Sustainability Executive Talent Report 2022

Jul 8, 2022

  • Highlights of recent executive talent appointments and partnering organizations across sustainability, ESG, cleantech, and energy space in the first half of 2022

  • ON reports record 81% growth over the last year with a strong focus on sustainability, cleantech, private equity, consumer technology, and life sciences

  • New insights from partners on how organizations are hiring leaders to drive sustainability and ESG initiatives across the business

ON Partners Sustainability and Cleantech Executive Search Report First Half 2022

With record growth over the past year, ON Partners is proud to be the only pure-play executive search firm building diverse C-level and board leadership teams. We’ve placed 200+ executives in leadership roles thus far in 2022 and 40% of our closed searches were diverse executive appointments.

As non-conformists focused on taking an untraditional approach to executive search, ON consultants continue to place C-level, board, and senior executives across multiple industries and functions, including the sustainability, ESG, cleantech, and energy space. Recent placements include C-level appointments for companies including AdeptAg, Rothy’s, Sunworks, Palmetto, and Blue River Technology.

“We’re seeing ESG leaders coming from all different areas. I’ve recently seen ESG executives come from VP of Internal Audit, Corporate Treasurer, VP of Investor Relations General Counsel, VP Quality and VP of Supply Chain roles,” states Joe Olson, partner at ON Partners.


The common theme is that these executives are strong business partners who can execute “non-revenue” projects across an entire organization. These are challenging roles and it’s a natural opportunity for senior leaders who enjoys the internal operations of a business and are passionate about sustainability to come in and really influence the future course of global commerce.”

Adds partner Sean Cantarella, “A Google search of the company around their values and what they are doing/saying (or not) is important to candidates. People care a lot about the club they are joining. How a business markets themselves on social issues will be indicative of the talent they will be able to obtain.”

Read on to learn about the talent and organizations we’re partnering with in the sustainability space, the industry recognition we’re receiving from the likes of Forbes and Hunt Scanlon, and the latest news and thought leadership from our consultants.

Recent Executive Talent Appointments With Leading Sustainability Organizations


Sustainability Executive Talent Report

ON Partners consultants have placed a diverse group of senior executives within organizations across the sustainability, ESG, cleantech, and energy space this past year. Following are a few of the new leaders we recently placed; click on the links to learn more about each of them:

Sarah Acker, chief operating officer, Voltyx

John Bonfigt, chief financial officer, Sunworks

Brian Wehner, VP, supply chain, Rothy’s

Bill Rossi, chief executive officer, Bellwether Coffee

Larry Yang, chief product officer, Phononic

Faha Khan, head of product management, Blue River Technology

Natalya Davick, chief financial officer, Palmetto

Ric Tomaszweski, chief financial officer, AdeptAG

Recent Executive Search Insights in Sustainability and Cleantech Sectors


Cleantech ESR Ranking
ON Partners is proud to be named to Hunt Scanlon’s first annual roundup of the top 25 most prominent executive search firms serving the Clean Tech & ESG sectors. ON managing partner, Tim Conti, was recently featured in Hunt Scanlon’s report on the sector’s surging growth the past few years:

Notes Conti, “The burgeoning demand in the sustainability and clean tech sector been driven by several factors. These include policy, change of presidential administrations, and, I believe, an increasing commitment among executives toward positive climate impact,” he said.
“All of these elements create a great growth trajectory for the space; market conditions are there now to attract the highest caliber candidates. When you can mesh high caliber leaders with mission-driven companies, great things tend to result.”


“The CEO and CFO-level roles have been ON Partners’ biggest focus for searches across the sector. With the market potential, several companies have chosen to upgrade the CEO, attempting to boost strategic thinking in order to create a differentiated positioning for the company,” said Conti. “And, with financing often serving as the foundation for these companies, the CFO role is now (and has been) critical to a company’s ability to capitalize on market opportunities.”


Matt Mooney

Amid ongoing labor shortages around the world, Hunt Scanlon releases insights to help business leaders rethink strategies for finding the right talent. In this new featured article by Hunt Scanlon, Matt Mooney, partner at ON Partners, provides insights on executive talent strategies moving forward in 2022 and beyond.

“Candidates still have leverage in this war for talent, but a growing wave of layoffs has the potential to turn that tide quickly,” Mooney said. “The key will be for companies to remain nimble, be transparent, and attempt to communicate a philosophy that matches the current market conditions. Many companies appear to be pushed into a reactionary mode which is not well received by current or potential employees.”

Read more on the ongoing talent shift insights from Matt Mooney here.

About ON Partners

Since 2006, ON Partners is the only pure-play executive search firm building diverse C-level and board leadership teams. We rebuilt the institution of executive search for the way you work. Our approach includes present partners who engage with their clients from the first brief to the final decision, individually crafted solutions that are unique to each client, and an easier experience all around. Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms and to the Inc. 500/5000 Lists nine times, ON Partners is consistently ranked among the top 20 retained executive search firms in the U.S.

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