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Sustainability Outreach Specialist

Educate people about your company's sustainability efforts.

What does a Sustainability Outreach Specialist do?

Environmental sustainability is like a new power tool that society bought at its local hardware store: Although it looks really neat and can do a lot of cool things, it’s useless to amateurs until they learn how to use it. Luckily, many communities have a Sustainability Outreach Specialist to train them.

As a Sustainability Outreach Specialist, you “activate” sustainability campaigns by engaging and educating the people and organizations that are affected by them. Employed by governments, nonprofits, universities, and private enterprises, you’re a cross between a Marketing Coordinator, Public Relations Representative, and Event Planner, as your duties include marketing, communications, publicity, and promotions — all revolving around your employer’s environmental efforts.

Here’s how it works: When employers decide to go “green,” they typically hire a Chief Sustainability Officer or Sustainability Manager to create a plan that includes elements such as recycling, energy efficiency, and waste reduction. You promote that plan to those who need to know about it, such as citizens, employees, or tenants. For instance, if a city’s Sustainability Manager installs recycling bins in public places, it’s your responsibility as a Sustainability Outreach Specialist to design, produce, and distribute marketing materials that educate the public on where the bins are located and what recyclables should be placed in them.

With that in mind, you write and edit press releases, brochures, blogs, annual reports, and newsletters, as well as social media and website content. Often, you also plan seminars, presentations, and events. Always, however, the goal of internal and external outreach is promoting green efforts, changing un-green behaviors, and creating a general culture of sustainability.