Is Environmental Management The Right Role For You?
The environment is a hot topic, there’s barely a day that goes by that people aren’t talking about climate change, another crisis, or even the burning of the Amazon.
There’s a good reason to be concerned, the environment is changing and it’s not a change that’s going to help humans or the planet. But, climate change is an incredibly complex issue, the harsh reality is that the changes which need to be made will not be accepted easily by the general public. This means developing an enforcement policy and staffing it.
But, of course, the ultimate power lies with the politicians and they tread a fine line between doing anything and promising to do something. It’s all about votes and careers, not the planet.
How Does Environmental Management Fit In?
Environmental management is actually a difficult concept to fully define. The basic principle is that every human activity on the planet has an impact on the environment, this may be a positive or negative impact.
Managing that activity means assessing the impact and devising ways in which the negative impact can be reduced or positive impact increased. However, while this is usually easy in theory, in practice environmental management needs to compete with business sustainability and profits.
The real issue doesn’t actually lie with the inability of companies to change, although this can have an effect. The problem is that much of the work completed in this field is based on predictions of what will happen. If the predictions are wrong then the efforts made in environmental management are unlikely to have the desired effect.
The short of it is that environmental management often has great intentions but a significant lack of results.
Fortunately, you can change this. Environmental management roles have the potential to make firms and individuals change their current methods. If this is done on a large enough scale it can make a fundamental difference to culture and our way of life. That’s a lot of potential power available in your hands, all you have to do is find the environmentally friendly path and get your chosen firm, or industry, to follow it.
That’s not as easy as it sounds.
It is important to note that humans cannot really manage the environment, we can only manage our impact on the environment and the other creatures on the planet. The knock-on effect should be to improve the environment for all creatures, but again, this can be hard to predict accurately.
However, doing something is definitely an improvement on doing nothing. The real aim of environmental management is to acknowledge that we can affect the environment, with planning and the right implementation the effect of society can be minimized and even controlled.
How To Get Into Environmental Management?
The simplest way to get into environmental management is to get yourself a degree environmental management or sciences, this will open an array of job opportunities.
However, if a degree is not an option there are plenty of other methods that you can use, such as the Work Ready program in South Australia. This is a vocational training course that provides you with a qualification and experience.
There are a few opportunities to get in on the ground floor and climb your way up. But, you’ll still need to train as you go to ensure you develop the necessary knowledge and understanding of the environment.
It is important to note that this is generally a high-paying field but money cannot be your own motivator, you will need to actually care about the environment. It really helps to have a passion to change the world for the better.
Typical responsibilities of an environmental manager include:
- Analyzing current practice and developing ways to improve practice while reducing environmental impact.
- Assessing ways to sustain environmentally friendly corporate development and helping to implement them.
- Organizing meetings to inform and consult on environmental policies.
- Confirming compliance within the firm.
- Promoting environmental awareness.
- Finding green alternatives, especially to current energy policies.
- Regulating the flow of supplies in order to ensure reasonable usage and reduced environmental impact.
The great news is that there are virtually limitless opportunities and potential if you choose to enter the field of environmental management.
The key is to ensure you have the right skill set:
- A passion for the environment.
- First-class research skills.
- Attention to detail.
- Great at evaluating data.
- The ability to stay calm under pressure
- Management/leadership abilities.
These are the elements that cannot be taught, the knowledge can be gained as you learn and gain experience.
While the simplest approach might be to look at jobs advertised, the fact is that all businesses now need to be aware of their environmental impact. You can simply approach local businesses and offer to assist them with their environmental planning and implementation.
With this method, you may get a job offer or even build your own consulting practice!
In fact, once you’re qualified you’ll find there is an array of opportunities open to you. Potential jobs include:
- Education officer
- Conservation officer
- Recycling officer
Of course, all of these roles are within the environmental sector.
You’ll need to have your qualification and be prepared for some battles, although businesses have good intentions they also have a bottom line to think of. Your job is to allow them to achieve both goals successfully.
Take The Next Step
If you’re interested in environmental management then today is a great time to take your first step into this world. Age and experience don’t matter, a willingness to learn and a passion for the environment do.
The increasing interest in the climate means that this is a rapidly growing field, getting started today will allow you to make a difference. The scale of that difference will depend on what role you take on and how innovative and inspired you are, anything is possible.