Director of Sustainability - Full-time
Lisle, IL
Full Time

The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned nonprofit dedicated to protecting and growing trees locally and globally.  While the Arboretum has been dedicated to planting trees and greening the environment since its founding, we are seeking an experienced Director of Sustainability to oversee and manage the formal and ongoing roll-out of the Arboretum’s strategically important sustainability initiative.  In order to be successful in this position, the Director will work with staff across the organization to assess our current environmental “foot print” and devise collective plans and initiatives to significantly improve the Arboretum’s impact on the environment. The Director will be responsible for developing and prioritizing goals outlined in the sustainability initiative, set metrics, and report out on the Arboretum’s progress. This is an incredible opportunity to be part of a team working together to make the Arboretum exceptional.  

Position Summary: Lead an institutional commitment to transformational sustainability goals. Assess the Arboretum’s environmental impacts and develop specific targets, approaches, and policies that will lead The Morton Arboretum to have a net positive environmental impact. Document sustainability improvements by implementing and maintaining a sustainability tracking, assessment, and rating system.

Essential Functions:

  • Develop, lead, and act as a catalyst for institutional environmental stewardship and energy and resource conservation.

  • Confer and coordinate with the Vice President of Finance and CFO on significant sustainability initiatives, including related financial analyses and modeling.

  • Design and lead the implementation of a multi-year sustainability master plan. Develop an action plan with specific targets, approaches, and policies that will lead the Arboretum to having a net positive environmental impact. 

  • Assess the Arboretum’s environmental impact, including carbon footprint, material use and waste stream, transportation, water, and energy.  

  • Prepare decision support packages for candidate projects, including financial analysis to support the projects funded through the operating budget or a proposed, dedicated Sustainability Fund. Present proposed projects to the Board Buildings and Grounds Committee and keep that committee informed about performance and metrics related to sustainability efforts.

  • Organize, arrange, and plan task force workshops and meetings. Manage the process for creation of agendas and supporting materials for committee meetings. Drive and track workflow, schedules, projects, and committee decisions.

  • Research, identify, and secure external grants and other funding for sustainability initiatives. Identify and facilitate Arboretum participation in rebate or other savings programs. Submit grants and proposals for project and initiative funding.

  • Collaborate with the Learning and Engagement team and with Marketing and Communications staff to enhance awareness about the Arboretum’s environmental sustainability initiatives with internal and external audiences. 

  • Stay current on related laws, regulations, products and programs, and advise on changes in law/regulations that may affect Arboretum policies, require new policy implementation, or affect operations. Develop and maintain an expert knowledge of LEED, US Green Building Council, and similar programs, certifications, and standards.

  • Present information on Arboretum sustainability initiatives to Arboretum audiences and in professional networks and organizations.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:  Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred in a related field. 5+ years professional experience in planning, implementing, and managing sustainability-related programs and initiatives required. Skilled in examining and reengineering processes, formulating policy and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures. Experience in budgeting and quantitative data analysis required. LEED accredited professional with a Sustainability Excellence Professional certification preferred. Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google applications beneficial. 

Success Factors:  Broad knowledge and a passion for sustainability concepts and practices; experience in resource conservation and implementing sustainable practices. Experience in team management and partnership building.  Skilled in examining and reengineering processes, formulating policy and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures. Strong interpersonal, group presentation, written and oral communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of staff groups. Ability to embrace and align with our employee core values to take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: Requires some physical activity: limited lifting and carrying (up to 20 lbs.), bending, climbing (up to 15 feet), pushing and pulling.

  • Work Environment: Work is performed in a combined indoor and outdoor setting. Involves walking and occasional national travel.

  • Equipment: General office equipment and Arboretum vehicles.

For full consideration, please include resume and cover letter with application.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion of diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.  

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment. 

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