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This apprenticeship standard is in development and is not yet ready to use

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Sustainability business specialist

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a number of sectors including those such as food production, chemical production, construction and retail. The need for sustainable business is becoming ever more important throughout the UK and globally.  Organisations are now reflecting this in the decisions they make and the policies they put in place.  To achieve these goals, Sustainability Business Specialists help companies, public services and non-profit organisations to identify and implement policies to manage the resources used and the waste generated by the organisation.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to help the business to find new and innovative approaches to working and build resilience based on economically sound, socially friendly and environmentally driven principles. They will be responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring business sustainability strategies; communicating plans; formulating budgets; and marketing sustainability strategies to customers, suppliers, colleagues and consumers. The role is highly challenging and multifaceted and will reach across all areas of the organisation.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with numerous colleagues including a specialist subject manager or a senior manager within the organisation at executive or non-executive director level or within smaller organisations they may be at director or board level.

An employee in this occupation may lead a team or work in a matrix management structure to drive change.  They would be required to liaise with external stakeholders on a variety of sustainable issues, for example Non Government Organisations (NGOs), industry and regulatory bodies. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for implementing a sustainability culture throughout the business. This will mean they will need to work across functions throughout the organisation and will have a high level of autonomy to do so. In some companies, they may lead a small team of dedicated experts, however in a number of other organisations, they will work within a management structure with no line management responsibilities. The level of supervision they receive will be down to the size of the company and the individual structures of those companies.

Typical job titles include:

Sustainbility Specialist, Sustainbility Manager, Head of Sustainability and Environment, Head of Responsible Sourcing, Head of Energy and Sustainability


Occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Support the business to ensure legal sustainability compliance and embed a management system approach to sustainability performance improvement

K1 K2 K8 K10 K14 K15

S2 S3 S5 S6 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 2 Identify and set sustainability KPIs for the wider business

K10 K19

S4 S12

B5 B7 B8

Duty 3 Develop and implement a comprehensive auditing programme

K10 K13

S5 S10

B5 B7 B8

Duty 4 Manage environmental data and monitor the sustainability performance of own business and suppliers

K4 K6 K7 K10 K13 K19

S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S10

B1 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 5 Review sustainability management information, including incidents, and advise the company on performance, impacts, business risk and appropriate response

K8 K10 K17 K18 K19

S4 S5 S8 S10 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 6 Train staff on sustainability principles, legislation, risks and opportunities

K17 K18

S11

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 7 Maintain regular and effective communication with colleagues throughout the wider business on sustainability best practice

K9 K16 K17 K18

S6 S8 S9 S11

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 8 Act as the business champion to lead on addressing areas such as in work poverty, modern day slavery and inclusiveness

K1 K2 K3 K5 K9 K11 K15 K17 K18

S1 S7 S11 S12 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 9 Reduce waste and ensure the majority of raw ingredients are purchased from sustainable sources in order to reduce the environmental footprint

K4 K6 K7

S3 S5 S6 S8 S9 S12 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 10 Advise all areas of the business on emission reduction

K17 K18

S4 S5 S7 S8 S9 S11 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 11 Promote ethical business standards and practices internally to enable employees to make the right choice

K1 K15 K17 K18

S4 S5 S7 S8 S9 S11 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 12 Act as key business contact and actively engage with Non Government Organisations (NGOs), industry and regulatory bodies for sustainability issues

K1 K2 K3 K5 K8 K9 K11 K14 K17 K18

S9 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 13 Lead on business transparency in the area of corporate reporting

K11 K16 K17 K19

S1 S4 S7 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 14 Investigate and implement water, energy and materials reduction initiatives

K7

S3 S4 S5 S7 S8

B1 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 15 Lead, manage and deliver sustainable business projects, such as carbon foot printing, impact assessments, change management, Kaizen & LEAN

K6 K18

S4 S5 S7 S8 S10 S11

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 16 Horizon scan to identify future trends, technologies, innovations and best practice

K11 K12 K19

S1 S2 S3 S6 S7 S11 S13 S14

B1 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 17 Manage the corporate social responsibility agenda and media outlets

K15 K17 K18

S1 S7 S9 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 18 Coach and mentor individuals in sustainable business process, both internally and externally

K17 K18

S8 S9 S11 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 19 Develop a business case to clearly demonstrate return on investment

K4 K19

S3 S4 S12 S13

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 20 Take responsibility for and manage own professional development, keeping up to date with technical knowledge and skills, and record these through CPD records

K12 K19

S3 S11 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: The global social, environmental, economic and ethical pressures affecting business, government and society Back to Duty

K2: The social, economic, philosophical, political, technological and regulatory environment and potential levers to drive change Back to Duty

K3: How different cultures, customs and business practices impact on how the organisation works on a global scale Back to Duty

K4: How life cycles analysis or whole lifestyle costings work, including foot printing Back to Duty

K5: How to build sustainable communities for the future Back to Duty

K6: Utilising continuous improvement techniques such as Kaizen and LEAN to drive the sustainability agenda  within the organisation such as through the reduction of waste or recycling Back to Duty

K7: How to identify probable sustainability issues at each stage of the end to end supply/value chain and how they can be resolved or mitigated Back to Duty

