Job Description: Environmental compliance manager

What is involved in the role of an environmental compliance manager? Find out in our latest job description article

What is involved in the role of an environmental compliance manager? Find out in our latest job description article.

As an environmental compliance manager you are responsible for overseeing the environmental performance of your organisation and ensuring that compliance to environmental legislation is met.

At the heart of the role is assessing current business practices and developing strategies to improve and meet environmental targets.

The day-to-day

  • Monitoring the organisation’s environmental performance against internal and external compliance targets
  • Carrying out environmental audits and assessments
  • Developing, implementing and driving environmental strategies and policies
  • Communicating with key stakeholders regarding environmental performance

Key responsibilities

  • Report on environmental audits and make recommendations for future policies and strategy
  • Drive the environmental strategy forward to ensure corporate sustainable development
  • Build awareness of environmental legislation and identify and lead to the prevention of any potential contravention of regulation and consent compliance
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest environmental legislation with UK, EU and international regulation and legislation
  • Implement strategy to ensure compliance is prioritised and championed at all levels within the organisation
  • Promote awareness of the impact of environmental decisions across the organisation
  • Report the organisation’s environmental performance to key stakeholders both within and outside the organisation including to regulatory bodies
  • Oversee the organisation’s management and policy adherence in relation to pollution control, environmental health, carbon footprinting, biodiversity, responsible procurement, renewable energy, waste management and recycling
  • Manage service agreements and contractors working with the organisation on environmental compliance projects
  • Build relationships with external environmental service providers
  • Represent the organisation in public hearings and consultations in relation to environmental matters
  • Lead on environmental investigations for significant incidents
  • Prepare environmental permits, licences and waste exemptions when necessary
  • Manage the environmental management system, certification and adherence to the ISO 14000 family of standards

Key skills

  • Passion for the environment
  • Problem-solving and multi-tasking skills
  • Skilled in driving change and influencing others
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong leadership and management expertise
  • Good people skills and an ability to build good relationships
  • Proven data analytics skills and an ability to manage information
  • Organisational skills
  • Solid IT skills
  • Strong report writing and presentation skills
  • Adept at thinking creatively and coming up with new ways of thinking to shape strategy and future projects
  • Able to keep up to date with the latest environmental legislation and compliance regulation

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  • A degree in a relevant subject is advantageous including bioscience, environmental health, sciences or management or engineering with a sustainability focus
  • Membership of an appropriate association is desirable including the worldwide alliance of environment and sustainability professionals (IEMA)

Relevant experience

  • 3-5 years’ experience in a relevant field including the environment or waste sector is desirable
  • For those looking for an entry level position, some work experience or ideally a summer holiday placement looks favourable
  • Any experience needs to be coupled with sound knowledge of environmental legislation and ideally some experience of implementing that in the workplace
  • A full, clean driving licence is often required


Working hours vary according to industry and sector. Typical contractual hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. Some businesses, particularly those in the private sector will require flexibility towards hours worked to match project demands.


Salary depends upon location, sector and experience. A typical range is £18,000 - £56,000 plus benefits and in some cases, includes a car allowance. Business, industry, mining and quarrying sectors pay the most according to the IEMA’s 2015 survey.

Career opportunities

As an environmental compliance manager your role is very tailored to the unique needs of the organisation and sector you work in. In this way there is not a typical career path and progression will depend upon the employing organisation. Working for a larger organisation may open up opportunities to embrace further activities and project work outside the scope of the job role. For those wanting to move on there are opportunities to swap sectors and industries or to join an environmental consultancy or become self-employed and start one yourself. There may also be the opportunity to study for a postgraduate qualification in this subject.

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