Environmental Managers

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Environmental managers advise organisations on how to minimise their impact on the environment and, in some cases, oversee the delivery of impact reduction strategies. They typically develop and then measure the success of the schemes for waste management, renewable energy, recycling, pollution reduction and pollution prevention.

Alternative and closely related job titles include ‘environmental adviser’, ‘energy manager’ and ‘sustainability manager’. In some organisations, the role will also be combined with health and safety or corporate social responsibility (CSR) duties.

Depending on the role, responsibilities could include:

  • implementing environmental policies and practices
  • devising strategies to meet targets and to encourage best practice
  • devising the best tools and systems to monitor performance and to implement strategies
  • ensuring compliance with environmental legislation
  • assessing, analysing and collating environmental performance data and reporting information to internal staff, clients and regulatory bodies
  • confirming that materials, ingredients and so on are ethically or environmentally sourced
  • managing environmental strategy budgets
  • liaising with internal staff including senior managers and directors
  • acting as a champion or cheerleader for environmental issues within your organisation
  • providing environmental training to staff at all levels
  • writing plans and reports
  • keeping up to date with relevant changes in environmental legislation and initiatives including international legislation where applicable
  • producing educational or information resources for internal staff, clients or the general public
  • liaising with regulatory bodies such as the Environment Agency


Qualifications and training required


To become an environmental manager it is usually necessary to possess a degree or higher national diploma (HND) in an environment-related subject – which could include engineering, environmental health, environmental sciences/management, biosciences, applied science, physics or geography. A relevant postgraduate qualification can be advantageous, as can experience of initiating and managing projects.


Key skills for environmental managers


  • A genuine interest in and understanding of environmental issues, relevant legislation and renewable energy sources
  • Excellent communication and influencing skills
  • The ability to take the lead on projects
  • The ability to inspire others
  • Attention to detail and a methodical approach to work
  • Good organisation and time management
  • Commercial awareness: the ability to work within commercial constraints
  • Confidence


Typical employers of environmental managers


Most environmental managers are employed by higher education institutions, utilities and construction companies, government agencies, local government departments and processing/manufacturing companies.


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