Environmental Policy Analyst

What is an Environmental policy analyst? Environmental policy analysts define how environmental concerns are approached from an organizational or government perspective. They review and analyze trends and impacts to develop environmental policies. Working both in the private and public sector, they establish environmentally responsible business practices, advise decision-makers and develop regulations.

At a Glance

Imagine you are sitting in a boardroom with top executives watching your company's latest television commercial advertising the organization's new commitment to the environment. You secretly grin and feel a tingle of pride.

You are an environmental policy analyst for the company, and it was your team who developed this new policy.

Television commercial and media campaigns are only a small component of sweeping changes that will convert this company's operation and reputation from that of a polluting dinosaur to a leader in innovation and sustainable production. As an environmental policy analyst, you started the process almost two years ago, when you presented evidence of consumer trends to the company's executives.

In order to take advantage of this trend, management asked your team to develop a policy that would demonstrate the company’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact on its customers and employees.

You start by setting out guidelines for the new policy, which had to suit the nature of your company's activities and include a commitment to ongoing improvement.

The policy also had to comply with existing provincial and federal environmental legislation and include a framework for regularly reviewing the company's environmental performance.

You then began writing a policy that outlined several new environmental goals for the company, including reducing energy use and resource consumption, safely treating disposal and waste, training personnel in environmental procedures, and regular performance auditing.

You also outlined how this policy should be communicated to staff and customers, as well as how it should be implemented.

You and your team spent months developing a framework to ensure your company had a realistic but progressive environmental policy.

Job Duties

Duties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter as an environmental policy analyst:

  • Lead consultation process with stakeholders, including businesses, governments, and special interest groups
  • Coordinate public reviews and participate in public hearings on major projects.
  • Research environmental trends, policies, and legislation
  • Prepare reports and make presentations to stakeholders
  • Identify problems posed by projects and practices and propose options for mitigating environmental impacts
  • Make recommendations to decision-makers that balance environmental conservation with social and economic considerations
  • Develop regulations and guidelines for the implementation of environmental laws and policies
  • Develop strategic policy and programs that benefit the environment
  • Arrange and participate as a subject matter expert in meetings and information sessions
  • Review and define policies, standards, and methodologies
  • Perform background research and analysis to develop position statements, briefing notes, speeches, and other policy-related content on environmental issues

Work Environment

Environmental policy analysts work in a variety of locations, including:

In the office:

  • Drafting and evaluating environmental policies and reports
  • Preparing briefing notes and speeches for senior management
  • Identifying policy gaps and opportunities, as well as tracking emerging issues
  • Communicating on the phone and in meetings with clients, colleagues, government officials, and stakeholders
  • Evaluating environmental policies as a government representative or as an advocate

In the field:

  • Making presentations to stakeholders, clients, contractors, and the general public
  • Visiting sites to evaluate environmental policy outcomes
  • Representing your department or organization at stakeholder meetings
  • Conducting public outreach sessions, interviews, and site visits
  • Networking and establishing relationships

Where to Work

There are a number of places environmental policy analysts can find employment. They include:

  • Federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal government departments
  • Land-use and conservation agencies
  • Environmental consulting companies
  • Industry, including manufacturing, forestry, oil and gas, and mining
  • Not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations

Search for jobs on the ECO Canada job board.

Education and Skills

If you are a high school student considering a career as an environmental policy analyst, you should have strong marks or an interest in:

  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • English
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Social Studies
  • Legal Studies

In most cases, the minimum education requirement to work as an environmental policy analyst is a university undergraduate degree and many employers require a master’s degree.

If you are a post-secondary student considering a career as an environmental policy analyst, the following programs are most applicable:

  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Studies
  • Law
  • Natural Resource Management
  • International Development
  • Geography

It is not necessary to be certified to work as an environmental policy analyst. However, becoming a certified Environmental Professional (EP) can help you progress in your chosen environmental career.


