Guest blog: How do you know what you're worth?

28 Nov 2019
Richard Evans, Managing Director of Talent Nation

Richard Evans is the Managing Director of Talent Nation, based in Melbourne. Talent Nation has done the first ever remuneration report for environment and sustainability roles in Australia and New Zealand. Richard has generously offered to share the results with the SBC community so we can find out where the market is at.

The Environment and Sustainability sectors have been, to date, a bit of mystery when it comes to remuneration, despite there being a real need for highly skilled professionals to help businesses implement their plans in this space. The information gap in the market has prevented sustainably-minded businesses from attracting the right purpose-driven candidates, simply because they often don’t know what package should be offered.

What we have seen is that the information that is available in the Environment and Sustainability sectors often covers skillsets that don’t precisely define the roles, mainly due to the fragmented nature of where Environment and Sustainability can sit within an organisation.

To fill this knowledge gap in the market, and ultimately help Environment and Sustainability professionals build strong and stable teams behind them, we launched the first dedicated Environmental and Sustainability Remuneration Report.

We surveyed sustainability professionals at Advisor, Senior Advisor, Manager and Head of Department level across Environment and Sustainability, in Australia and New Zealand. The respondents matched their positions against the position descriptions in the report, to give an accurate representation of the salaries across Environment and Sustainability.

The roles have been aggregated for New Zealand, and split into dedicated Environment & Sustainability roles for the Australian data due to relative sample sizes.

Average Total Package - NZ

Environment/ Sustainability Advisor $84,666
Senior Environment/ Sustainability Advisor $119,895
Environment/ Sustainability Manager $147,737
Head of Environment/ Head of Sustainability $197,818

The Gender Gap is Closing

The report delves into the gender split by sector and role, and shows, at a total Environment & Sustainability level, that there is a skew towards females, and, encouragingly, the gender pay gap is closing as they earn more than their male counterparts across all the majority of roles.

In New Zealand, the Environment and Sustainability sector is heavily weighted towards females, making up 77% of the respondents surveyed. Anecdotally, the salary gap between Australia and New Zealand has closed over the last 5 years; however the results in this year’s report show that this is not the case.

The skillsets required in the Environment and Sustainability sectors are complex and evolving, and the risks involved in changing legislation not being managed effectively are significant. We wanted to help businesses attract the right personnel to firm up their team and manage these risks, as well as lead the important work required to make progress.

Finding purpose-driven candidates with the right skills and experience is never just a question of remuneration, you also need to tap into the right networks to unearth these hidden gems. However, offering the right package ensures businesses remain attractive to the best talent.

The information in the 2019 Environment & Sustainability Remuneration Report aims to fill this knowledge gap so these teams are armed with the very best individuals to drive their agendas forward with the passion and vigour needed.

Talent Nation’s 2019 Environment & Sustainability Report

Download the Executive Summary of the full report:;

For the NZ report, contact the team at Talent Nation at and they will be happy to send you a copy.