In the last couple of years, the field of environmental consulting has been growing in popularity, and this trend is expected to continue over the coming years.
In light of the increasing regulatory pressures and the demands of investors, customers and employees, companies are encouraged to reconsider their business practices and adopt green solutions that reduce the environmental impact of their operations.
Environmental consulting firms are able to provide the highly-specialized knowledge required for this kind of transformational changes.
We’ll look at how environmental consultants are defined, the motives for its current popularity as well as the benefits and costs for corporate environmental accountability.
What is Environmental Consulting?
The term “environmental consulting” encompasses many different environmental goals. It is often used to refer to a specific type of compliance consulting, where the consultant ensures that the company is complying with environmental laws For instance.
It also provides advisory services that provide general advice on sustainability and environmental concerns including waste management recycling, flooding dangers, and the other ramifications from climate change.
Environmental field consultants environmental project managers Environmental audit experts, specialists, along with environmental analysis are just a few of the many fields that employ environmental consultants.
Environmental consultants are able to access numerous sub-specialties, in addition to the various job titles that are that are assigned to this position.
For example an environmental consultant could concentrate on asbestos management assessment of land contamination and geotechnical research or engineering environmental management systems green claims compliance assessment of impact, green claims.
When did the first environmental consulting firm begin?
Environmental consulting started to grow in the latter half of the 1980s and into the early 1990s. Before this, there were very were very few, if any environmental regulations were imposed on businesses. Pollution was not a problem and they dumped hazardous waste in the garbage.
Researchers and experts slowly began to voice their concerns regarding the environmental effects of unregulated industries and demanded regulations and rules to better protect the environment.
A number of industries came to a conclusion that they must take steps to lessen their impact.
Environmental consultants responded to this need and soon began providing their services to businesses and advising them on how to run their operations more sustainably and less polluting.
The reason why environmental consultation is so popular?
While it was true that the industry of environmental consultants was traditionally specialized however, it has seen an increase in demand due to decades of steady growth for corporations.
Additionally, there are any indications that this trend to slow down will be a problem. According to studies the industry of environmental consulting has grown by more than percent from 2016 to 2021 however, by 2026, they expect this rate of growth to be 10 percent. What’s behind this increasing growth trend?
Because of the pressure from regulators as well as public awareness and the need for more environmentally conscious enterprises, companies are required to set ever-higher standards to improve sustainability and protect the environment.
The government is getting ready to regulate this sector across the globe making companies evaluate their environmental impacts and take measures to reduce it.
Regulations such as regulations like the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) For instance in Europe have increased responsibilities for companies that operate within the European Union to disclose information about sustainability indicators and goals.
In the end, boards of directors were required to incorporate carbon emission and sustainability targets in their operating strategy. This suggests they need direction on the strategic plan as well as operational changes, as well as technical or regulatory concerns.
The fact that many of the top management companies, such as BCG, McKinsey, Bain and many others, are presently starting to enter this industry could be an indication of the potential for the eco-consulting business.
The need for environmental consultants is high and it is expected to grow as regulations are made more strict and demand for decarbonization increases. Companies that have a poor environmental track record place their operations at risk.
Investors, customers and even employees are putting more demands on companies to address climate change seriously. However, many businesses require more capabilities and know-how in order to implement the required changes to business methods.
What is the advantages in Environmental Consulting?
Environmental consulting is an essential and sought-after service that assists companies and offers a few additional advantages. Let’s look at a few of these more in depth:
Reduction of business risk
Businesses with a poor reputation for environmental sustainability put themselves at risk of a significant business risks, including the possibility of litigation as well as the risk of breaking the law, and the threat of disruptions in supply chain.
Investors, customers and even employees are putting greater expectations on companies to tackle climate issues seriously. Yet, many companies require more knowledge and skills to adjust.
This is the reason the advice of environmental experts can be very beneficial. Companies can design more sustainable methods and decrease their exposure to harmful ecological practices by enlisting the assistance of experts.
A competitive advantage
People are becoming more eco conscious and search for goods and services that lessen their negative impact on the planet.
That’s why companies who undergo organizational changes and cut down on their carbon footprint and implement sustainable business strategies can differentiate themselves from their rivals.
Sustainability and environmental issues can open the door to new opportunities in economics. According to recent research from the consultancy firm McKinsey in order attain the global net zero goal by 2050, then we’ll require an investment of nearly 9.2 trillion dollars per year.
This remarkable redistribution of money opens up a massive business chance for businesses that are open to changes. The latest technologies and procedures must be developed which will create opportunities for business potential and new revenue streams.
The benefits of community
Environmental consulting encompasses a broad variety of jobs however at its core is always about conserving and improving the environmental that ultimately benefits the people in need.
Take into consideration the environmental consultant employed to conduct an audit of the site on a new piece of land that a business purchases. They could take action to cleanse the area and ensure that it is suitable for use if the environmental expert finds hazardous chemicals.
Environmental consultants also carry out different assessments based on the particular project they’re working on. They could check the groundwater or soil for contamination, or examine the structure for asbestos.
Awareness of the environment
Environmental consulting helps spread awareness and expanding the company’s awareness of environmental issues.
Although a business has to comply with regulations an environmental consultant often helps the business in drafting and implementing an actionable plan.
This prompts businesses to review their environmental policies and educate employees in business settings about the effects they can have.
Environmental consulting seeks to minimize the negative impacts of human activities to the natural environment.
