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Senior engagement manager, palm oil

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WWF Singapore

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Position title: Senior Engagement Manager, Palm Oil

Reports to: Global Palm Oil Lead

Location: Singapore preferred; other locations in SE Asia can be considered for the right applicant

Start Date: Immediately

About World Wide Fund for Nature, Singapore (WWF)

WWF-Singapore is a Singapore-registered charity, a network member of WWF International – one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF-Singapore protects critical resources for people in Singapore by driving change across government, business, civil society and local communities. To meet key conservation goals, we address issues such as deforestation, haze pollution, seafood sustainability and illegal wildlife trade in Singapore and around the region. We deliver transformational corporate partnerships, fundraising to execute local and global conservation programmes and projects and community outreach to achieve WWF’s global goals for food, forests, oceans, water, wildlife, and climate and energy. As one of WWF’s global hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network that spans over 100 countries.

WWF’s global palm oil team is embedded within WWF-Singapore and supports the delivery of the organisation’s conservation goals and those of the wider WWF network. With regards to palm oil, WWF’s vision is a future where all palm oil is produced without causing deforestation, the conversion of natural ecosystems, environmental degradation or the harming wildlife, where workers are treated fairly, and communities’ rights are respected, and producers including smallholder farmers are incentivized and empowered to adopt more sustainable production practices. Where palm oil is produced, the wellbeing of people, wildlife, and habitats is protected and enhanced at a landscape level, and negative impacts are mitigated and not displaced elsewhere.

WWF’s goals for palm oil are to:

  • Protect: Wildlife and the environment is protected from agricultural expansion, and palm oil driven deforestation and natural habitat conversion is halted
  • Produce: Production is sustainable in resilient and biodiverse landscapes, no longer contributes to climate change, and the industry provides sustainable livelihoods, reduces poverty and respects human rights
  • Restore: The industry becomes a driver for wildlife conservation and restoration efforts, ensuring that landscapes with palm oil are healthy and living

Summary of the Role:

Reporting to the Global Palm Oil Lead, the Senior Engagement Manager is responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to accelerate the demand for more sustainably and responsibly produced palm oil, with a focus on Asia, by:

1) coordinating WWF’s position and engagement strategy on key buyers and traders

2) coordinating a regional WWF strategy for Asia that supports and scales-up National Office (NO) initiatives. This will support the protection of priority landscapes, restoration of ecological function and pursuit of more sustainable production in producing countries.

Main responsibilities:

  • Support the delivery of objectives and outcomes for key WWF landscapes, alliances and projects.
  • Oversee and lead the collection and analysis of market intelligence data to support the development and delivery of the global palm oil strategy, corporate engagement strategies, and other relevant project activities. This includes overseeing consultants for outsourced projects.
  • Identify target companies and prepare the business case and engagement strategy for major buyers (fast-moving consumer goods [FMCG] companies, food service providers and retailers) and traders.
  • Review the palm oil sustainability policies and commitments of major traders and buyers, and progress made in implementing these, developing WWF position statements and supporting WWF NO engagement activities. Communicate and advocate for WWF’s position as necessary to relevant internal and external stakeholders.
  • Coordinate and lead engagement with priority major buyers (FMCGs and retailers) and traders, ensuring alignment in approaches between NOs that is consistent with a WWF position and WWF’s global palm oil strategy.
  • Lead the delivery of an update to the WWF Global Palm Oil Scorecard (, ensuring that it aligns with WWF’s global palm oil strategy and expectations for buyers of commodities with high risk of natural ecosystem conversion, and leading on engagement activities with companies and other relevant stakeholders following the launch.
  • Coordinate with WWF NOs and national and regional sustainable palm oil alliances, including SASPO (Support Asia for Sustainable Palm Oil) and its Secretariat, where relevant to the implementation of WWF’s global palm oil strategy and activities.
  • Coordinate with the Sustainable Finance team to support engagement with banks, investors and finance regulators as relevant to deliver the regional strategy.
  • Lead an internal community of practice with WWF NOs to share approaches and learnings, build alignment, and up-scale corporate engagement efforts.
  • Coordinate with external organizations to up-scale corporate engagement efforts and identify opportunities for collaboration and aligned engagement.
  • Support the efforts of WWF NOs in Asia in developing domestic market demand for sustainable palm oil by supporting campaign activities and corporate engagement, ensuring that multinational FMCGs are implementing their sustainable consumption and production commitments across their entire company and/or corporate group, and supporting NOs to engage local brands and retailers around sustainable palm oil.
  • Support fundraising efforts for the global palm oil programme.
  • Provide technical support across the WWF network on palm oil issues and represent WWF on relevant best practice technical groups, as appropriate.

Qualifications and Competencies:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, corporate sustainability, environmental sciences or other relevant areas. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of sustainability, conservation and related topics, including in-depth knowledge of sustainability issues in the palm oil sector.
  • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience, with a minimum of two years in a leadership and management position in an international context, preferably in Asia.
  • Extensive experience engaging with corporates or other industry stakeholders on sustainability topics.
  • Strong understanding and experience working with certification standards, tools, and frameworks that support the delivery of a responsible and sustainable palm oil industry (e.g. RSPO, POIG, HCVRN, HCSA, AFi).
  • Excellent communication and relationship-building skills, applied with both the non-profit and private sector, and ideally with government officials and stakeholders.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English.
  • Proficiency in other languages is desirable, particularly where relevant to major palm oil consuming nations (e.g. India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia).

You need to:

  • Be a self-starter with a high level of motivation and drive.
  • Be able to work independently as well as with others in a cross-functional team and network environment.
  • Have great organisational and multitasking skills, and attention to detail.
  • Be able to handle coordination of various stakeholders on complex projects.
  • Ideally, have experience in project management and collaborations with external partners.
  • Adhere to WWF’s values, which are: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging.

This job description covers the main tasks and conveys the spirit of the sort of tasks that are anticipated proactively from staff. Other tasks may be assigned as necessary according to organizational needs.

How to apply?

Interested candidates should email a CV and a cover letter to the HR Department (Email: Closing date for applications is Sunday 16th August 2020.

Please indicate the position being applied for in the subject line.

Important Note: Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

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