As concerns for People, Purpose and Planet continue to grow, there is an expectation from investors, employees and consumers that organisations take responsibility for their actions to ensure a sustainable future for all.


Increasingly, organisations are bringing sustainability into their reward programmes to meet ESG and sustainability goals, but this does not come without challenges. 


Watch our reward and sustainability specialists share insights on how organisations can show their commitment to sustainability and deliver meaningful progress on ESG with reward systems that motivate the desired behaviours and performance.


Explore more of our latest thinking on sustainability

Bring sustainability into reward programmes to meet ESG and sustainability goals

Highlights from the webinar


From an investors perspective

  • Investors increasingly want to see organisations demonstrating authentic commitment to sustainability and follow through. This requires companies show evidence that they are taking their sustainability responsibilities seriously through better information provision and reporting.
  • To solve the complex challenges we have in sustainability, we need not only a diversity of decision makers on all levels of the organisation but also diverse thinking:
“Not one organisation can address all sustainability issues. It's not a case of the smartest person in the room. It's really about collaborative work and teams working on sustainability issues together.”
- Helga Birgden, Global Chair, Sustainable Investment.
  • Investors see a lot of opportunities in the sustainability space. But there are many challenging issues that companies are grappling with, from modern slavery to supply chains, climate transition and how they will ensure that no workers are left behind in exposed industries.

Leveraging rewards and the EVP to attract and retain top talent and drive behaviours 

  • Organisations need to bring their ESG strategies to life within the workforce and hold leaders to account. That involves not only including ESG metrics within incentive plans but driving cultural change which requires companies to embed sustainability objectives in their day to day activities and engaging employees with sustainability.
  • Companies don't have unlimited salary budgets. They really need to utilise the various components of their EVP to differentiate from competitors and engage with their current and future potential employees.
  • Where companies are using ESG metrics in their incentive plans, it’s mainly in their short-term plans. This trend was echoed by the webinar participants with 19% saying that they are currently using metrics in short-term plans and 51% considering to use them in the future.
  • Using ESG metrics in long-term incentive plans can be more challenging compared to short-term incentive plans. A lot of times, organisations don’t yet have historical data from which to make projections and set targets for the next three or four years.
  • Mercer research conducted in 2021 has found that for the first time in the US almost 50% of the top 500 companies included ESG metrics in their incentive programs for top executives and the expectation is that in 2022 the rate could rise close to 70%. In Australia, this practice varies across industries but because of the high prevalence of mining and energy companies we have seen take up also increasing.

Does your organisation include any metrics related to ESG issues in your incentive plan, such as diversity & inclusion, employee well-being or environmental?

Latest trends on salaries for ESG specialists

  • Mercer’s Total Remuneration Survey (TRS) data for Australia shows an increase in the number of ESG roles reported in 2022 compared to 2020.
  • Companies continue to increase their ESG head count and ESG teams continue to grow in size. In a recent past, where there might have been one person in a function, now there is a need for specialists across different areas of ESG. We see teams going from just a sustainability manager plus an analyst to having a dedicated team of people represented across all career streams, from professionals to managers and executives.
  • Market salary median for ESG roles in Manager and Senior Professional ESG roles has increased by 13% and 12% respectively in the last two years according to our TRS data.

We curated a selection of content to help you make progress with your sustainably strategy:


Webinar presentation deck
Insights from our sustainability and reward and organisational design specialists.

Organising For Sustainability
Five dimensions of organisational design that are key to delivering on your sustainability goals.

The Good Work Framework
In collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF), we introduce five Pillars of Good Work Standards for a more human-centric, equitable, and sustainable future. 

2022 Global Talent Trends Study
94% of Australian employees in our survey expect their employers to pursue a sustainability agenda. The report provides insights into a new way of working that unlocks potential through values, partnership, wellness and agility.


Purpose, sustainability & ESG


Sustainability webinar series


Learn from the experts how to turn your organisation’s sustainability ambitions into action.



Meet the team

Ephraim Patrick

Ephraim Patrick 

Partner, Workforce Transformation

Ephraim Patrick

Helga Birgden

Global Chair, Sustainable Investment

Laura Manescu

Nithya Abraham

Client Engagement Manager – Digital and Insights

Ephraim Patrick

Helen Tye

Principal, Executive Rewards

Ephraim Patrick

Kate Whitehead

Principal – Workforce and Organisation Transformation

Contact Mercer

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