Job Description: Sustainability engineer

Find out what a sustainability engineer does and whether it could be the role for you

Find out what a sustainability engineer does and whether it could be the role for you

Are you interested in combining your technical-build abilities and sustainability knowledge to deliver low-energy design solutions? If the answer is yes then read on - a career in sustainable engineering could be for you.

The day-to-day

Sustainability engineers take a lead role in delivering sustainable and low-energy design projects in the built environment. The role demands an understanding of engineering in relation to reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and the effects of carbon emissions.

Your day-to-day role will involve a range of duties such as:

  • Providing strategic low-energy design advice
  • Liaising with key client stakeholders to develop their sustainability strategies
  • Identifying sustainability risks and appropriate mitigation measures and highlighting any opportunities to increase the organisation’s sustainability credentials
  • Conducting BREEAM Pre-Assessment and provide design advice
  • Creating models to illustrate your plans, processes and designs
  • Producing evidence requirements for BREEAM credits
  • Undertaking a gap analysis report should the desired rating not be achievable
  • Monitoring the design process to ensure that the scheme design objectives are being followed and the design meets the clients’ requirements
  • Preparing low and zero-carbon technology feasibility studies and energy statements for local authority approval as part of planning applications
  • A range of additional ad hoc duties to support the wider team

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Key responsibilities

  • Identify feasible sustainable design concepts on behalf of your company or for clients
  • Manage client projects and keep them up-to-date on progress
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest BREEAM building assessments
  • Use CAD tools to create models
  • Use mapping technology such as GIS to assist with the creation of models
  • Collect and collate qualitative and quantitative data to help communicate and support your sustainable engineering designs
  • Build portfolios for companies and clients
  • Write bids and proposals on behalf of your company

Key skills

    • Strong technical engineering knowledge
    • Good understanding of low-carbon building solutions
    • Apt product design skills and product assessment skills
    • Good report writing skills
    • Strong communication and project management capabilities
    • Understanding of manufacturing processes and equipment
    • Sound knowledge of mapping, thermal and energy modelling and life cycle assessment tools
    • Good understanding of the circular economy’s impact on sustainable engineering
  • CAD and GIS skills


Sustainability engineers are required to have at least a degree in a relevant engineering or sustainability subject. A master's degree in a relevant subject is preferred. It is also often expected that you have specific accreditations such as relevant BREEAM credits and professional registration of CIBSE is highly desirable.


Your working hours are often determined by project deadlines. Extended working hours, taking you into the weekend or into public holidays are not uncommon in the industry.


As a sustainability engineer you can earn between £30,000 - £50,000 per annum depending on seniority.

Career opportunities

Your next career steps may include:

  • Senior sustainability engineer
  • Senior sustainability consultant

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