Environmental managers, also increasingly known as sustainability managers, are responsible for overseeing the environmental performance of private, public and voluntary sector organisations.
They develop, implement and monitor environmental strategies, policies and programmes that promote sustainable development.
Environmental managers examine corporate activities to establish where improvements can be made and ensure compliance with environmental legislation across the organisation.
Environmental managers have a wide remit and will review the whole operation, carrying out environmental audits and assessments, identifying and resolving environmental problems and ensuring necessary changes are implemented.
They also carry out important staff training and ensure all members of the workforce recognise and understand their own contributions to improved environmental performance.
Typical work activities
Environmental managers have an extremely varied workload and one that usually entails a range of strategic tasks, such as:
- developing and implementing environmental strategies and action plans that ensure corporate sustainable development;
- taking the lead on sustainable procurement for all goods and services;
- coordinating all aspects of pollution control, waste management, recycling, environmental health, conservation and renewable energy;
- leading the implementation of environmental policies and practices;
- ensuring compliance with environmental legislation and keeping up to date with UK, EU and international regulation and legislation;
- liaising with relevant bodies such as local authorities, public bodies and competent bodies;
- auditing, analysing and reporting environmental performance to internal and external clients and regulatory bodies;
- carrying out impact assessments to identify, assess and reduce an organisation's environmental risks and financial costs;
- promoting and raising awareness, at all levels of an organisation, of the impact of emerging environmental issues, whether legislative or best practice, on corporate, ethical and social responsibility;
- developing and implementing environmental management systems to continually improve the impact of the organisation on the environment;
- coordinating public hearings and consultations on environmental matters;
- managing relations with the board of directors, senior management and internal staff;
- training staff at all levels in environmental issues and responsibilities;
- participating in environmental education and research;
- negotiating environmental service agreements and managing associated costs and revenues;
- writing environmental reports, assuming the lead responsibility with the company;
- being proactive about corporate social responsibility issues and taking action to ensure these are met;
- setting organisational sustainability targets, and developing plans to meet those targets and oversee their delivery.
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