What does an Environmental Consultant do for Businesses?

Written By: Tate Hunter | Jun 17, 2024

Time to Read 7 Minutes

What does an Environmental Consultant do for Businesses?
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The Smart Way to Manage Environmental Challenges: Hire a Consultant!

Whether you're operating a small industrial operation or a multinational tech empire, environmental regulations are something you need to be aware of and manage effectively.

So, what does that mean for you? It means staying informed and proactive. We understand that your main focus is on serving customers and running your business. Diving into complex environmental regulations and figuring out how they apply can be daunting. To complicate matters further, while meeting regulations is essential, going the extra mile can set your business apart, enhancing your reputation, improving efficiency, and even opening up new opportunities.

Sound overwhelming? It is!

That's where environmental consultants come in. They handle the complexities of compliance and help you achieve higher environmental standards. The bottom line: if you think you might need a hand with your company's environmental program, you should probably talk to a consultant. They're your partners in navigating regulations and implementing forward-thinking strategies, ultimately saving you time, worry, and money.

Okay, but how? What exactly do they do?

What do environmental consultants do?

Environmental consultants are hired to help businesses navigate complex environmental regulations, requirements, and initiatives. While services may vary, there are key areas where they typically provide assistance.

Their activities generally fall into two main categories, which we already hinted at:

  1. Achieving Environmental Compliance: This includes permits, plans, approvals, reporting, and training to ensure businesses meet all regulatory requirements.
  2. Going Beyond Environmental Compliance: This encompasses audits, assessments, and green initiatives that help businesses exceed regulations and achieve higher sustainability and environmental performance.

Sold already? We've helped countless businesses with all of these (and more!) over the past several decades. If you're ready to get started with an environmental consulting team that can do it all, reach out to us here at RMA. We'd love to learn more about how we can help your operation reach its environmental goals!

Back to it - these categories sometimes overlap, but together they represent the comprehensive support environmental consultants offer. Let's take a closer look!

Environmental Consultant Taking Notes at Industrial Facility

Achieving Environmental Compliance

Not surprisingly, the main thing that environmental consultants do is lend a hand with environmental compliance. Environmental compliance means following all applicable laws, standards, regulations, and requirements that relate to a business on the environmental side.

Environmental Permits, Plans, & Approvals

  • Stormwater Permits (NPDES Permits): Consultants help apply for permits and ensure compliance through regular sampling, testing, and site recommendations.
  • Recycling Permits & Approvals: Consultants determine necessary permits for recycling operations and guide through the application process.
  • Air Quality Permits: Consultants help businesses obtain necessary air permits, ensuring compliance with emissions regulations and helping manage reporting and monitoring requirements.
  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs): These plans often accompany stormwater permits and outline how your facility prevents discharging polluted stormwater. A consultant can create this plan and guide you on its implementation.
  • SPCC Plans: For businesses dealing with oil or petroleum, consultants develop Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plans and can assist with inspections, training, and documentation.

Environmental Reporting

  • TRI Reporting: Consultants identify, quantify, and report toxic chemical releases, ensuring accuracy and compliance with regulations.
  • Tier II Reporting: Consultants manage hazardous material reporting across different locations, ensuring compliance with regulations from various authorities.

Environmental Training

  • Required Training: Consultants provide required annual training for things like SPCC plans and stormwater permits, ensuring staff are knowledgeable and compliant with regulations.
  • Skill-Based Compliance Training: Consultants offer training on specific compliance-related skills like proper stormwater sampling, using a pH meter, and best practices for site housekeeping.

Upward Trending Green Bar Graph in Business Office

Going Beyond Environmental Compliance

Environmental consultants don't just help with compliance; they also assist businesses in going beyond regulatory requirements to achieve higher sustainability and environmental performance. The goal here is to foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation in environmental practices.

Environmental Audits & Assessments

  • Environmental Audits: This one could also fall under the compliance umbrella, but they are typically not actually required by a regulation. Consultants can conduct periodic audits - like detailed inspections - to help identify and rectify any compliance issues before they escalate.
  • Phase I/Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs): Likewise, these ESAs relate to environmental compliance, but are not necessarily required by an environmental regulation (though they may be required by a lender!). Phase I ESAs performed by consultants are crucial for property acquisitions, identifying potential environmental issues through thorough inspections. If contamination is suspected, Phase II ESAs provide a deeper assessment to determine the extent, cause, and possible remedies for any contamination found.

Green Initiatives

  • Sustainability Programs: Environmental consultants help businesses implement sustainability programs, from simple initiatives like recycling and water conservation to complex projects like renewable energy adoption and carbon-neutral operations. These programs enhance public perception and can lead to cost savings and increased profitability.
  • Environmental Management Systems (EMS): Consultants assist in developing and implementing EMS to ensure continual environmental improvement and regulatory compliance. These systems help businesses identify areas for improvement, set goals, and monitor progress to enhance environmental performance and sustainability.
  • Environmental Training (Again!): Beyond mandatory compliance training, consultants provide sustainable training that goes further, teaching advanced practices in environmental stewardship, such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, and innovative pollution prevention techniques. This training helps businesses exceed regulatory requirements and achieve higher sustainability standards.

Smiling Environmental Consultant in Safety Vest

Environmental consultants exist to save you time, money, and worry.

Environmental consultants are here to help your business thrive by handling complex environmental issues. They exist to save you time, reduce stress, and cut costs. Why spend hours buried in paperwork, trying to decipher regulations or start a sustainability program, when you could be running your business? Hiring an expert is not only more efficient but also more cost-effective.

From compliance to sustainability initiatives, their expertise can make a significant difference. While we've highlighted some key areas where consultants can assist, there's much more they can do to support your operations. Whether you need help with permits, training, audits, or green projects, environmental consultants have you covered.

Interested in how RMA can assist with your environmental needs? Contact us to discuss our services and see how we can help your business achieve its environmental goals.

Partner with RMA for Expert Environmental Consulting

Feeling overwhelmed? You're not alone. Since 1992, RMA has been dedicated to helping companies achieve and maintain compliance with environmental laws and regulations. We understand the environmental challenges that industrial and commercial facilities face and can ensure your business stays compliant and out of trouble.

Our experienced staff has visited countless commercial and industrial operations nationwide and overseas. We've helped businesses of all sizes, from multinational corporations to small family-owned operations. No matter your size, industry, or location, we're ready to assist you in both meeting compliance requirements and exceeding them through greener strategies.

If you're facing any environmental issues and need a consulting firm with a proven track record, reach out to us. Even if we can't help directly, we'll guide you in the right direction.

Shoot us an email at info@rmagreen.com, visit our Contact Us page, or call us at 888-RMA-0230 to learn how we can support your operation with environmental regulations and beyond.

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