.
  • Partner with American Express' international teams to support development of frameworks, disclosures and reporting against local ESG priorities and requirements.


ESG & Climate Risk Integration & Support

  • Support ESG and climate risk management strategy and implementation in partnership with Global Risk & Compliance and other relevant teams through development of policies and procedures to address risk tolerance aspirations, setting goals, tracking, and evaluating progress.
  • Coordinate with third-party consultant(s) to support quantitative climate-related physical and transition risk scenario analyses in collaboration with other business units.
  • Bring strategic and innovative thought leadership to support change management and continuous improvement in climate risk mitigation
  • Serve as subject matter expert on climate risk management, climate regulation, and reporting.

 

Qualifications

  • 8-10+ years of experience within Financial Services and in an ESG, climate/climate risk management, and/or sustainability focused role.
  • Bachelors’ degree (required) and Masters degree (preferred) in relevant field including Sustainability Management, Environmental Studies, Sustainable Finance, Risk Management, Business Administration, etc.
  • Subject matter expertise in ESG, including climate/climate risk, sustainability, frameworks (e.g. SBTi, TCFD, CDP, Net-Zero, etc.)
  • Demonstrated success in applying ESG, sustainability, and/or climate risk management in alignment with company strategy and business needs and cross-functional program implementation
  • Strategic and entrepreneurial mindset with strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to navigate a complex and matrixed organization
  • Expertise and leadership in designing and implementing systems for monitoring and managing climate, sustainability and risk metrics.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills to operate in a fast-paced and dynamic environment and effectively set and meet deadlines
  • Outstanding interpersonal and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Collaborative approach and ability to work cross-functionally and globally with stakeholders at all levels of the organization
  • Operate well under pressure with a high degree of composure and professionalism.


Additional Details  

  • Location: 200 Vesey St, New York, NY 10281 
  • Ongoing Workplace Flexibility: Full-time position, under a hybrid structure, working some days from the office and the remainder from home.  
  • Visa Sponsorship: Employment eligibility to work with American Express in the U.S. is required as the company will not pursue visa sponsorship for this position. 
  • Currently, the Company requires that colleagues, effective March 1, must have received a booster shot against COVID-19 in order to work in or visit any of our US offices, subject to legally required accommodations. If the role you are applying for is designated as hybrid or onsite, you will be required to visit our offices.” 
  • At American Express, we know that with the right backing, people and businesses have the power to progress in incredible ways. Whether we’re supporting our customers’ financial confidence to move ahead, taking commerce to new heights, or encouraging people to explore the world, our colleagues are constantly redefining what’s possible — and we’re proud to back each other every step of the way. When you join #TeamAmex, you become part of a diverse community of over 60,000 colleagues, all with a common goal to deliver an exceptional customer experience every day. We back our colleagues with the support they need to thrive, professionally and personally. That’s why we have Amex Flex, our enterprise working model that provides greater flexibility to colleagues while ensuring we preserve the important aspects of our unique in-person culture. Depending on role and business needs, colleagues will either work onsite, in a hybrid model (combination of in-office and virtual days) or fully virtually. 
  • American Express is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, age, or any other status protected by law.


American Express is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, disability status, age, or any other status protected by law.  


We back our colleagues with the support they need to thrive, professionally and personally. That's why we have Amex Flex, our enterprise working model that provides greater flexibility to colleagues while ensuring we preserve the important aspects of our unique in-person culture. Depending on role and business needs, colleagues will either work onsite, in a hybrid model (combination of in-office and virtual days) or fully virtually.


If the role you are applying for is designated as hybrid or onsite, you will be required to demonstrate that you have completed your primary COVID-19 vaccination series (i.e. 2 doses for Moderna/Pfizer and 1 dose for J&J), in order to work in or visit any of our offices. This requirement is subject to legally required accommodations.


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