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European ESG Landscape: a Linkedin based analysis

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By Federico d'Annunzio

· 3 min read

The global ESG segment is growing rapidly. As regulators around the world continue to receive input from investors and move toward adopting ESG investing standards in their own jurisdictions.

To understand this shift, Traent conducted the analysis of the ESG landscape by collecting publicly available data on LinkedIn, with a special focus on all the European professionals with the word “ESG” in their job titles. The data was extracted the first week of August 2022, anonymized to be GDPR compliant and manually cleaned by Traent’s data team. As a result, the analysis consisted of the profiles of 6,204 ESG professionals, located in all of the 27 EU countries.

ESG professionals by country

The finding is that France is the leading European country in terms of ESG professionals, with 1,300 professionals on LinkedIn based in France, followed by Germany with 1,000 professionals and Italy with 800 professionals.


Figure1. ESG Professionals by country. *We counted all the professionals with “ESG” in their current work title.

According to Ab Magazine, there is a high demand for ESG professionals. Analysts, strategists and ESG specialists are in such high demand that they receive salary increases of 30%-30% for being retained in the company and 25% each time they change jobs.

Ratio of large companies

In order to put things in perspective, Traent created a ratio of the number of large companies (250+ employees) to ESG professionals. Team found out that Luxembourg, Denmark and France have the highest ratios, with Luxembourg leading the way with 1 ESG professional for each 2 large companies headquartered in the country. France has 1,300 ESG professionals for 3,640 large companies (3x ratio). Germany ranks low with 1 employee for approximately each of 12 large companies (only 1,000 ESG professionals for 11,621 large companies).


Figure 2. Ratio of large companies per ESG professional vs. Country

These differences can be explained by sector biases by country, but could also show a certain delay from certain countries in allocating dedicated resources to ESG challenges.

ESG professionals by city

Another key finding is that looking at the number of professionals per city. The chiffres says that Paris is Europe’s ESG capital with 14% of all ESG professionals being based in the French capital. This city has many more than the second and third: Madrid and Milan with each 5% of the total ESG professionals each.


Figure 3. ESG professionals by City

Top 20 companies by ESG team count

Finally, the company name from each profile title was mapped allowing the creation of the ranking of the top 20 companies by the number of ESG professionals.


Figure 4. Top 20 companies by ESG count

It can be clearly seen that the top 20 is led by consulting groups, rating companies, financial companies, and asset management companies.

The rest of the list includes retail companies such as scale-ups (Zalando, Wallbox), public services companies (Poste Italiane, EDF, etc.) real estate brokers (JLL, CBRE), universities (Bocconi, University of Pisa, etc.), car manufacturers (Mercedes, Volkswagen), industrials (Siemens) and more.

This article is part of an ongoing partnership between illuminem and Traent, and is also published on Traent's blog. The author is available to discuss further insights with interested readers (here). Illuminem Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Sustainability & Energy writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the author

Federico d'Annunzio is a serial entrepreneur in innovation technologies. He spent the first phase of his career in the capital equipment industry. In 2020, he was awarded the S.A. Global Achievement award for Innovation. In 2019, he founded Traent, driven by the vision that relationships between businesses will be centered on transparency.

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