As companies seek to address environmental concerns related to their business operations, environmental managers are increasingly important, particularly in large corporations. Environmental managers are tasked with oversight of companies’ overall environmental friendliness. These managers seek to increase “green” practices by developing business initiatives that increase environmental friendliness, then putting them in place and monitoring success. Environmental managers work in many sectors and fields. For example, environmental managers in manufacturing might work to reduce carbon emissions and improve the health of the land around a factory. Environmental managers in new home or commercial construction might seek to incorporate sustainably sourced materials and eco-friendly building practices.
Corporate environmental managers typically have purview over the entire company’s operations, rather than working within a single division. These managers examine the entire spectrum of companies’ practices to seek areas in which improvements might be appropriate, as well as guaranteeing compliance with any environmental laws or regulations. Typical duties of environmental managers include performing audits and analysis of business practices; developing, implementing, and following up on environmental initiatives; and training staff regarding initiatives. Depending on the sector, specific activities related to these duties might include developing plans and presenting them to executives, seeking sustainably sourced raw materials, managing recycling or pollution-reduction programs, keeping abreast of environmental legislation, promoting environmental awareness among company employees, leading training seminars, negotiating environmentally related contracts with third parties, and report writing.
Most often, environmental managers usually work full time in an office setting, but field work is common, including travel among various company locations. Employers typically prefer candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field and several years of related experience.
Environmental Manager Tasks
- Oversee health and safety aspects of acquisitions, mergers, new product lines, and remediation.
- Audit and work with departments to improve safety both routinely and directly following accidents, spills, or other hazards.
- Create safety policies and standards that meet or exceed required guidelines.
- Participate in water, air, ergonomic, solid waste, and hazardous materials handling processes, permits, and evaluations.