Environmental Consultancy Careers Advice
Recently we had the privilege of welcoming back RGS alumni, David Turberfield, who currently works as an Environmental Consultant at Greencorp in Singapore. The Career Seminar focused on the intersection of environment and business and provided pupils with valuable insights into the world of environmental consultancy.
David began the Seminar by offering a comprehensive overview of his role as an Environmental Consultant, shedding light on the diverse projects he undertakes at Greencorp Singapore. He emphasised the multifaceted nature of his job, covering key areas such as environmental due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, contaminated site management, environmental social impact assessments, EHS (Environmental, Health, and Safety) performance assurance, and verification, as well as environmental social governance.
Taking the pupils through the phases of environmental due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, David explained the intricate process involved. This included ‘Phase 0’ screening, where a desktop survey and questionnaire are conducted, ‘Phase 1’ identification, involving a site visit, and ‘Phase 2’ sampling, which includes sampling soil and groundwater and checking for asbestos.
David illustrated the practical application of these processes through compelling case studies. He shared experiences from a private equity acquisition of an oil refinery in China and a factory in Longbridge, Birmingham. The examples highlighted the importance of considering factors such as missing environmental permits, watercourse cleanup, onsite dumping of water, and soil and groundwater contamination.
Reflecting on his own journey, David traced his involvement in the environmental field back to his Master’s thesis in 1991, focusing on emerging national standards. He shared how this early research played a pivotal role in his career, ultimately leading to his current position. David emphasised the existence of dilemmas within his role, underscoring the necessity for employees to undergo anti-bribery training.
David also stressed the diverse skill set required for success in environmental consultancy. He recommended degrees in environmental science, biology, ecology, geology, chemical engineering, and environmental engineering, highlighting the practical application of skills gained through these disciplines. He also noted the importance of a natural passion for environmental conservation. Interestingly, David himself pursued Geography at University following his studies at RGS.
David conveyed to pupils that there is no clearly defined route into the role of an Environmental Consultant but outlined the qualifications that could greatly benefit those aspiring to enter the field. He concluded by expressing his genuine enjoyment of his role, inspiring pupils with the idea that pursuing one’s passion can lead to a fulfilling and impactful career.
The Seminar left pupils motivated, providing them with valuable insights into the dynamic and challenging field of environmental consultancy.