(Senior) Programme Manager – Sustainability Standards & Certification

ECOS - Environmental Coalition on Standards

Deadline for applications: 17 April 2022

VSS are guidelines and criteria set by producers and service providers to demonstrate their commitment to good environmental and social practices. They are used in all sectors, like food, textiles and even heavy industries. Some of the better-known voluntary standards include Fairtrade, Oeko-tex, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council, ISCC. If environmentally ambitious, trustworthy, and developed in in a transparent and inclusive way, they can play a role in advancing policy goals related to sustainability, especially in the absence of legislation. However, without these prerequisites, they risk being shallow and used for greenwashing purposes.

About the role: This new role within our organisation will investigate these standards systems, their credibility as governance mechanisms, and how they can support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The position will contribute to shaping our vision and positioning on the topic, as well as drive our contribution to a key project looking at the robustness of biobased products certification schemes.

Your main tasks will be to:

  • Develop and implement an ECOS strategy and positioning for Voluntary Sustainability Standards and certifications, and collaborate with ECOS Programme Managers on any development/use.  
  • Drive the implementation of a Horizon project looking at the robustness of certification schemes for biobased products.
  • Represent ECOS in relevant meetings, such as meetings of standardisation organisations or European institutions, UN fora, and workshops, conferences and other platforms
  • Engage and collaborate with our members, other NGOs, certification & sustainability schemes, companies and relevant stakeholders
  • Develop regular updates, briefings, positions and publications for our target audiences
  • Prepare funding applications and ensure proper reporting to funders

Skills and experience required:

  • Relevant professional experience, preferably with international NGOs, institutions, consultancies, or companies working in the environmental field
  • Knowledge of or exposure to standardisation systems & certification schemes
  • Familiarity with the work of international organisations involved in VSS (such as UN programmes), as well as organisations such as ISEAL
  • Commitment to the values, vision and mission of environmental NGOs
  • Strong analytical skills, demonstrated experience in research & ability to translate technical content into relatable information
  • Excellent time and project management skills
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent writing, communication, networking and negotiation skills
  • Fluent English, other languages an asset

What we offer:

  • Support in applying for a Belgian work permit, where relevant. We welcome applications from candidates around the world
  • An open-ended Belgian contract with a competitive salary package
  • A benefits package (meal vouchers, pension scheme, 13th month, excellent insurances, public transport, eco-cheques etc.)
  • A flexible, dynamic, and very pleasant international working environment
  • Being part of a dedicated team whose common goal is to protect the environment
  • A commitment to an inclusive and empowering approach to addressing our environmental challenges.

How to apply:

Applicants should send a CV and cover letter in English by no later than 17 April 2022 to: [email protected], with the subject line “PM-VSS: your name”. The first round of interviews will take place shortly after the application deadline. We regret that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

 ECOS is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. At ECOS, we believe diversity is what makes our work richer and our team stronger. Your race, nationality, colour, gender, age, religion, disability, status, or sexual orientation are NOT important to us, we value your knowledge and commitment. If you believe you can contribute to our common goal, we encourage you to apply.



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