Connecting Talent to opportunity

Connecting Talent to opportunity

Head of Sustainability


Job Description:

The transition to a sustainable future is one of the most complex and urgent challenges the world faces today. That’s why in HMRC, we’re building a culture where sustainability will be embedded in everything we do. ​

As one of the UK’s biggest employers we have a responsibility and opportunity to lead by example and use our knowledge, skills and resources to positively influence the actions and behaviours of others – whether that’s colleagues, customers, partners or suppliers. We should embrace this opportunity to make a real difference and put sustainability at the forefront of our activity. ​

For HMRC, sustainability means social responsibility, economic responsibility and environmental responsibility. What this means in practice is broad ranging - and includes delivering a smaller, better and greener estate for our offices, encouraging our people to volunteer in their local community and helping our customers to act digitally which helps us in turn reduce our carbon footprint. By harnessing the passion, dedication and commitment of our people, we will impact the lives of people across the country, and indeed our entire planet, and so help secure the future for generations to come.​

Job description

Reporting to the Director of Communications, who is HMRC’s Sustainability Champion at Executive Committee (ExCom), this is a senior leadership role requiring the incumbent to reach across the whole organisation of 60,000+ people. ​

The Sustainability team is a diverse team of 20 people working in our Regional Centres across the UK. The Head of Sustainability is the head of the sustainability function within the department – responsible for devising and delivering our Sustainability Strategy - and also Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for the Net Zero Programme, which aims to achieve our agreed target of Net Zero carbon emissions across our operations by 2040. ​

The Programme will deliver five projects: net zero roadmaps, green skills, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, improved sustainability data and smart buildings, with objectives to understand how the tax system could support government environmental objectives and to socialise the concept of ‘tax and the environment’. ​

You will also have a broader, enterprise-wide role as a Senior Civil Servant within HMRC.

Key Responsibilities ​

  • ​Leading the Sustainability team and being an effective Senior Responsible Owner of the department's Net Zero Programme (NZP).​
  • Delivering HMRC’s enterprise-level Sustainability Strategy, guided by our ‘north star’ of making HMRC the most sustainable community in Government.​
  • Advising the HMRC Board and Executive Committee in your role as the department's most senior sustainability subject matter expert.​
  • Being a visible senior leader across the HMRC enterprise, not least by actively modelling the behaviours expected of a Senior Civil Servant, including with regards to equality, diversity and inclusion.​
  • Contributing to the Strategy Committee and leading the HMRC Sustainability Board and Net Zero Programme Board.​
  • Leading the sustainability function within HMRC, driving forward delivery against the strategy and collaborating to ensure sustainability is embedded in HMRC decision-making and governance.
Person specification

We are seeking an experienced leader and manager with deep sustainability knowledge and a demonstrable track record of delivering results. We want to hear from candidates with a real passion for sustainability and the role that this important subject plays within a large, complex and high-profile national body. We require someone who has the skills and experience to drive forward the sustainability agenda in HMRC, building on the great work that has already been done, and with the vision and ability to make our ambitions a reality.​

The successful applicant will need to demonstrate relevant experience and effective delivery of the following essential criteria.​

Essential Criteria:​

  • Demonstrable experience of leading a sustainability function in a large, complex organisation, most likely at national scale.​
  • Experience as a Senior Responsible Owner (or equivalent) for a significant programme, ideally linked to the sustainability agenda, including ensuring efficient delivery of programme goals and benefits realisation, and effective management of risks and issues.​
  • Evidence of an ability to build and maintain relationships with senior leaders in a large, complex organisation, quickly establishing credibility, building trust and with an ability to positively influence at all levels to deliver results.​
  • The ability to understand and interpret the bigger picture, complemented by excellent judgement and evidence of advising very senior officials (for example chief executive officers and board members, or their equivalents).​
  • Strong leadership skills with experience of creating and leading diverse and inclusive teams and an ability to motivate, inspire and guide others.​
  • A solid understanding of sustainability reporting frameworks (eg. Greening Government Commitments (GGC) or other similar impact measurement frameworks.​

​Desirable qualifications and professional memberships:​

  • ​Member of Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment​
  • Association of Project Managers (APM) Chartered Project Professional