Sustainability Manager

Modern consumer lifestyles demand much from our natural resources and ecosystem services, in addition to value add goods and services used in the processing and production of goods and services, packaging and distribution. As the demand for goods and services increases, so does the demand for more equitable and sustainable production processes, both globally and locally. Sustainability practices ensure a steady and constant flow of goods and services, the production and supply of which uses resources efficiently and optimally and minimises the generation of waste.

Sustainability managers plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate sustainability or environment-related risk assessments of an organisations business practices. They develop methodologies to assess the viability or success of sustainability initiatives as well as monitor and evaluate their effectiveness. They then advise on ways to improve operations and set goals to achieve sustainability targets. Sustainability managers can also create and implement staff training programs to increase participation and practice of environmental initiatives.

Sustainability managers engage with organisations personnel as well as external stakeholders that contribute to sustainable business operations. They mainly work in an office environment and occasionally travel to investigate specific company operations or to meet stakeholders.


Sustainability managers require a thorough understanding of global and local sustainability concepts, goals and objectives and have a working knowledge of environmental trends, legislation, policies and guidelines, coupled with:

  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Critical problem-solving and analytical thinking ability
  • Excellent organisational and project management competence
  • Good verbal and written communication and presentation skills


Evaluate and develop methodologies for sustainability initiatives

Enact and socialise polices on an organisations energy use, resource conservation and waste management

Supervise employees in sustainability endeavours

Advise on meeting regulations laid out in environmental law


B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Environmental Management at UFS, UJ, UNISA and UP

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Environmental Science at NMU, RU, UCT, UJ, UKZN, UMP, UP, UWC and Wits

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Geography and Environmental Studies at all universities

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Environmental Management at CPUT

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Environmental Science at TUT


National, provincial and local government.

NGOs, community-based and development organisations.

Private consultancies.

Engineering and environmental consultancies.

Industrial processing and mining companies.

Property development and construction companies.

Waste management companies.

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