Position Title: Sustainable Finance Specialist (Nature & Biodiversity)
Location: Flexible location within Southeast Asia
Contract Form: Full-time equivalent consultancy (230 days/year)
Department: Sustainable Business & Finance
Directorate: Conservation & Policy
Responsible to: Senior Sustainable Finance Specialist
Approved by: Head of Department

About ZSL

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation. ZSL’s purpose is to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wild animals from going extinct. This is realised by carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe and through education and awareness-raising at our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, inspiring people to take conservation action.

About the Programme

Sitting within the Sustainable Business & Finance Department, the Sustainable Finance Programme aims to close the $1 trillion financing gap for nature, through working both on the demand side with investors to increase the financing for nature, and on the supply side to develop investible, nature positive projects and enterprises. The programme has five major focus areas:

  1. Mainstream responsible investment, incorporating biodiversity into decision-making
  2. Investment fund advisory, supporting the development, management and impact of sustainable and nature positive investment funds
  3. Partnering with business to finance biodiversity protection and restoration
  4. Building financially sustainable conservation projects and partners
  5. Developing a diverse range of nature-based solutions, including carbon projects

Key Purpose

The purpose of the position is to represent the Sustainable Finance Programme in Southeast Asia, provide technical inputs into the range of sustainable finance focus areas, in the development of new nature-based solutions projects and our finance sector advisory and engagement work.

Key Relationships

  • Sustainable Business Advisory Manager
  • Sustainable Finance Advisor
  • Sustainable Business Specialists
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Conservation Planning Senior Manager
  • Conservation Training & Learning Manager
  • Conservation Network Manager
  • Country programme staff in Southeast Asia

Main Duties & Key Responsibilities

Finance Sector Engagement

  • Build and maintain relationships with financial institutions, including banks, asset managers, investors and family offices
  • Provide training and ad-hoc support on biodiversity-related topics as well as the use of ZSL datasets such as SPOTT and the Living Planet Index
  • Organise webinars and workshops aimed at the finance sector on priority sectors and themes
  • Represent ZSL at conferences and events including taking on speaking roles
  • Source impact investment for ZSL NBS projects and conservation enterprises

Technical Inputs

  • Develop concepts, business models and impact models for NBS projects and enterprises in collaboration with regional teams
  • Create dynamic financial models for NBS projects and enterprises including income statements, cashflow forecasts and capital requirements forecasts
  • Work with carbon specialists, agronomists and social development specialists to develop quantified models for relevant project outputs
  • Work with biodiversity experts to perform calculations of biodiversity metrics such as Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and Species Threat Abatement and Recovery (STAR)
  • Undertake and contract out research on laws, regulation and policies related to NBS, company formation and management in local jurisdictions
  • Desktop and interview-based research and due diligence on companies and projects to understand dependencies, risks and impacts on nature
  • Provide review, analysis and advice to third parties on their policies and practices related to sustainable finance, including presentation production and delivery and report writing

Project Management

  • Coordinate assigned projects in accordance with activity plans
  • Manage project expenditure in accordance with project budgets
  • Manage and undertake the drafting, execution and amendment of project and consulting contracts
  • Ensure all assigned projects are compliant with ZSL policies and procedures and head contract terms and conditions, including data collection and reporting
  • Undertake procurement activities for goods and services in line with ZSL policies and procedures


  • Work with ZSL staff, consultants and partners to develop project concepts, theories of change, activity plans and budgets
  • Draft grant applications, commercial proposals and capacity statements

Key Competencies


  • Strong finance expertise including the development of complex financial models, preferably including the preparation of financial statements for businesses
  • Strong quantitative numerical expertise developing models related to the production of goods and services
  • Analytical expertise undertaking desktop and interview research with a wide variety of organisations
  • Ability to present research and due diligence findings in a coherent manner in presentations and reports
  • Experience with project management, compliance, risk management, reporting, budget management and procurement
  • Ability to engage effectively and build relationships with the finance sector
  • Understanding of how to work effectively in cross-cultural environments with members of the Global South
  • Demonstrated commitment to biodiversity conservation and restoration


  • Experience in the financial sector and/or private sector consulting
  • Ability to develop quantitative socio-economic and environmental services models
  • An understanding of legal forms of business as well as legal and regulatory compliance considerations for operating a business
  • Experience working on nature-based solutions, nature positive enterprises and/or carbon projects
  • Working proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia/Malay, Tagalog or Thai

Application Process

Applicants should send a copy of their CV and a cover letter providing evidence that they hold the key competencies on or before 22 January 2023. Applications should be submitted to spott@zsl.org.