Sustainability specialist who he is and what his functions are. Nowadays, sustainability has become a crucial issue in all aspects of society.
From the business to the environmental sphere, the importance of adopting sustainable practices to ensure a more equitable and resilient future is becoming increasingly evident.
One of the key actors in this task is the sustainability specialist. The main objective of this professional is to identify and evaluate the environmental impacts of an organization and design strategies and policies that promote sustainability.
¿What is a sustainability specialist?
The sustainability specialist is a professional in charge of analyzing and evaluating the environmental and social aspects of an organization, in order to identify opportunities for improvement and promote sustainable practices.
Their work focuses on finding effective solutions that balance economic profitability with environmental conservation and social well-being.
In a world increasingly aware of environmental issues, the role of the sustainability specialist has become vital in helping organizations make responsible, long-term decisions.
These professionals are not only dedicated to the implementation of sustainable measures, but also collaborate with other areas of the organization to achieve common goals and foster a culture of sustainability.
Duties of a sustainability specialist
The functions of a sustainability specialist are diverse and cover different areas of work. Below are some of the most common tasks they perform:
- Identification and evaluation of environmental impacts: The sustainability specialist carries out an exhaustive analysis of the organization’s activities to identify the aspects that generate a negative environmental impact. This analysis allows prioritizing the actions necessary to minimize these impacts.
- Implementation of sustainability strategies and policies: Once the environmental impacts have been identified, the sustainability specialist develops and executes strategies and policies that allow these impacts to be reduced or mitigated. These strategies may include measures such as energy efficiency, waste management or water conservation.
- Monitoring and tracking of sustainability indicators: The sustainability specialist constantly monitors the sustainability indicators established by the organization, with the aim of evaluating progress and detecting possible areas of improvement.
- Development of education and awareness programs: To promote a culture of sustainability, the sustainability specialist is responsible for developing education and awareness programs aimed at both internal staff and the organization’s clients and suppliers.
- Collaboration with other areas of the organization: The sustainability specialist works hand in hand with different departments of the organization, such as human resources, production, purchasing and marketing, to align sustainable objectives with the company’s general goals.
Tools used by sustainability specialists
To carry out their work, sustainability specialists have a series of tools and methodologies that allow them to evaluate and measure the environmental impact of organizations. Some of the most used tools are:
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
Life Cycle Analysis is a methodology that allows evaluating the environmental impacts of a product, service or process throughout its entire life cycle. This analysis covers everything from the extraction of raw materials, through manufacturing, distribution, use and final disposal. The LCA helps identify the areas of greatest environmental impact and determine opportunities for improvement.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
The Environmental Impact Assessment is a process that allows evaluating the effects that a project, work or activity can generate on the environment. This process consists of identifying, predicting and evaluating the positive and negative impacts that an action may have and proposing mitigation or compensation measures. The EIA is carried out before the execution of the project to minimize environmental impacts.
The Carbon Footprint is a measure that allows us to evaluate the amount of greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) that are emitted into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of an organization, product or service. The calculation of the Carbon Footprint is essential to understand and reduce the contribution to climate change.
Sustainability certifications are recognitions given to organizations that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices. These certifications evaluate different aspects, such as natural resource management, energy efficiency, waste management or social impact. Internationally recognized examples are LEED, B Corp and ISO 14001 certification.