How to become a sustainability manager


The goal of sustainability management is to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainability managers play a key role in achieving this goal by developing and implementing strategies to improve the efficiency of natural resource use, minimise pollution and waste, and prevent environmental degradation.

There are many different career paths for sustainability managers, including working as consultants, managers, or directors for government agencies, businesses, or nonprofit organisations.


Photo by David McElwee on Pexels

What is sustainability management.

What are the goals of sustainability management

The goal of sustainability management is to create and implement policies and practices that will protect and improve the environment, society, and economy over the long term. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency, conserving water resources, protecting biodiversity, and reducing waste.

What are the key strategies for achieving those goals

There are a number of key strategies that can be used to achieve the goals of sustainability management. These include:

  • Improving energy efficiency: This can be done by implementing more efficient production processes, using more efficient equipment and appliances, or insulating buildings to reduce heat loss.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions – This can be done through a variety of means such as investing in renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, or switching to low-carbon fuels.
  • Conserving water resources: This can be achieved through measures such as rainwater harvesting, using drought-resistant plants, or reusing water for irrigation.
  • Protecting biodiversity: This can involve creating protected areas for endangered species, restoring habitats that have been degraded, or taking steps to reduce pollution and climate change.
  • Reducing waste: Waste reduction can be accomplished through a variety of means such as recycling, composting organic waste, or avoiding single-use products.

What skills are required to be a successful sustainability manager.

Communication skills

A successful sustainability manager must be an effective communicator. They must be able to clearly articulate the goals of the organisation’s sustainability program and build buy-in from employees and other stakeholders.

Organisational skills

A successful sustainability manager must be highly organised. They must be able to develop and implement a plan for achieving the organisation’s sustainability goals.

Analytical skills

A successful sustainability manager must have strong analytical skills. They must be able to collect data related to the organisation’s environmental impact and analyse it to identify areas where improvements can be made. They must also be able to track progress over time and assess the effectiveness of different strategies in order to continuously improve the organisation’s sustainability performance.

What educational requirements are necessary to become a sustainability manager.

A bachelor’s degree

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for most sustainability manager positions. A degree in environmental science, engineering, business administration , or public policy is often helpful. In addition to academic coursework, many programmes offer internships and other opportunities to gain practical experience.

A master’s degree

A master’s degree in sustainability or a related field is often preferred for senior management positions. Programs typically include coursework in environmental science, engineering, business administration , public policy, and law. Many programmes also offer opportunities to gain practical experience through internships and research projects.

What are the career paths for sustainability managers.

Sustainability consultant

As a sustainability consultant, you would advise organisations on how to become more sustainable. This could involve auditing their current practices, setting goals, and developing action plans to reach those goals. To be a successful consultant, you need strong communication and project management skills.

Sustainability manager

As a sustainability manager, you would be responsible for overseeing the implementation of sustainability initiatives within an organisation. This would involve coordinating with different departments, setting targets, and monitoring progress. To be a successful manager, you need strong organisational and leadership skills.

Sustainability director

As a sustainability director, you would be responsible for developing and implementing the strategy for an organisation’s sustainable development initiatives. This would involve setting long-term goals, overseeing the budget, and ensuring that the organisation meets its environmental, social, and governance objectives. To be a successful director, you need strong strategic planning and communication skills.


The job of a sustainability manager is to develop and implement strategies that will help an organization become more environmentally friendly and sustainable. To be successful in this role, one must have excellent communication, organisational, and analytical skills. A bachelor’s or master’s degree is typically required for this position. Career paths for sustainability managers include sustainability consultant, manager, and director.