Senior Innovation Manager on Better Environment

The Sustainable Trade Initiative
Utrecht, Netherlands
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Are you always looking for the crux of the matter, turning assumptions inside-out? And are you motivated to apply your critical analytical skills to (re)design strategy to improve impact on the environment and the lives of rural communities worldwide? We are looking for a Senior Innovation Manager on Better Environment to strengthen the transformative work of IDH.


As part of our new 2021-2025 strategy, three impact areas that serve as “north star” for IDH to drive its strategies were selected: Better Jobs, Better Income, and Better Environment. The Better Environment impact area has further been defined as: 1) improved availability and quality of water resources, and optimized use of available water resources; 2) improved quality/health of soils; 3) increased area of forests and other natural ecosystems, reduced degradation of natural resources (incl. deforestation); and 4) the reduction, and where possible removal, of greenhouse gas emissions.

The role

Within this role you will drive the innovation and insights agenda of IDH on achieving a better environment. We do this by deploying sustainability solutions in international trade. You will analyze the success factors (and failures) of existing interventions and use these to develop and improve interventions to generate higher impact. You will work closely with colleagues of the IDH Business Units that work on the Better Environment theme. You are part of the Innovation & Insights Business Unit and you report to its Global Director. You will be part of the Business Unit’s Management Team as well.


Key responsibilities include:


Innovation & strategy

  • Lead the innovation agenda on key topics that are relevant for the impact area of Better Environment, like innovations in Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and product Life Cycle Assessments.
  • Provide input aimed at improving the quality of IDH’s interventions (i.e. in the area of forest protection and restoration), based on scientific insights and lessons learnt from field-level projects.
  • Working closely with two other Seniors in identifying the synergies and trade-offs between achieving impact on Better Environment and Better Income and Better Jobs.
  • Supporting other Business Units in translating these insights in their continued program and project design.

Thought leadership & sharing of insights

  • Represent IDH externally on the key topics included in the Better Environment area.
  • Analyze the success factors (and failures) of existing interventions aimed at contributing to Better Environment impact.
  • Reflect with colleagues on whether existing interventions need to be changed based on insights, and provide technical advice on how this can be done to deliver success.
  • You will also use the key insights to create public facing knowledge products to reach and create change with key stakeholders of IDH.
  • Identify opportunities for IDH programs and program partners to deliver on Science-based emission targets to meet global climate & environmental goals.
  • Develop Good Practice Guidance for climate action connected to Land-use, Land-use change and forestry and develop environmental risk and resilience assessment frameworks for IDH’s interventions in various landscapes, commodity value chains and manufacturing sectors

Who you are

You are an organized, service-oriented team player with a strong interest in supply chain sustainability and climate change. You find partnership building a necessary and fascinating art.  You are both practical and analytical, work well in a team, flexible but also driven and able to work independently and in response to needs of the organization. You work in a results-oriented, flexible and hands-on manner.


What you bring

  • A Master’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture, (Agro)ecology, Environmental Sciences, Forest and Nature Conservation, Agriculture or Development Economics with a minor or experience in Environmental Sciences or similar, or other relevant discipline.
  • 5-10 years working experience in the areas of sustainable (and regenerative) agriculture or forestry, environmental resource management, climate change mitigation.
  • Experience in driving business-led or sector-focused environmental target setting and monitoring initiatives, especially in a multi-stakeholder setting, is an advantage.
  • Experience in capturing and linking environmental “returns” with economic and social returns to create a clear business case for companies and governments to invest in environmental strategies based on data of risks and opportunities
  • High levels of entrepreneurial, social, and professional skills, capability and tenacity to drive continued multi-stakeholder engagement to align and achieve different interests from business, community and government in a culturally diverse environment.
  • Strong network in the world of climate change, conservation and supply chain sustainability.
  • Excellent spoken and written communication skills in English. Additional languages are an advantage but not required.
  • Willingness to travel internationally (when travel is allowed again after COVID-19).

Who we are

IDH brings companies, CSOs, governments and others in public-private partnerships together to realize green & inclusive growth at scale in commodity sectors and sourcing areas. Our approaches are designed to drive sustainability from niche to norm in mainstream markets, delivering impact on Sustainable Development Goals. We focus on creating positive impact on Better Jobs, Better Environment and Better Income. In this we are supported by multiple European governments, including our institutional donors: BUZA, SECO and DANIDA. IDH is a company that works together with over 600 companies, CSOs, financial institutions, producer organizations and governments in 12 sectors and 22 landscapes in over 40 countries worldwide.


What we offer

IDH offers a dynamic international environment and an enthusiastic and passionate team. As an IDH team member you can contribute to positive global change. The position is for 32-40 hours per week, initially for one year, with the intention to extend. We offer a gross monthly salary between €3850 and €4500 (based on a 40 hour week) and solid fringe benefits, including a good pension scheme. The position based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Candidates are based in the Netherlands or should have permission to work in the Netherlands.



Would you like to apply? Just send us your motivation and resume in English by using the following hyperlink:

We encourage applicants to respond as soon as possible, latest by December 18th.