What is Sustainability Consultant?

The demand for sustainability consultants has increased over the past one decade. New positions crop up every day in various organizations all over the world. This drastic shift in demand has been caused by the increased need for businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to develop sustainable practices as a way of minimizing their environmental footprints and also increasing efficiency and profits.

Who is a Sustainability Consultant?

A sustainability consultant is an individual who works with an organization to help design and implement sustainable business practices. The consultant cares about the impact of the business decisions on the eco-system and the environment as a whole. Sustainability consultants come from different backgrounds. More than half are employed in various industries.

Education and Job Requirements

Individuals who want to venture into this profession should have a bachelor’s degree in a course related to the environment. Those who pursue master’s degrees have an added advantage. Individuals with high school diploma and post-bachelor certificate are also eligible. People with bachelor’s degrees form the largest percentage of recruits followed by those with master’s degrees.

Applicants will also need a considerable amount of work-related skills to qualify, especially if they want to become specialists. They must work for at least six months under someone who is experienced and skilled in sustainability consulting. They must show high levels of integrity, cooperation, dependability and attention to details. Strong speaking, writing and problem-solving skills are also required. Some states require consultants to apply for relevant certifications and license before they are allowed to practice.

Job Description

Sustainability consultants work closely with organizations to help them measure and improve their sustainability performance. This may involve looking at the materials used in production and packaging, management of energy and water, supplies and procurement processes, the impact of the organization’s activities on the local community and compliance with environmental regulations.

Once they determine factors affecting an organization’s sustainability performance, consultants carry out research and impact assessments to measure the carbon footprint, air quality and ecology surveys. After that, they collect and analyze data relevant to their research findings and compile a report. The report is then presented to the organization’s management for appropriate action.


Sustainability managers earn an average salary of $72,780 per year. The overall income ranges from $46,000 to $113,000. Those who get higher salaries are usually considered the best performers and most experienced. Many people working as consultants have reported high job satisfaction rates. Almost all receive medical coverage and huge bonuses from their employers.

Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for sustainability consultants is expected to hit 11 percent over the next 10 years. This rate is considered faster than average and indicates a lot of potential for those who want to become consultants in the country. It will be sparked by heightened public interest in the environmental hazards and the increased demands placed on the environment by the population.

Related Resource: 20 Deals: Small Colleges for Environmentally-minded

The increasing need for sustainable business practices indicate huge prospects for those who want to become sustainability consultants. Many businesses and government agencies will begin to adopt practices that are safer for the environment. This will translate to increased demand for sustainability consultants and even improved salaries. If you want a brighter future, you might consider becoming a sustainability consultant.