Website Detroit Zoo

Location: Royal Oak, MI


The Manager of Sustainability oversees strategic environmental policy and serves as project manager for all ecological projects and initiatives related to water, air, and waste management. The manager will act as liaison with the Detroit Zoological Society and the greater Detroit community. They will work closely with state and local organizations, authorities, and units of government.

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is a leader in sustainability and has developed a unique, green road map called the Greenprint. This evolving plan guides our operation and is the plan by which we refine and improve our facilities and daily practices, develop new policies and programs, and improve green literacy and action in our community.

Zoos and aquariums must be leaders in environmental stewardship to ensure safe habitats for all species. DZS has made a commitment to be a leader in environmental practices and education. This role will assist with growing our sustainability mission.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop environmental policy as it pertains to purchasing, recycling, construction and other Zoo operations .
  • Identify, develop and implement strategic and innovative environmental initiatives to establish DZS as a sustainability leader.
  • Work collaboratively with other Zoo departments in energy management and energy efficiency projects; interface with Humane Education, creating educational messages.
  • Inspire and educate staff and public to adopt green practices.
  • Develop and champion “green” initiatives and processes.
  • Continually research changing trends and environmental issues.
  • Participate in trade associations and organizations.
  • Oversee the development of green building technology and explore the attainment of LEED classifications for new and renovated space.
  • Work with Development to seek and obtain funding for green initiatives.
  • Monitor and track key performance indicators and develop metrics for environmental initiatives and programs.
  • Monitor and manage all utility data, tracking energy use while developing strategies to reduce use.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Work Conditions

Regular work schedule will primarily be Monday – Friday, but may be required to work occasional evenings and weekends or for special events. The work environment is generally comfortable and most work is indoors, although the position may require work outdoors with exposure to seasonal weather conditions for special events, tours, openings, etc.

Physical Requirements

The Manager of Sustainability must have the ability to perform the essential functions of the job satisfactorily. The job requires moderate physical effort on a daily basis such as walking, bending, stooping, lifting, sitting and standing for an extended period of time. The manager must be able to lift up to 25 pounds. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Engineering, Facilities Management a or similar program with 3-5 years of experience in a professional position.
  • Zoo experience and/or experience working directly with all levels of management on strategic organizational issues.
  • Must demonstrate initiative, strong problem-solving, resolution and organizational skills, in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment.
  • Must be forward-thinking and have high ethical standards, an appropriate professional image, and the ability to build trust.
  • Should have sound knowledge, analytical ability, good judgment and strong “big-picture” strategic focus while simultaneously maintaining an operational, implementation and detail oriented perspective.
  • Must be articulate and be able to relate to people at all levels of an organization and possesses excellent communication and listening skills. Must be comfortable with public speaking and have excellent presentation skills.
  • Must be able to function as a good educator, trainer and facilitator who is trustworthy; willing to share information and seek advice outside of his/her own area of expertise.
  • Must be able to operate in a PC network environment, and should have detailed hands-on experience with Microsoft Office Suite, and basic internet navigation skills.

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