Working with climate is bound to break your heart

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This note by Nawar Alsaadi is very powerful:

One day, a colleague of mine and someone I highly value told me something deeply insightful, she said what makes our ESG job hard at times is that unlike other professionals within the financial world we don’t only bring our brains to work, we also bring our hearts. She managed to put in few words what I had felt for some time. I have alluded to purpose and meaning when speaking of ESG in the past, but the way she framed it brought to light why working in this field can be especially taxing.

Working in the ESG field forces the practitioner to gaze into the ‘worse angels” of human existence. It forces us to gaze into what’s wrong so we may endeavour to remedy it. Whether its social discrimination, environmental destruction, or self-serving governance, we as ESG professionals must seek these evils so we may expose them – and hopefully contribute to solving them. Obviously, such reality is not limited to ESG professionals, many of those working in NGOs and other non-profit public and private organizations deal with the same challenges on daily basis.

Yet, an added layer of complexity to those working in the ESG field is the awareness that our work is tied into financial capital creation and preservation, and that the solutions we must bring to the table can’t be divorced from the fundamental premise of our industry. This latter point is both a challenge and an opportunity. It’s a challenge because not every participant in the financial markets accept the premise of ESG; but it is also an opportunity because the responsible deployment of financial capital is critical to addressing many of the environmental and social challenges we face. And this is exactly what my colleague meant when she said unlike others in our industry, we must bring both our brains and hearts to work. Those who only bring their brain to work risk a broken ego, but those who bring their brain and heart to work, risk their heart broken, and mending a broken heart is no easy task.

But let me tell you something, you can’t find true love if you wont risk your heart being broken. And we wont make the world better place unless we are ready to risk something of value. So get your needle and thread and keep going.