What is Sustainability Consulting and how to be a Sustainability Consultant in 2023 ?
Sustainability consulting involves a wide range of responsibilities and techniques. Still, the overarching purpose stays consistent: to investigate and execute ways that maximize profits and efficiency while minimizing an organization's environmental impact (i.e. they help companies go green).
Particular sustainability consulting responsibilities may differ from one project to the next, depending on the goals of each specific venture. However, the following are just a few of the functions common among green consultants:
- Auditing energy consumption
- Data collection and analysis, identification of requirements, and development of plans to satisfy those needs
- Report writing, presentation making, and meeting facilitation
- Initiatives for sustainability are being launched.
- Identifying methods to reduce energy consumption
- Including the utilization of renewable energy sources
- Supply chain simplification (making the transport of goods more efficient yet less environmentally impact)
- Finding new and innovative ways to reduce waste
- Evaluating corporate responsibility (looking at how an organization's procedures and activities affect its employees, customers, and community)
- Maintaining a healthy workplace and surroundings
Where do Sustainability Consulting experts come from?
Green consultants come from a wide range of sectors and experiences, including project managers, engineers, and inspectors, and they offer unbiased sustainability consulting services to communities and businesses. Nonetheless, regardless of their unique job, they share a similar goal of environmental stewardship (meeting present needs without jeopardizing future resources.)
Environmental experts are classified as managerial, scientific, and technical consulting services workers by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They collaborate with developers, builders, architects, engineers, and contractors at all project stages to devise strategies and focus project specs on environmentally responsible and resource-efficient developments and communities. They attempt to lessen the overall impact on the global environment through energy and water efficiency, pollution and waste reduction, and community health and environmental enhancement.
These professionals frequently share characteristics such as backgrounds in environmental studies, earth science, or environmental science, as well as proficiency in the following areas:
- Analytical thinking
- Technical/computer abilities
Sustainability consultants use intelligent technologies and a citizen-centred approach to assist cities and communities in meeting their sustainability goals and creating new market opportunities for businesses.
They give professional knowledge and practical expertise to help build smart cities by managing environmental, economic, and social risks and opportunities, strengthening organizations, producing economic value, and contributing to healthy ecosystems and strong communities.
So, how to become a Sustainability Consultant?
To begin answering this question, we must first recognize that sustainability can be generally defined as any development that satisfies the present requirements without jeopardizing future generations' ability to meet their own (This is the Brundtland definition that most of us are familiar with). Simply said, whatever we do on this planet in our lifetime to make our stay comfortable should not jeopardize our children's and children's ability to enjoy a decent existence for themselves and future generations.
Becoming green isn't the only way to be sustainable. It goes beyond "going green" as in - it is a true balance of supporting the triple bottom line or the 3 P's - People (Society), Planet (Environment) and Profit (Economic) (Economy). That being said, if you're searching for a career, it's a massive field. The ideas of sustainability can be applied to almost anything—the construction of a house or building, the construction of a bridge or roadway, manufacturing items, agriculture and farming, food production, and even our lifestyles. Hence, if you accept the notion of sustainability in all you do, you have a lot of job alternatives. While this question was originally submitted in a LEED group, I'll provide my opinions on the built environment.
To become a sustainability consultant, you must be competent in providing your customer with the best. Experience, practice, and ongoing learning lead to expertise. Suppose you have a background in any building-related field, planning, designing, renewable energy technologies (such as a bachelor's degree in construction science, Architecture, Landscape Design, Urban Planning, Interior Design, Civil, Mechanical, or Electrical Engineering etc. - anything related to facilities), supplementing your technical knowledge with knowledge in sustainable design, green building design, construction and operations, and green technologies can help you. This will help you advance your career in a variety of ways, as detailed below:
- Engineering and Design (Urban Planning, Building Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Civil, Renewable Energy, Energy Modeling, Lighting Analysis, CFD analysis, Wellness of building occupants, Waste Water, Rain Water, etc.).
- Construction (Most of the trades such as construction pollution prevention, building Masonry, landscape, site restoration and preservation, stormwater management, waste management, HVAC, Plumbing, Windows, Roofing, etc.) (Most of the trades such as construction pollution prevention, building Masonry, landscape, site restoration and preservation, stormwater management, waste management, HVAC, Plumbing, Windows, Roofing, etc.)
- Construction Supplies (Site management, stormwater management, water treatment, waste management, bricks, thermal insulation, green roofs, Low-E windows, flooring, furniture, appliances, etc.)
- Building Management (Green Cleaning, Wellness, Building Indoor Air Quality Management, Pest Control, Landscape, Energy and Water Metering, Renewable Energy, etc.)
This list goes on and on.
Another item to think about is a credential. A certification in LEED, BREEAM, LBC, Green Globes, Estidama-Pearl, Griha, Green Star, WELL,...or any other green building rating system would be beneficial. Exposure to one of these evaluation systems can help you see building projects in a new light. A comprehensive approach is required for a project to embrace sustainability in the long run. Many of these tasks, such as being acquainted with green buildings and rating systems, can be completed while still a student. You can even acquire a certification while still in school because many qualifications require nothing more than 18 years old.
Thankfully, we at sysiit have professional subject matter experts who will teach you not just the subject but also will make your learning journey enjoyable with their decades of teaching experience and will go the extra mile to assist you in getting your dream job.
Have any questions about this article? Feel free to ask our Subject Matter Expert at 905-629-3000