The recommendations as well as the efforts made by an environmental expert have an impact positive on the environment. This can be achieved by helping businesses put the foundation of a strategy to reduce their environmental impact or through conducting environmental studies which lead to corrective actions.
What are the Costs of Environment Consulting?
As of May 2023 the most current information available, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that median salary for environmental engineers is $96,820.
Experienced environmental engineers earn more than $153,200 a year. They earn less than $59 820 at the bottom end on the spectrum.
The majority of environmental engineers work a 40-hour work week, full-time. Certain environmental engineering firms have offices in which they collaborate with project managers.
They must be more actively involved in the ongoing project management. Environmental scientists should be present to perform supervisory roles in conjunction with other members of the team for the elimination of hazards.
Environmental engineers earn on average $46.55 for an hour based on BLS information. The top 10% could require $73.65 or more, while the lower 10% could just be able to get $28.76. The scope, needs of the project and complexity will always influence the final price.
Per Project Rate
Because of the potential for uncertainty Environmental engineers are not the most likely to choose prices per project. A complete project description is necessary to fully understand the pricing model if the company is looking to hire them.
The contract acts as an protection against unpaid obligation to work, overtime or other. The environmental engineer could offer an invoice or a quotation for services that aren’t included in the contract in the event that the scope of services is defined and specific. Employers should be aware that project-based pricing is generally higher than the hourly rates.
Environmental engineers will establish the amount of work they will charge by calculating an hourly rate and an additional markup when they agree working under a arrangement for payment. The contract’s project brief and job description must clearly state the time required to complete each project.
The hourly wage is multiplied by the total amount of hours worked. If there is an unexpected obligations, such as follow-ups or adjustments, they’ll increase by 15% to 20 percent.
In the event that an environmental expert is charged $50/hour for their services and they take 120 hours to finish the work that would take three weeks. The business must be paid $6,000 to the expert per hour on per hour. But, they could include the additional 20 percent in exchange for an estimate of $7,200 on the form of a per-project cost arrangement.
A document that describes possibilities of negotiation, or the option of charging an hourly rate for performed tasks outside of the scope of the job description may be added in lieu of the fixed price per project.
What are the requirements for becoming an Environmental Consultant?
In addition to the technical knowledge required to fulfill each job description, every ECs need to possess certain essential skills. There are many ECs must be proficient before computers and in front of clients.
Environmental experts (ECs) should be skilled in analyzing and gathering environmental data related to pollution, radiation and so on. Once they have determined if the levels are in compliance with the environmental regulations and regulations, the consultant should present their findings in a way that is clear to clients.
Being able to translate complicated information into simple points so that clients comprehend the consultant’s plan is an essential part of the job.
Chemical engineering, environmental science majors, or geology are the most popular options for ECs. Minoring in business communication, communications or public relations might be beneficial as well.
Whatever their field of study, ECs must possess a thorough understanding of the laws and policies governing environmental protection such as sampling for pollutants, data analysis,. In addition, they must possess other soft skills such as writing and communicating.
But, the possibility of it serving as an ideal way to get into the field of environmental consulting for people working in other industries is a reason why environmental consulting is so attractive.
Anyone with these soft abilities and certificates that show specific the knowledge of environmental experts could be competent candidates for these positions since you can acquire them through different consulting positions.
There are a variety of ways to obtain the knowledge required in the field of environmental science when you already have the skills required to be an EC from your previous field of work.
Certification is the best method to show prospective employers that you’re skilled enough to perform the field of environmental consultancy, even though you are yet to complete any formal environmental training.
The CEP Certification from the Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals and the LEED AP certification, and the Certified Environmental Professional program from OSHA are just a few examples of relevant certificates.
Environmental consultants ensure that the best practices are implemented by helping companies in the implementation of effective management plans and following the industry standard.
In addition their work aids in the development of the best practices. The job of an environmental consultant is to keep up-to-date in the constantly changing technology and laws governing the environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What advantages do environmental consultants enjoy?
Environmental consulting is a fantastic approach to exploring a variety of environmental-related industries, looking for freelancing possibilities, and developing a wide range of transferable skills.
Based on the kind of job they’re given, ECs frequently have more flexible schedules than other employees and be able to travel frequently.
Consultants often are able to access a company car as well as a credit card which allows them to make purchases for business or purchase lunches for their clients. In addition, ECs have a diverse clientsele, allowing them to build a large social network as a result of their activities.
What are the drawbacks for working for an Environmental Consultant?
Like all professions however, there are some major disadvantages to be aware of; making sure that the job you choose to work in provides a good balance between work and life and aligns with your personal values is vital. Certain employers may want you to track your billable hours, and you may have to work extra hours to complete the task.
With this level independence, a good degree of self-motivation as well as trust is expected. This means that it can be difficult to stay motivated because some elements in environmental consultation (such as collecting samples and interpret information) could appear repetitive to certain people. However working with difficult clients can make it difficult to keep motivated.
What are the salaries that environmental experts earn?
According to Indeed the median annual earnings for ECs is about $69,000. As with all employment it is a wide range dependent on the experience you have and location as well as the kind of work you perform as well as the type of business you are employed by.
The average pay for ECs is more than colleagues who have similar experiences working for non-profits or the government.
Who employs environmental experts?
Consultants are able to work as a team or in large, sometimes international companies. While private businesses generally employ consultants, these experts often work for the government on defense contracts.
Environmental consulting can make it possible to work in a range of companies.