Populous is seeking a Sustainability Lead, EMEA, to join its global architectural design practice. The successful candidate will be a true innovator – a trendsetter with a comprehensive understanding of the issues and challenges faced by the architecture and design industry in driving the sustainability agenda forward. They will also have a keen interest in the sports and entertainment industries.

In this role, you will be developing and leading the sustainability agenda for Populous within the EMEA region, supporting London and EU/MENA-based studios in their practice of increased environmental responsiveness.

You will be leading specific project-related sustainability initiatives, including project design reviews, helping win new work, and supporting all sectors in best practice approaches. You will also be educating staff on the latest knowledge and legislation to help them align their projects with the practice’s environmental ambitions and commitments.

Candidates should have a proven track record working in the field of sustainability within a creative environment. Ideally, you will have a specific interest in whole life carbon design and an extensive understanding of Passivhaus performance, embodied carbon, and whole life carbon analysis.

A background in design and qualification in environmental design is essential.

Key Responsibilities

Business Development

  • Lead and grow a sustainability advisory as a source of revenue for the practice, while utilising architectural, interior, landscape, and activate teams talent + recruiting/training key members of staff across all teams
  • Lead the practice sustainability external engagement while working with the EMEA Board of Directors, EcoPOP and Marketing
  • Drive, audit and administer EMEA environmental commitments compliance and certification
  • Identify key areas of research and lead in-house execution, as well as external partnerships and marketing
  • Author publications with the aim of popularising all sustainability- focused achievements of the practice


  • A creative who will drive and influence the future sustainability trends associated with our building typologies
  • Lead sustainability advisory projects
  • Form and lead a team undertaking formal sustainability reviews of all major projects at all RIBA design stages
  • Lead a sustainability research group instigating small test projects, driving live project research, environmental analysis and design workflows. Research group members to take active design role in all major projects from competition to late design stages and regularly discuss undergoing design work with Head of Sustainability.
  • Create a network of external consultants to be brought in where in- house capabilities are insufficient
  • Oversee the quality of all evidence submitted by Populous for BREEAM and LEED assessments
  • Responsible for leading research and staff briefings with regards to latest sustainability materials and trends
  • Oversee the creation of a stadium/arena sustainability design guide


  • Overall responsibility for sustainability education, specific to the range of roles and seniority levels across the practice, strategically aligned with project requirements and client pursuits.
  • Develop and deliver a process for internal knowledge exchange and staff enrolment in external educational courses.
  • Join external thought leadership organisations such as LETI, UK Green Building Council, RIBA, NLA Net Zero.
  • Responsible for identifying R&D streams, both undergoing or future, to be investigated further, resourced, shared internally and externally.
  • Administer and oversee the payment of all BREEAM, LEED AP, and all future sustainability-driven staff subscriptions.
  • Overall responsibility for recruiting talent with focus on sustainability – designers, analysts, coordinators.

Knowledge, Skills And Experience

  • A strong and proven track record of leading the Sustainability agenda, and of driving tangible change
  • A background in creative environmental design (not necessarily architecture, but involving in creative thinking)
  • Experience of working in the role of a sustainability lead both in Europe and MENA region would be an advantage
  • Proven track record in R&D, relationships with academic institutions, presenter at conferences, published work (papers, articles, books)
  • BREEAM and LEED recognised qualification
  • Capable of delivering life cycle assessments and carbon costing exercises
  • Understanding complex digital models and design processes
  • Understanding of various environmental analysis tools, ability to interpret results
  • Ability to present sustainability work and environmental design issues in an understandable and captivating manner

If you are keen to join a creative and innovative practice, please submit your CV and portfolio (no bigger than 10mb), salary expectations and please specify your availability and whether you are eligible to work in the UK.