Sustainability managers help their companies balance out their impact on the environment, generally by advising management regarding what should be improved to lessen negative impacts. They may also carry out evaluations of departments and operations within the company to determine areas of improvement, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing more effective modes of transportation, managing waste disposal, reducing the company's "carbon footprint," and conserving energy and water. These evaluations must always be conducted in an objective and professional manner.
Sustainability managers may also assist in training personnel so they can participate in green initiatives within the company. Much of the work of these managers is done in an office environment and involves conducting research, writing reports, and maintaining communication with various parties within and outside of the company. They may also represent their companies in partnerships with government agencies and NGOs, among other organizations. The job may require some travel in order to visit various operations of the company and meet with partners who are involved with outside parties; this may also subject the manager to uncomfortable working conditions.
Generally, this is a full-time job with regular office hours. However, sustainability managers may occasionally need to travel long distances to complete job assignments. Some may also work with the sales, marketing, and PR departments to help project a positive image of their company to the media and public.
Sustainability Manager Tasks
Enact and socialize policies on an organization's energy use, resource conservation, and waste management.
Evaluate and develop methodologies for sustainability initiatives.
Supervise employees on sustainability endeavors.