A recent survey has found that the exponential growth of environmental professionals has plateaued.


While the green collar jobs recorded 25 per cent increases in 2010/11, this year's flat figures reflect confusion regarding the carbon economy says Julie Honore, whose firm, Envirosearch, undertook the survey for the sixth consecutive year. 


The safesearch annual remuneration survey, conducted in association with envirosearch, also illustrates the changing nature of the environment profession as less than a quarter of survey respondents saw the upcoming carbon price as one of the top issues faced by environment leaders. 

“In 2010, there was significant movement at the general manager sustainabiity and environment level with heavy demand for these skills," Ms Honore said. 

"With initiatives such as mandatory disclosure looming, many organisations were offering attractive salaries, including lucrative bonus programs, to attract key talent.” 

“The salary survey points to the industry stabilising after significant growth and, given the events unfolding in the global economy, there is a sense of caution being exercised both in terms of expansion and in the payment of bonuses,” said Ms Honore. 

“The emphasis from organisations currently is on risk management rather than seeking opportunities for competitive advantage.” 

“Although most of the heavy emitters have already recruited their key team, those on the cusp of being affected are waiting for more surety before they invest in staff and resources. The winners will be the consultancies and contractors as companies buy-in the expertise on a short-term basis prior to bringing that expertise in-house.” 

The survey found that the fixed salary component of heads of environment/sustainability roles increased by 6.7% however the absence of bonuses resulted in an overall decrease in total earnings of around 5%. Over the past 12 months, the number of appointments at the senior level in particular has also reduced significantly.