Stockholm Environment Institute HQ and Trase

Join our international non-profit research organization and help create a sustainable, prosperous future for all! SEI HQ is a dynamic expanding workplace that employs around 110 people from 28 different nationalities in an activity-based office in central Stockholm (Garnisonen), and with an additional 200 employees in centres around the world.

Trase (Transparency for Sustainable Economies) is a pioneering sustainability data and intelligence initiative that reveals the connections between consumers, producers and investors, as well as the environmental and social impacts linked to global supply chains.

The Trase approach draws on vast sets of production, trade, customs and financial data, for the first time laying bare the flows of globally traded commodities such as palm oil, soya, beef and cocoa at scale, as well as the flows of capital used to finance this trade.

Trase is a direct response to the ambitious commitments made by leaders across sectors to achieve deforestation-free supply chains and the urgent need this creates for a breakthrough in assessing and monitoring sustainability performance.

Trase is jointly led by SEI and Global Canopy with many additional partners and close collaborators. The Trase team is made up of over 40 individuals located in nine countries, brought together by enthusiasm, curiosity and drive.

The role:

SEI HQ is recruiting a highly motivated Research Fellow to lead an emerging area of research and impact within the Trase initiative on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) linked to commodity supply chains. The food system contributes to 34% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is increasing. A total of 71% of total emissions from the food system, or 24% of all anthropogenic emissions, are due to the combination of land-use and land-use change (LULUC) and production practices, with tropical deforestation from agricultural expansion being one of the largest contributors.

The high resolution of Trase’s supply chain mapping has the potential to underpin a step-change in the resolution and quality of Scope 1 and 3 emissions assessments by and of countries and companies involved in the production, trade, processing and retail of agricultural commodities, as well as investors financing these companies. This role will help lead research and science-based applications to ensure that  the work of Trase contributes effectively to the burgeoning demand by governments, companies and investors for supply chain emissions accounting. This includes identifying and helping implement contributions that Trase data can make to GHG Protocol, the Science Based Targets initiative and other actors supporting public policy, as well as private-sector action to ensure that methods and data developed by Trase are fully aligned with emerging standards and seen as credible and accessible by the emissions assessment community., and ensure that Trase provides high-quality estimates of carbon emissions from ecosystem conversion and agricultural practices, particularly on soy, beef and oil palm, with scope to look at emissions from other supply chain stages.

The successful applicant will have a strong background in research on emissions from the agricultural sector, including livestock and/or supply chain emissions accounting, preferably regarding agricultural commodities in the tropics, as well as proven experience of ensuring that their research is policy-relevant and actionable, whether by public or private sector organizations, including the financial industry.

You will be part of a leading, multinational, multidisciplinary and multilingual team of experts working across the Trase initiative while also delivering on an exciting and fun project! We value diversity, inclusivity and creativity at the core of what we do and we welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. Through this role, you will make a major contribution to the overall Trase strategy for 2021–2025 to mainstream the deployment and uptake of Trase data, analyses and methods to help transform the sustainability of commodity trade.

The Research Fellow will work in collaboration with experts across the Trase Research, Supply Chain Mapping – including impact assessment – and Engagement teams, as well as in-country experts and partners in commodity producing countries across the world.

Main responsibilities

  • Advance methods to account for GHG emissions from the agricultural sector, including on-farm practices and deforestation and ecosystem conversion for soy, pasture, cocoa and palm land uses and derived commodities and products, in collaboration with colleagues in the Trase team and partners
  • Advance methods to account for GHG emissions in downstream stages of commodity transport and manufacturing in collaboration with colleagues in the Trase team and partners,
  • Support Trase to develop data products that can be used in supply chain emissions accounting processes, including in third party tools such as life cycle assessment products and databases
  • Participate in policy processes and initiatives linked to the development of improved emissions accounting of commodity supply chains, including regarding GHG Protocol, the Science Based Targets initiative, country or EU actions under the Paris Agreement, the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure requirements (TCFD) and other public or private-sector initiatives
  • Develop partnerships with leading experts and practitioners working in this area to deliver robust science and ensure Trase’s work remains actionable and policy relevant
  • Present research and project results in meetings and international conferences
  • Support engagement activities related to this work and as part of the wider Trase impact strategy
  • Publish communication pieces, including blog posts, insights, policy briefs and peer-reviewed articles.

Who you are

You should have a strong interest in sustainability and climate issues, with a background in emissions accounting in the agricultural sector, ideally linked to agricultural expansion, deforestation and commodity trade.

You are an independent thinker driven by the importance of building strong bonds of trust and respect with your co-workers. You are also passionate about working to help understand some of the major environmental and sustainability challenges the world is facing in the 21st century. You will work independently and as part of a team in a highly flexible and exciting research- and innovation environment.

Formal qualifications and knowledge

PhD or equivalent experience in a relevant field of environmental sciences, industrial ecology or equivalent and a strong background in one or more of the following: emissions 

  • accounting, LCA and land-use change dynamics, with strong competence in quantitative data skills and analyses
  • Proven ability to apply research to policy and practice of emissions accounting in either public and/or private sector
  • Proven publication record in areas of expertise
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Desirable

  • Prior experience engaging with Scope 3 emissions accounting, including as related to GHG Protocol, Science Based Targets Initiative, PEF, OEF and other corporate or government-led initiatives
  • Prior experience working on ecosystem conversion due to commodity expansion, especially soy, pasture, palm oil and cocoa
  • Ability to work with spatial datasets (GIS) for the purposes of assessing land-based emissions, including from ecosystem conversion from agriculture
  • Ability to work with large data sets using one or more coding languages such as R and/or Python
  • Prior experience with data tools and services such as Github, Amazon Web Services and Observable
  • Prior experience with LCA and LCA software packages such as openLCA and/or SimaPro
  • Open to learning new skills
  • Language skills, including Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Bahasa Indonesian and French
  • Experience working in multicultural and multilingual teams.

Personal skills required in this position

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to build good working relationships with colleagues and partners
  • Highly structured and organized
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Able to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Eager to learn and develop
  • Timely and efficient, and able to prioritize.

How to apply

Please submit your application ASAP. The position will be open until filled, so we strongly encourage early applicants. We only accept applications in English that are submitted through our recruitment system. Please apply online using the button below and include:

  • Cover letter highlighting relevant qualifications and experience and why you are motivated for this position
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications.

You do not need to be a Swedish or EU citizen nor have a work/residence permit in order to apply for a job at SEI HQ.

Inquiries concerning the content of the position can be directed to Mairon G. Bastos Lima, Research lead for Trase (mairon.bastoslima@sei.org), and Toby Gardner, Trase Director (toby.gardner@sei.org

For inquiries concerning the recruitment process, please contact Filippa Klintberg, HR Specialist (filippa.klintberg@sei.org)

About SEI

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) is an independent international research institute founded in 1989. Its mission is to support decision-making and induce change towards sustainable development around the world by providing integrative knowledge that bridges science and policy in the field of environment and development. SEI was ranked as the world’s top think tank on environmental policy issues in the 2020 Global Go To Think Tanks Index compiled by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.

SEI has around 300 employees working at research centres in seven countries around the world. SEI’s headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden. Additional SEI research centres are located in Colombia (SEI Latin America), Estonia (SEI Tallinn), Kenya (SEI Africa), Thailand (SEI Asia), the UK (SEI Oxford and SEI York) and US (SEI US).


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