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Financial analyst

Financial analysts guide businesses, organizations, and individuals in managing financial transactions, investments, loans, and similar activities. In the green building sector, the scale of investment decisions can range from one product or building to an entire portfolio of properties or community initiatives.

Quick facts: Financial analyst
2021 Median Pay $91,580 per year; $44.03 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Number of Jobs, 2021 317,300
Job Outlook, 2021-31 8% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2021-31 26,900
Source O*Net OnLine

ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance, is the term businesses use to describe a broad category of so-called “material, non-financial information.” This information is understood to be relevant to business performance but not reflected in conventional accounting. Financial analysts may be asked to produce or, more likely, interpret ESG data as part of a transaction or the evaluation of an investment opportunity.

Financial analysts involved with green building largely work in the commercial real estate industry and may work within financial institutions (e.g., banks, investment companies), property and infrastructure companies (e.g., global real estate, asset management), technical consultancies (e.g., firms whose line of business is focused on sustainability), and data companies (e.g., credit rating agencies).

Financial analysts may be asked to interpret ESG data with respect to regulations, policies, political situations, and economic trends. These circumstances and conditions change frequently and often vary from country to country. Consequently, financial analysts stay abreast of economic trends, investment strategies, and the expectations of government, advocates, and other market participants.

Increasingly, climate risk will be part of the risk and return assessments of many financial analysts. For example, with the newly enacted Local Law 97 in New York City, financial analysts will need to adjust their calculations of the financial performance of any (green) building in the city. In another example, pension funds and other large institutional investors will increasingly require their analysts to consider the new wave of data assessing flood risk and other climate events in their assessments.

How to become a financial analyst

Most financial analysts need a bachelor’s degree, often in business. Courses in accounting, economics, statistics, finance, mathematics, and business administration are usually advantageous. Important skills include quantitative analysis, investment strategy, data management, and written communication. Work experience usually is gained through internships and in-house training at financial institutions.

Education and resources

Access courses and resources to learn about green building and sustainability concepts related to finace.

Online courses

Stay up to date on the latest developments in green building through access to online courses with an annual subscription to the USGBC course catalog.

Role on a LEED project

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

LEED credits influenced by this role:

GRESB (Global ESG Benchmark for Real Assets) assessments influenced by this role:

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