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An environmental consultant is someone who works with a company on environmental issues that it may face. They are responsible for assuring that companies follow environmental regulations. They also suggest ways for a company to do their business in an environmentally friendly way.
Environmental consultants usually have at least a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, environmental engineering, or another similar science. Some consultants hold a Master’s degree. A consultant needs to have a very clear understanding of the environmental laws and regulations that affect corporations and small businesses.
Consultants enter into the field in two ways, from the environmental side, or from the industry side. From the environmental side, consultants concentrate on ways in which a business can improve its impact on the environment. This may include increasing its sustainability. An example of this would be to suggest to a logging company to plant a tree for every tree they cut down. An environmental consultant may also suggest more efficient means of powering a company, or better means of cutting back on waste.
In industry, an environmental consultant may be hired to do a hazard assessment for lead or asbestos. They may also prepare due diligence reports before a site is purchased. A diligence report is based on research into previous uses of the site, checking for possible contamination. An environmental consultant may also perform field surveys, creating a baseline for pollution and contamination to compare with later results after a business moves in. They help a company to avoid costly fees, legal actions, or ill-advised transactions that may result from not being aware of environmental regulations.
Environmental consultants help to monitor the environmental impact that businesses and towns have on the local landscapes. They check for greenhouse gases, and perform carbon footprint evaluations. Another job performed by consultants is to provide education and training to businesses and individuals to help them decrease their impact on the environment.
Legal firms may hire consultants to assist in cases dealing with environmental matters. In this case, a consultant’s job is to advise the lawyers and the clients they represent on what laws and regulations may have been broken. They may also assist in drawing up contracts, or acting as expert witnesses in trials.
The job of an environmental consultant is to advise individuals, business, and governments on issues that may affect the environment. This may include everything from reviewing research to testing locations for contamination. Environmental consulting is an important job, essential to assuring a healthier planet for future generations.