Who is the Sustainability Manager, a new figure for the green transition: tasks, skills and salary

Elizabeth Smith

The sustainability manager guides companies in environmental monitoring and in the introduction of more efficient production practices. It is a highly specialized role that will be increasingly requested by companies in every sector.

Today, companies have begun to realize the need to include the criterion of environmental sustainability among the main guidelines of their business. The more structured and advanced realities already have a Sustainability division that deals with the analysis and implementation of sustainability strategies, climate change, stakeholder engagement, drafting of sustainability reports, verification of compliance with international principles and guidelines.

However, most companies, still do not have the necessary internal skills to put these procedures into practice in a systematic way. For this there is the figure of the Sustainability Consultant, or Sustainability Advisor.

This is a consultant who helps companies to become greener, in particular with a view to making their production chain as circular as possible. Also, this figure is responsible from a social and environmental point of view, of proposing practicable solutions for the different needs of people, the environment, of business development.

Who is the sustainability manager

The sustainability manager is a professional figure who guides companies in identifying sustainable practices. Each activity, from production to distribution, is evaluated in relation to the environmental impact.

The sustainability manager can suggest the latest engineering standards in the building sector, how to achieve carbon neutrality. More efficient practices in waste management or opportunities to switch to the use of renewable or clean energy sources. It can be involved in all or some phases of a project, from planning to construction, from reclamation to restoration.

The main activities of the sustainability manager

The sustainability manager helps to conceptualize, coordinate and supervise practices related to sustainability. He can work as a project manager, business developer and internal team trainer. This professional can perform different tasks based on the context in which the company operates. Some, however, are transversal to the sector to which they belong. Between these:

  • develop studies and environmental and social impact assessment projects;
  • draw up the related technical documentation;
  • data collection activities for sustainability report and requests from stakeholders;
  • manage critical environmental aspects to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations;
  • define, coordinate and implement the environmental monitoring plan;
  • identify and develop new opportunities, technical proposals and cost estimates;
  • redefine processes in a circular key;
  • identify ways to switch to alternative energies and practices that reduce environmental and noise pollution, water use, carbon emissions.

The skills requested and the average salary

In addition to technical skills, certainly transversal skills in the field of communication, management, planning and prioritization.

This is an ever-evolving field, where new topics are taking over and changes are constantly being made to existing models. So consultants need to be able to adapt and learn quickly and independently.

In the United States, the average sustainability manager makes around $ 126.060 per year, as of 2022. While in Europe, the average salary is EUR 64.100 in Germany and £ 49.334 in the United Kingdom.

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