What is a Sustainability Consultant?
My job involves working out the carbon footprints and environmental effects of products, services, buildings or businesses, and highlighting how and where improvements can be made. We work as consultants for a variety of clients in both the private and public sectors.
What do you do in your job?
My day to day activities include working out environmental effects using our in house software, analysing the results, chasing up data from clients, creating reports and presentations, and researching inventions and improvements in sustainability. Most of my time is spent in our office in London, but we do visit clients in the UK and abroad from time to time – usually at the start or end of projects.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favourite part of the job is the team I work with, they are like-minded and talented people from a variety of backgrounds with a number of different skills. I am able to learn a lot from them in lots of different subjects, which is great at this stage of my career.
What attracted you to becoming a sustainability consultant?
I chose this job because I am interested in environmental issues. I also thought my scientific and mathematical skills would go well with this sort of consultancy work.
How did you get in to your job?
I took A-levels in maths, chemistry and biology and studied a Chemistry BSc followed by an Operational Research MSc at the University of Southampton. I then had a gap year, before taking a 3 month internship at dcarbon8, a small environmental company. They were taken over by Deloitte in early 2010, and I gained a permanent position. I have been there for 1 and a half years now, and was recently promoted to Senior Associate.
What are the opportunities for career progression?
There is a clear career path at Deloitte, and there are many other sustainability consultancies in this field. More and more large companies also now have in-house or internal sustainability teams, which is another route that could be taken, allowing more on-going involvement and ownership of projects.
What advice would you give for people wishing to enter your career area?
I started with an internship at a small environmental company, which gave me valuable experience in this area. It is a competitive area to get into and experience seems to be needed before you can get a permanent job in this sector, in the current situation at least.