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Job profile! Environmental verifier: For nature protection against climate change

Climate change is on the rise, so this profession is very trendy. But what does an environmental verifier actually do and what training is required?

The trend towards nature and climate protection: More than Fridays for Future

The agricultural ecologist and publicist Immo Lünzer has identified a "reformed neo-alternative movement" since 2000, which is characterized by undogmatic consumer types with often above-average incomes: There are the Lohas (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability), the Lovos (Lifestyle of Voluntary Simplicity), The neo-ecos, utopians and finally scuppies (Socially Conscious Upwardly mobile People). And you are all ready for healthy organic food, low-emission living and ecological high-tech products. Because the new eco see themselves as responsible do-gooders who promote health, social justice and sustainability through consumer behavior and targeted product selection. But, and this clearly decides this from earlier generations of the environmental movement, they want to consciously enjoy and consume life at the same time.

So it's no wonder that sales of organic food have been rising steadily for years: Whereas in 1997 it was 1,48 billion euros a year, 10 years later sales have increased significantly and organic goods have long since reached a broad consumer group and are bringing the organic market to life today unbelievable sales shares in the entire food market. No wonder that the number of organic supermarkets and eco startups is also growing steadily. But not only that: the eco-trend has meanwhile also reached the discount markets, which are offering more and more products including organic variations and at higher prices.

Eco is “in” - in all areas

But organic and organic are not only playing an increasingly important role in food, but increasingly in all areas of our life: green electricity, eco-clothing, environmentally friendly cosmetic products, environmentally conscious living and environmentally friendly household appliances. Investors can invest their money in ecological and sustainable investments and find special financial advisors for this. Yes, even from needebooks and chemical products, greening is not stopping, so-called white biotechnology is on the rise.

And there are smart ideas: So there is Company that use nature's construction kit with proteins, bacteria or microorganisms in order to achieve great effects with small product improvements and thus develop detergent enzymes, for example, which allow many things to be washed at 40 ° C instead of 60 ° C. As a result, more than a million tons of CO2 can be saved in Germany every year.

Many experts even believe that in the future only products will be successful on the market that meet the needs of consumers for social, ethical and ecological manufacturing conditions. This means: Anyone who wants to be successful in the market as an entrepreneur must comply with these principles, regardless of which service they offer.

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What does an environmental verifier actually do?

Environmental verifiers certify companies according to the European Eco-Audit System (EMAS) and prepare reports on the quality of a company's so-called environmental performance. In addition, they can issue legally required test certificates in other legal areas, such as greenhouse gas emissions trading or end-of-life vehicle recycling.

To this end, environmental auditors assess the company's environmental management, the environmentally-related corporate policy (at the respective location) and the environmental goals set by the company. In addition, they assess the company's internal environmental management system, the company's eco-controlling and its environmental statement (this is a defined part of the eco-audit process). Environmental auditors check whether the company's location-related environmental policy has been established and whether it complies with the provisions of the European Eco-Audit Regulation (EMAS). They also check whether the environmental audit was carried out in accordance with regulations and whether the information in the environmental statement is reliable and complies with the requirements.

Finally, they check compliance with the relevant environmental regulations. They then confirm compliance with the relevant provisions in an audit report. This is a prerequisite for issuing the EU EMAS logo. In reports, for example in emissions and immission reports, they evaluate the measurable performance of a company's environmental management. In addition, environmental auditors can advise their customers on efficient energy saving or waste management management, for example. In this case, however, a review of the same company according to EMAS is excluded. Most of the time, environmental auditors specialize in certain industries and thus on corporate environmental protection within these industries.

Prerequisites, education and training

In order to be able to carry out this activity, a university degree is usually required, in particular in the areas of economics or administrative sciences, natural sciences or technology, bio, agricultural, forest or geosciences, medicine or law. At least three years of self-reliant full-time activity, during which practical knowledge of corporate environmental protection has been acquired, is also required. According to the Environmental Audit Act (UAG), proof of specialist knowledge must also be provided.

There are also access opportunities with a technical college education, a qualification as a master craftsman or an equivalent approval or recognition by a supreme federal or state authority or a corporation under public law and at least five years of full-time tasks in a managerial position or as a self-employed person.

In addition, you need a corresponding approval (accreditation in accordance with the EU Environmental Audit Regulation and the UAG) by the German Accreditation and Licensing Society for Environmental Assessors mbH (DAU) in accordance with the Environmental Audit Act. Further information is available from the Federal Association for Nature and Environmental Education eV or the European Network of Environmental Professionals.

Formalities and opportunities for setting up a business in brief

As an environmental verifier, you work as a freelance. This means that you only need a tax number from the tax office. A business registration is not required.

Whether Fridays for Future, climate change, wind and solar energy or organic food and fair trade: environmental issues enter the economy, Politics and in normal everyday life more and more in our consciousness. In the past, there were only a few strange-looking hippi types with a penchant for an alternative lifestyle and idealism to improve the world who advocate ecological products, today environmental awareness is a mass trend: Those who want to be in are eco. So good opportunities for people who want to work in this area.

Even those who have successfully specialized in the field of environmental assessments are constantly faced with new challenges due to changes and innovations. The spectrum for this is broad and ranges from environmental law to environmental technology to quality management. A prerequisite for professional success is therefore to stay up to date with the latest developments and to continuously supplement, deepen and adapt your specialist knowledge to current developments. Improved environmental protection guidelines and new developments in environmental management are topics that environmental verifiers have to face again and again.

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