Environmental Sustainability Officer

World Food Programme (WFP)

Rome, Italy 🇮🇹

WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance.

Are you an Environmental Management specialist interested in using your professional experience and skills to join WFP teams working towards ending global hunger? 

We are looking for a mid-senior level Environmental Management professional to join our Environmental Sustainability team. This is a great opportunity to become an integral member of a diverse and passionate team implementing Environmental Management Systems, globally. You will be based in Rome, Italy (WFP Headquarters) with frequent travel to field locations.


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  The mission of WFP is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.  Every day, WFP works worldwide to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and children, can access the nutritious food they need. 


WFP’s Environmental Sustainability Unit predominantly works with field locations (Regional Bureaux, Country and Field Offices) to mainstream environmental management into day-to-day activities, primarily related to support and enabling operations. This avoids and reduces operating costs, manages environmental and reputational risks, improves resource management, and protects beneficiaries where they live. Focus areas include reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing and properly managing waste, reducing water consumption, promoting sustainable procurement decisions, and increasing staff awareness around environmental management. WFP is a leader in environmental sustainability within the UN system and you will be joining the team responsible for the implementation of its environmental policy.


The Environmental Sustainability Officer is a technical specialist who supports a multi-disciplinary team of regional environmental advisors and environmental specialists at HQ. S/he supports a programme of work to implement Environmental Management Systems in WFP country operations globally in accordance with corporate commitments in WFP’s Environmental Policy and accompanying Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework. This work helps WFP to systematically measure, manage and report on WFP’s environmental risks, and reduce operating costs by enabling cost-effective environmental actions in WFP’s facilities and operations.

The post holder is expected to draw on prior experience of implementing environmental management systems in contexts like that WFP operates in. S/he will also contribute to UN and WFP commitments in relation to the ‘Strategy for sustainability management in the United Nations system, 2020–2030 (Phase I)’ – approved by the Chief Executives Board for Coordination in 2019 – and to the Sustainable Development Goals. These efforts should contribute to measurable environmental outcomes that confirm WFP as a leader in environmental sustainability in the United Nations system.

This position covers the core compliance with UN-wide initiatives and WFP’s specific commitment to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as to work towards a wider framework of environmental managements systems addressing areas of water, waste, and natural resources.

The person in such a position is a technical advisor and implementer of environmental management systems, standards, and practices. The position allows WFP to have technically well-founded programmes, operate from an environmental sustainability standpoint, and affirm its leadership in “greening up to the last mile” within the UN system.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

  • Support the implementation of WFP’s Environmental Policy (in collaboration with WFP’s Programme division) and relevant components of WFP’s Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework.
  • Guide and support the implementation of WFP’s Environmental Management System (EMS) for WFP, consistent with the requirements of the international standard ISO 14001:2015 and in accordance with the commitments of the UN Sustainability Strategy. This work specifically includes:
  1.  Ensure WFP’s major environmental impacts and areas of risk are identified and managed through ongoing scale-up and implementation of EMS globally, including ongoing review and monitoring of relevant corporate/external indicators and targets to measure progress.
  2. Oversee the collection and reporting of environmental baseline data for reporting to a range of internal and external audiences.
  3. Provide technical support to Regional Advisors and Country Offices that significantly advance the development and implementation of EMS, delivering key enabling elements necessary to embed environmental management within corporate structures and normative guidance, and contributing substantively to EMS implementation in the Rome HQ.
  4. Coordinate the ongoing development of EMS implementation strategies in field locations, including advising on EMS priorities, objectives, and action plans, drafting and developing new EMS guidance and manuals, documenting compliance obligations, and maintaining an accurate information management system.    
  5. Support Regional Environmental Advisors and relevant HQ and CO staff throughout WFP to integrate cost-effective environmental management into standard operating procedures, through providing access to technical expertise, best practice advice, and training.
  6. Coordinate the development and implementation of environmental awareness-raising, training, and communication materials about the environmental policy and EMS for both internal and external audiences, including workshop agendas, presentations, work processes, and standard operating procedures.  
  7. Support the communications and outreach strategy of the Environmental Unit in relation to the implementation of the environmental policy and of EMS by drafting and/or reviewing environmental campaign and awareness-raising materials, case studies, briefing notes, news articles for in-house and external audiences, reviewing interagency reports for comment and contributing to other support materials as required.
  • Support the Environmental Sustainability Manager in donor/executive board liaison related to environmental policy and EMS implementation. Contribute to preparing funding requests and business case opportunities for donor governments’ consideration and work within established corporate processes to solicit resources from the private sector/academia to support EMS activities.
  • Contribute to the ongoing implementation of WFP’s environmental oversight and reporting mechanisms, including branch, divisional and corporate reporting requirements. 
  • Incorporating gender perspectives in areas of work, to ensure equal participation of women and men. 
  • Serve as an advocate for strong action in environmental management within WFP and in the UN System, through interaction with relevant divisional and regional staff, and by representing WFP on inter-agency environmental management bodies and joint initiatives as appropriate.
  • Other accountabilities, as required.



  • University qualification Environmental Management, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management or related subject is required.
  • Formal training and/or accreditation in ISO14001 is highly regarded


  • At least five (5)-years of progressively responsible experience in environmental management, of which your experience must include the direct implementation of environmental management systems
  • Professional experience must include implementing or supporting the implementation of EMS in developing country contexts in settings similar to WFP field operations.
  • Professional experience working within, or in connection with, the UN system is highly regarded.


  • Fluency (level C) in the English language. Intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second official UN language: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and/or Portuguese (a WFP working language)


  • Knowledge in applying principles of the ISO14001 environmental standard, including internal EMS auditing and development of supporting documentation.
  • In-depth knowledge of at least two of the following disciplines: waste management, energy/GHG management, water management, environmental compliance, environmental and social impact assessments, and sustainable procurement, preferably within a developing country and humanitarian context.
  • Proficiency in MS Office software, and ability to effectively analyze data.
  • Ability to expertly write and translate complex concepts for a variety of audiences, in English
  • Ability to develop, design, and facilitate training/workshops/meetings
  • Proven ability to coordinate and effectively communicate across multiple units and departments (including headquarters, regional, and country office levels);
  • Proven ability to function successfully within the different geographic and cultural contexts.


  • Mobility is and continues to be, a core contractual requirement in WFP. The selected candidate will be employed on a fixed-term as well as a rotational contract with a probationary period of one year.
  • WFP offers an attractive compensation and benefits package including basic salary, post adjustment, relocation entitlement, travel and shipment allowances, 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, pension plan, and medical insurance. For more details, please visit icsc.un.org.


12 December 2021 

Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply

WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.