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.
Duties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter as an environmental policy analyst:
Environmental policy analysts work in a variety of locations, including:
In the office:
In the field:
There are a number of places environmental policy analysts can find employment. They include:
Search for jobs on the ECO Canada job board.
If you are a high school student considering a career as an environmental policy analyst, you should have strong marks or an interest in:
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:
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)
Soft Skills (personal attributes and characteristics)
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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