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Joshua Riddex

Joshua Riddex

Marketing and Communications Manager

6 March 2024

Navigating the demand for Sustainability Managers

Over the last few years, there's been a noticeable surge in organisations reaching out to us for assistance in hiring environment and sustainability professionals. LinkedIn's recent announcement has further added to this momentum.

Over the last few years, there's been a noticeable surge in organisations reaching out to us for assistance in hiring environment and sustainability professionals. LinkedIn's recent announcement has further added to this momentum.

Every year, the business networking platform shares a report highlighting the fastest-growing jobs in the UK, and In the 2024 edition, Sustainability Managers claimed the top spot. This rising trend signals a significant shift in the professional landscape, underscoring the heightened demand for Sustainability Managers in the UK job market.

But what does this mean for businesses looking to recruit these sought-after professionals and how do they combat it?

Let’s get into it!

Navigating the small talent pool

While it's encouraging to see a rising number of businesses strengthening their sustainability efforts through dedicated roles, it also brings about the challenge of a limited and competitive talent pool.

Professionals with the specialised expertise needed for these roles are scarce, prompting organisations to carefully reshape their EVP (employee value proposition). The aim? To be more appealing than their competition and stand out among the noise.

Competitive compensations and benefits

Given the current UK average salary range for Sustainability Managers, which falls between £40,000 and £57,000, organisations need to go the extra mile when attracting these professionals.

Remember, It's not just about the salary. Sustainability Managers seek more than just financial compensation and this involves creating an attractive overall package.

Consider appealing benefits and perks such as comprehensive health coverage, car allowance, company bonus, flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, and practices promoting a sustainable work-life balance. Unfortunately, free fruit in the office and dress-down Fridays just won’t cut it.

Training and professional development

As a part of your stand-out EVP you will need to consider how to further train, nurture and develop sustainability professionals.

Tailored training programmes covering environmental science, regulatory compliance, CSR, and sustainable practices will enhance the skill set of Sustainability Managers. Supporting this with industry certifications and memberships such as IEMA will further validate their expertise.

Go one step further by providing or facilitating mentorship programmes and networking opportunities. This cultivates connections between experienced professionals and those taking the first steps in their careers. Additionally, we are seeing a rise in organisations incorporating technology training to provide Sustainability Managers with data-driven insights.

Building a culture

Amidst the response to the growing demand for Sustainability Managers, there's a critical aspect often overlooked—establishing a unified workplace culture with sustainability at its core.

Beyond competitive compensation and comprehensive training, organisations should shift to creating a culture that actually aligns with sustainability values.

It's worth noting that Sustainability Managers, when evaluating potential employers, are more inclined to choose organisations that visibly embody a culture aligned with sustainability. After all, two-thirds (68%) of workers in the UK, France, Germany and Ireland now
consider it important to work for companies that are aligned with their values.

This entails integrating sustainability into the very fabric of the organisation, encouraging each employee to contribute to environmental initiatives, and fostering a shared commitment to a greener future.

Exploring using recruitment experts

There’s no doubt that recruiting Sustainability Managers and other environment and sustainability professionals comes with a unique set of challenges. That's where specialist environmental and sustainability recruitment agencies, like Principal People, come into play.

By leveraging their access to wide active and passive candidate pools, organisations have peace of mind knowing that they will find the right candidate, the first time. Also, by allowing a specialist to handle the process it means that busy hiring managers can shift their focus back onto what they do best.

Over the years we have helped hundreds of organisations recruit in the environment and sustainability space – creating long-lasting partnerships, shifting mindsets, and securing futures.

Placing passionate professionals into environments where they can thrive is what we’re genuinely proud of, and our reputation stands testament to that.

Whether you're actively recruiting or planning to bring in an environmental or sustainability professional, don't hesitate to reach out for a no-pressure discussion. We're here to help!


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