Sustainability consulting encompasses a wide array of tasks and strategies, but in general, the overall goal remains consistent: to research and implement strategies that will maximize profits and efficiency while reducing an organization’s environmental footprint, (i.e. they help companies go green).
Specific sustainability consulting duties may vary from one project to another, depending on the objectives of each individual endeavor, but here are just a few of the functions typical to green consultants:
- Conducting energy audits
- Collecting and analyzing data, identifying needs and devising strategies to meet those objectives
- Writing reports, making presentations and leading meetings
- Launching sustainability initiatives
- Pinpointing ways to reduce energy consumption
- Integrating the use of alternative energy sources
- Simplifying supply chains (making the transport of goods more efficient yet less environmentally impact)
- Discovering new and innovative ways to reduce waste
- Assessing corporate responsibility (examining how an organization’s practices and activities affect its employees, customers & neighborhood)
- Ensuring a healthy workplace and surrounding environment
Where do sustainability consulting experts come from?
Green consultants come from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds, such as project managers, engineers and inspectors, providing unbiased sustainability consulting services to communities and organizations. But regardless of their specific profession, they embrace the common mission of environmental stewardship, (meeting present needs without jeopardizing future resources.)
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are considered environmental specialists within the management, scientific and technical consulting services field. They work collaboratively with developers, builders, architects, engineers and contractors at all project stages to design strategies and focus project specs around sustainable practices to deliver goals for environmentally responsible and resource-efficient projects and communities. They strive to reduce the overall impact on the global environment by way of energy and water efficiency, pollution and waste reduction, and the improvement of the community’s health and environment.
Typical traits often shared by these experts include backgrounds in environmental studies, earth science or environmental science, and those who exhibit proficiencies in the following areas:
- Analytical thinking
- Problem solving
- Technical/computer abilities
Sustainability consultants employ Smart technologies with a citizen-focused approach to help cities and communities meet their sustainability goals and create new market opportunities for business.
In a nutshell, they provide expert knowledge and practical experience to create ‘smart cities’ by managing environmental, economic and social risks and opportunities, making organizations more resilient, creating economic value and contributing to healthy ecosystems and strong communities.