An important part of my role is to engage with Business Unit directors, Operations Directors and supply chain peers to raise awareness, both internally and externally, of our approach to the environment and sustainability so that we are recognised as an industry leader in this area.

I provide leadership, support and development to the SHE (Safety, Health and Environment) teams across the group. I also assist with setting the boundaries within the business for which data will be collected and reported, allowing stakeholders to gain the most value from the effort expended in measuring and capturing the data. 

It’s great to work with people that care about not only the company, but also the environmental impact of our activities, particularly given the demands of everybody’s “day job”.

Case study
Category Information
Based Darlington
Employer Wates Group

Tell us a bit more about your role.

I assist with setting the boundaries within the business for which data will be collected and reported, allowing stakeholders to gain the most value from the effort expended in measuring and capturing the data. I ensure that the data we capture and report on is relevant to the business and its activities. I also ensure that it’s within the power of the business to effect a reasonable improvement in its performance on the impact measured.

I also maintain, improve and support the implementation of the company’s Environmental Management System, so that the accreditation to ISO 14001 is maintained and integrated within the wider Company Management System, with legal compliance being the key consideration. 

Construction is one of the UK’s best performing market sectors and British construction is viewed as being among the best in the world – partly due to the great talent that is being recruited each year.

Paul Hutchinson

Environmental Manager

What do you like about your job? 

I have the upmost trust from my employer to work cohesively within a wider team of likeminded SHE/Sustainability professionals and other disciplines within the business. This means setting the strategy for the business and working collaboratively to improve environmental performance and ensuring that there is 100% compliance with the business Environmental Management System and within the scope of the ISO 14001 Accreditation.

It’s unique to find that environment today because so many people can be distracted by the demands placed on them during the course of fulfilling their own role within the business. 

What’s your working day like?

Every day brings its own challenges; the number one priority is to ensure that I deliver consistently against the Business as Usual (BAU) schedule that ensures compliance with internal management systems and associated targets and commitments, subsequently driving continual improvement. 

What skills do you need in your job?

In order to be effective as an Environmental Manager, I need to have a certain set of skills, knowledge and competencies, including:

  • Having the ability to complete projects on time, and within budget where appropriate
  • Having excellent research skills
  • Having excellent data analysis skills
  • Being able to apply information from stakeholders in the development of environmental strategy action plans
  • Being able to take on complex information and present it in a well-written, easily understandable format for the business and stakeholders

What was your background before starting this role? 


I was previously an H&S advisor; I then took on an Environmental role as a secondment and never went back. 

What are you most proud of in your career? 


I am very proud of gaining associate level membership with IEMA and working towards MIEMA, thus cementing my role within the business and the industry.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time? 


I see myself naturally progressing within the business and industry, to be seen as a stand out practitioner with an impeccable reputation, working for an exemplar organisation. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in construction? 

Give it a go! Forget about any misconceptions and stereotypical impressions you may have been given about the industry – it’s a modern, dynamic industry to be part of with a vast range of career opportunities, and it can provide huge rewards and job satisfaction.