Environmental consulting is often a form of compliance consulting, in which the consultant ensures that the client maintains an appropriate measure of compliance with environmental regulations. There are many types of environmental consultants, but the two main groups are those who enter the field from the industry side, and those who enter the field from the environmentalist side.
Environmental consultants work in a very wide variety of fields. Whether it be providing construction services such as Asbestos Hazard Assessments or Lead Hazard Assessments or conducting due diligence reports for customers to rid them of possible sanctions. Consultancies may generalise across a wide range of disciplines or specialise in certain areas of environmental consultancy such as waste management.
Environmental consultants usually have an undergraduate degree and sometimes even master's degree in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, or some other science discipline. They should have deep knowledge on environmental regulations, which they can advise particular clients in the private industry or public government institutions to help them steer clear of possible fines, legal action or misguided transactions.
Environmental consulting spans a wide spectrum of industry. The most basic industry that environmental consulting remains prominent in is the commercial estate market. Many commercial lenders rely on both small and large environmental firms. Many commercial lenders will not lend monies to borrowers if the property or personal capital does not exceed the worth of the land. If an environmental problem is discovered property owners that deem themselves a responsible party will most likely reserve monies in escrow in order to resolve the environmental impact.
With increasing numbers of construction, agriculture, and scientific companies employing environmental consultancies, the industry can expect growth in the vicinity of 9.7 percent in 2008, amidst mounting public concern over environmental degradation and climate change. And while some companies are genuinely motivated by concern for the environment, for others, hiring consultants to appear to be "going green" has proven to be a useful marketing tool. Growing government funding into renewable energy and technologies producing low emissions is also helping growth, as organizations investing in research and development in these areas are often major employers of environmental consultants.
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“The people shall not be restrained from peacefully assembling and consulting for their common good, nor from applying to the legislature by petitions, or remonstrances for redress of their grievances.”
—James Madison (17511836)