Hard/Technical Skills (obtained through formal education and training programs)

  • Experience working with First Nations, Métis or Inuit organizations and communities.
  • Knowledge of corporate, provincial, and federal environmental policies, procedures, and legislation.
  • Strong organizational, research, and analytical skills
  • Experience with policy creation, development and associated lifecycle management activities
  • Excellent writing skills and ability to document clearly and succinctly for a variety of audiences
  • Strong computer skills, with knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)

Soft Skills (personal attributes and characteristics)

  • Excellent critical thinking skills
  • Ability to build relationships and strategic partnerships
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills and are able to deploy tact and diplomacy in difficult situations


Environmental employers look for professionals who can combine technical knowledge with soft skills. Watch our free webinar “Essential Not Optional: Skills Needed to Succeed in Canada’s Environmental Industry” or take our Essential Skills courses

Role Models

Jean Paul Gladu

I knew when I was ten that I wanted to be involved in the environment. Hunting, fishing, and trapping were a big part of my life. I spent every weekend camping with my family. Being outdoors and a career in the environment was natural for me. I went fishing regularly with my dad for speckled trout. Quite often the creeks where we fished had seen over-harvesting of trees, right up to the stream banks. The creeks were negatively impacted. I could see the damage and it stuck in my mind.

I first thought about being a conservation officer because I didn’t want people to break laws that protect the environment. Some people harvest too many animals and are often wasteful. I wanted to protect the animals from this abuse. I learned a lot from my Elders and my family. I used to sit around and listen to all of the adult conversations. Now, this trait's a big part of my job. I work with and represent people, and therefore I need to listen to their concerns and to try to understand their values.

Originally, I started as a forestry technician. It was a great experience, but it wasn’t my calling. I wanted to get into ecosystem management, people management, and policy design. To do this, I needed to upgrade my education. After returning to school to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry, I began to appreciate the complexities of land management. I see a huge demand for people with my qualifications in the next decade.

There are currently about forty Aboriginal foresters out of twelve thousand foresters in Canada. With more traditional territories being transferred back to Aboriginal communities in one form of ownership or another, the need for Aboriginal people to link communities with western management systems is high. The most challenging component of my job is communicating with different people with different interests and views. People are dynamic. When communicating with people who aren’t aware of Aboriginal knowledge, my experiences in traditional knowledge have been useful.

Your Impact

Environmental policy analysts provide research and analytical services for policy briefs related to energy sources, climate change, environmental justice, environmental health, and related issues.

After thorough analyses of relevant factors, they write reports, policy briefs, and white papers detailing their findings to inform government or environmental groups on issues and strategies such as energy storage or carbon sequestration.

An important example of the impact of the environmental policy analyst is pollution. Pollution can cause a negative impact on the health of humans and it can be damaging to the environment. Pollution can even cause a reduction in the volume of natural usable resources. Because of all these reasons, it is important for environmental policy to address pollution concerns.

Environmental policy analysts create written statements on issues like pollution, which is then signed by the senior management.  This statement basically outlines the aims of business' as well as principles which are in relation to the management of environmental effects as well as the aspects of the operations.

Occupational Classification

Individuals employed as environmental policy analysts may be classified in one or more of the following occupational groupings:

NOC CODE: 4161 Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers

NOC CODE: 4162 – Economists and Economic Policy Researchers and Analysts

What is a NOC Code?

The National Occupation Classification (NOC) provides a standardized language for describing the work performed by Canadians in the labour market. It gives statisticians, labour market analysts, career counsellors, employers and individual job seekers a consistent way to collect data, describe and understand the nature of work within different occupations.


The NOC is developed and updated in partnership with Statistics Canada to coincide with the 5- year census cycles. It is based on in-depth occupational research and consultations conducted across Canada, to reflect changes in the Canadian labour market.

ECO Canada Logo

Site en cours de développement

Nous travaillons actuellement sur la version française du site que nous espérons lancer très bientôt!

Merci pour votre patience et compréhension pendant que nous finalisons la version améliorée du site.

Website in Development

We are working to launch the French site very soon!

Thank you for your patience while we finalize the new and improved version of our website.