K8: The principles of being the best "neighbour" in the local community taking into account issues such as emissions, engaging with the local community, road access Back to Duty

K9: How to identify sustainability key stakeholders and their roles Back to Duty

K10: The design of environmental systems to meet ISO17021 and how to embed them within the business to drive standards in line with ISO 14001 and customer codes of practice Back to Duty

K11: How external factors can influence consumer behaviour and how they can be overcome Back to Duty

K12: Sustainable technologies relevant to own sector Back to Duty

K13: The principles and practices of internal and external audits as specified in ISO 19001 Back to Duty

K14: The macro environmental factors which influence the sector such as climate change, water resource and pollution and their impact on business practice Back to Duty

K15: Key principles which identify the "Ethical Business" and how to put it into practice Back to Duty

K16: How the organisation design and structure can drive or hinder sustainability practices Back to Duty

K17: How to communicate sustainability messages effectively internally at all levels of the organisation or externally to key stakeholders Back to Duty

K18: Transformational leadership and change management in areas such as creating a vision for the future, motivating and inspiring others to engage with the vision and coaching and mentoring others and building a team to achieve the vision Back to Duty

K19: How to research, critically evaluate and present business information; utilising statistical/analytical skills to interpret primary/complex data Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Conceptualise and resolve ethical, corporate social responsibility and sustainability issues within the business Back to Duty

S2: Devise and implement achievable and viable sustainability strategies for the organisation Back to Duty

S3: Critically evaluate sustainability issues and trends which may impact on business performance Back to Duty

S4: Analyse sustainability performance data and develop the appropriate business response in line with ISO14001, legislative and customer codes of practice Back to Duty

S5: Assemble and drive resource efficiency including auditing in line with ISO19001 and ISO 17021 and consulting on energy, water, waste, materials, packaging Back to Duty

S6: Develop a global procurement Standards and Governance strategy, breakthrough ideas, best-in-class approaches, bringing the outside inside including innovation and sustainability, and managing the sourcing cycle and supplier relationship management system effectively by liaising with the procurement function Back to Duty

S7: Formulate and co-ordinate a business response on sustainability issues to internal and external stakeholders Back to Duty

S8: Lead and manage organisational sustainability projects, such as life cycle analysis or foot printing to drive change throughout the business Back to Duty

S9: Identify, influence and manage key stakeholders across different business functions Back to Duty

S10: Support the organisation at all stages of the internal and external audit process Back to Duty

S11: Lead, coach and manage a multidisciplinary team to achieve organisational sustainability objectives Back to Duty

S12: Identify, assess, and prioritise sustainability risks within the organisation and utilise resources to mitigate, control and monitor the probability and/or impact of such events Back to Duty

S13: Design, implement and evaluate the internal and external environmental audit schedule in line with ISO 19001 and ISO 17021 to drive improvements Back to Duty

S14: Appraise the impact of current global economic issues to the viability of sustainability projects and its impact on profitability Back to Duty

S15: Lead the corporate social responsibility agenda for the organisation Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Problem solving: take a holistic approach to solving complex problems Back to Duty

B2: Integrity and respect: listens to others and seeks to build understanding; embraces the diversity of colleagues and makes complex issues easy for others to understand Back to Duty

B3: Networking: Establishes internal and external networks to keep current knowledge of sustainability trends and issues up to date Back to Duty

B4: Personal effectiveness: demonstrates a high level of self-awareness and is emotionally intelligent;  adapts behaviour easily dependent upon situation and impact to achieve desired result Back to Duty

B5: Influencing and negotiation: act as a subject matter expert to inspire others to achieve business goals; adapts language and communication medium to seek agreement; proactively communicates clearly, concisely and on a timely basis; is inventive about win-win options to gain majority consensus Back to Duty

B6: Ethical: demonstrates, and champions in others, a healthy respect for key moral principles that include honesty, fairness, equality, dignity, diversity and individual rights Back to Duty

B7: Responsiveness to change: flexible to changing demands; resilient under pressure Back to Duty

B8: Innovation: demonstrates curiosity to foster new ways of thinking and working; seeks out opportunities to drive forward change and improvements for the business Back to Duty


Qualifications

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

MSc Sustainability

Level: 7 (integrated degree)

Professional Recognition

This standard has professional recognition.

Body Level
IEMA Associate


Additional details

Occupational Level:

7

Duration (months):

24

Review

This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: In development
Proposal approved Standard approved Assessment plan approved
Level: 7
Degree: integrated degree
Reference: ST0748
Version: 1
Date updated: 07/02/2020
Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
Typical duration to gateway (I.e. excluding EPA period) : 24 months
Maximum funding: £11000
Trailblazer contact(s): m.hardy@nsafd.co.uk
Employers involved in creating the standard: Two Sisters Food Group, Bakkavor, Branston Ltd, Offundo Ltd, Produce World Group Ltd, Moy Park, Sainsburys Supermarkets Ltd, Croda International PLC, Premier Foods Group, Wrangle Growers, Atkins

Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
1 07/02/2020 Funding band first published

Not available

1 28/06/2019 Standard first published

Not available

1 04/03/2018 Initial creation

Not available