Everything You Need to Know About Environmental Consulting
By Diana Smith
A person who works with contracts for private, as well as public sector clients and addresses environmental issues (water pollution, air quality, soil contamination) is called an environmental consultant. The demand for this profession has seen a huge growth during the past couple of years, given the fact that everyone is getting increasingly worried about the future of our planet. But what does being an environmental consultant really entail?
What do they do?
Considering the efforts towards the increased usage of renewable energy and low-emission technologies, an ever-growing number of organizations and businesses have started investing into research and development of these areas, which means that they are, consequently, growing too! This is exactly where environmental consultants can be found – their job description requires extensive knowledge of all environmental regulations and features an advisory role in a private industry or with government clients, with regard to avoiding fees, legal action and misguided transactions.
Math, science, design, engineering and environmental economics are all integral parts of an environmental consultant’s skill set. This particular combination of difficult, yet quite highly marketable skills has made environmental consulting a rather lucrative profession.
Of course, seeing as how the role of an environmental consultant is advisory in large part, an expert of this kind will be working for people a lot, rather than with them, which requires a rather specific mindset.
An environmental consultant needs to have technical expertise to be able to conduct in-detail environmental assessments backed with scientific knowledge. These experts can prove to be extremely useful for a public or private company. If the company in question is involved in a court case, an environmental consultant is perfectly competent to testify on their behalf.
In a significantly more pleasant scenario, if a company is considering buying a piece of land for the future development, an environmental consultant can provide a full land assessment and access all previous records of investigations that might have taken place on the site in question. Additionally, these experts can conduct field surveys and collect data in order to establish the baseline conditions for pollution or contamination levels of the area in question.
When it comes to the ways of performing their business, environmental consultants take into account both field and desk-based research, which leads to detailed scientific reports. Most importantly, however, these reports have to be written in a way so that they can be understood even by those who have superficial knowledge of the subject in question.
Expert environmental consulting services include timely, same-day reports upon request, working in both rural and urban areas, actionable insights and clearances and all environmentally responsible duties.
The research conducted by environmental consultants should show whether the water, air, or land contamination on a certain area would have an adverse impact on people or the general environment.
They are tasked with interpreting data (detailed assessments), and they sometimes use software-modeling packages to check whether the contamination exists (in accordance with the current legislation, of course).
What to look for in an environmental consultant
Unlike many other professions, most environmental consultants’ hobbies and fields of interest intertwine with their profession. These are the experts you are looking for – if they don’t care about our environment, they’ll never have the necessary expertise to offer you quality advice; i.e. their advice will be inherently faux. The same goes for those who aspire to be environmental consultants: if you don’t mean it, don’t do it!
Environmental consultants have advisory and investigative roles in terms of environmental issues. The skill set and the mindset of such a professional are quite unique and, regardless of whether you’re looking to hire that kind of expert or become one, you need to be aware of what it takes to fulfill these duties.