Environment specialists (French speaking retainer consultants), Multiple positions

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Sustainability is a key part of UNOPS strategic plan for 2014-2017. Therefore, improving Environmental Management performance by preventing or mitigating adverse impacts on the environment will support delivering projects in a sustainable manner. UNOPS is implementing an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) aligned to the ISO 14001 standard to help identify and mitigate environmental impacts of its operations.

With this system UNOPS intends to manage its environmental risks and impacts throughout the life cycle of projects in a systematic manner that leads to continuous improvement and development of local capacity. Therefore, UNOPS intends to extend the application of the ESMS to all its operations and embed ESMS as a part of normal value creation in the UNOPS business cycle.

Additionally, UNOPS complies with the environmental policies and frameworks of its partners including several multilateral and bilateral donor institutions, governments and other stakeholders. To ensure compliance with UNOPS own HSE systems and policies, environmental safeguards and policies of partners, UNOPS requires support from qualified Environment Specialists on a retainer basis. The Environment Specialist will be responsible for identifying interactions of the project with the environment, defining the associated impacts of these interactions and  proposing mitigation measures as well as protocols for implementing them. The specialist may also be engaged in monitoring and reporting on UNOPS ESMS. 

Functional Responsibilities

The Environment Specialist will be responsible for assisting UNOPS to adopt and make use of the UNOPS ESMS and ensure compliance with stakeholder requirements including policies and frameworks of bilateral and multilateral donor agencies. This will involve translations of all environment safeguard policies, requirements and laws into actionable mitigation options and operational documents and development of plans for implementation of actions. The Environment Specialist will report to the UNOPS HSE Manager.

The assignments may require short or long term travel to field locations in Africa, East Asia or other UNOPS operational sites depending on operational needs.

The Environment Specialist will be responsible for:

Definition and operationalization of the environmental aspects of the ESMS including conducting environmental impact assessments:
  • Establish environmental baselines;
  • Identify project-environment interactions and environmental impacts and risks;
  • Review the local regulatory requirements as well requirements emerging from compliance with donor agency safeguards frameworks and policies;
  • Strategize the development of adequate instruments for implementation of ESMS and develop appropriate plans;
  • Prepare any initial reports or recommendations;
  • Interact and consult with relevant actors and stakeholders;
Providing support in procurement, management and monitoring for implementation of the ESMS
  • Identify if third party services need to be procured to meet the ESMS requirements and/or donor and other stakeholder safeguards requirements or policies;
  • Develop relevant TORs and assist in procurement of services;
  • Ensure that the deliverables adequately address the requirements of the various stakeholders including any operational documents such as Environmental Impact Assessments and operation manuals;
Support monitoring and reporting activities
  • Develop implementation plans including monitoring and documentation mechanisms and appropriate budgets for incorporating environmental compliance requirements;
  • Define relevant stakeholder responsibilities and monitoring mechanisms;
  • Provide adequate document controls and reviews;
In addition to the above specific tasks the specialist may also;
  • Contribute to the analysis of the organization’s ESM risk profile and determination of key controls;
  • Provide technical advice to project developers on what needs to be included in project proposals to embed ESM into new projects;
  • Carry out training on ESM in line with UNOPS standards and best practices;
  • Implement the process for performance review and reporting;
  • Assist project teams to develop and implement ESM Plans; 
  • Assist Project and field offices to establish monitoring of environmental performance through inspections, meetings, reporting and internal auditing;
  • Assist field offices to embed environmental issues into the processes of design and construction of infrastructure;
  • Assist field offices to meet UNOPS HSE standards and to prepare for and meet the requirements of external audits for ISO 14 001;

Education and certifications
  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Environmental Sciences or Engineering, Environmental Management, Civil Engineering, Natural Sciences or other relevant discipline is required. A Bachelor’s Degree with two additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of a Master’s degree;
  • Project management certification (e.g. Prince2 Foundation) is desirable;
  • Certification or accreditation in implementing multilateral development bank’s safeguards frameworks and/or policies would be considered an asset.
Work Experience
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in environmental management systems (EMS) development and environmental monitoring (environmental assessments, risk-based assessments, implementation) is required;
  • Experience working on and implementing multilateral and bilateral agencies safeguards frameworks and/or policies would be an asset;
  • Relevant experience working in developing countries especially in Africa is an asset;
  • Relevant environmental assessment experience of infrastructure projects is an asset;
  • Experience of third party certification audits for environmental management is an asset.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in oral and written French is required; 
  • Intermediate level in oral and written English is required;
  • Knowledge of other UN languages is considered an asset.
Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type: ICA
Contract level: IICA2
Contract duration: One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Additional Considerations
  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners’ needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.