Consultancy – Creating an Environmental Management System (EMS) for Save the Children International


In March 2019, SCI endorsed its first Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change (ESCC) policy. Since then, Save the Children Association, via a Global Climate Crisis Task Force, has developed a global climate change declaration and action plan for the whole movement. Part of the action plan includes looking at “getting our house in order” which should see a reduction in our carbon footprint and a revision of our operations procedures that will enable Save the Children to minimise the impact of our programs and activities (both development and humanitarian) on the environment in which children are living.

One aspect of the SCI ESCC policy is to adopt an Environmental Management System (EMS) possibly in line with ISO 14000 or World Bank IFC Performance standards. Some of the members are also interested in creating an EMS for their respective organisations.


Adopting an EMS is an increasing requirement from many donors and for some of them part of their compliance procedures. Currently, there are a few institutional donors linking awards to the existence of EMS compliance, such as the World Bank, USAID, the Green Climate Fund, etc. Such compliances will have to be applied by SCI.

In addition, there is a risk for country offices of having to comply with different donors’ compliance to access grants, depending on the member that will manage the award, resulting in overloading of work to adjust to different tools for different proposals. One solution, which aligns with our ESCC policy, is to adopt an EMS that meets the standards of most of our donors. While such standards might have to be aligned with higher compliance requirements, we believe it will enable faster access to grants as we are aiming to expand our climate change awards portfolio.


To ensure we adopt an EMS that is up to our ambition stated in our “Right to a Future” Declaration and aligned to our main donor’s compliance requirements and applicable for an organisation like Save the Children International, SCI requires:

1) A scoping study to identify what are the main EMS compliances from key donors and what has been achieved by other INGO (of comparable size), UNICEF/UN agencies and by SC members

2) Map out the various functions and departments at SCI and members that will have to be involved a process to create an EMS, looking at both our development and emergency operations

3) Provide recommendations and a pathway to set up an EMS for SCI including developing any additional frameworks, processes and/or documentation required

4) Outline the gaps to achieve ISO 14000 certification

Objective of the consultancy:

The objective is to produce an implementation plan that outlines the steps and requirements for SCI to implement an EMS that will address the following questions:

· Who are the donors that are important for SCI that have adopted environmental safeguarding compliances we will need to comply with?

· Are these environmental safeguarding compliances similar and can they be answered by a unique EMS for SCI?

· What would an EMS look like in SCI? What would be the components?

· Which departments and functions from SCI will have to adjust their processes to integrate an EMS and what would need to change?

· What would be any barriers and/or challenges for SCI to implement and EMS?

· Is it relevant for SCI to aim at ISO 14000 family or ISO26000 certification and if so, what are the gaps to achieving such certification?

We envision some of the following activities to answer the above questions (not full list):

1 Desk review of existing Environmental Compliances from key donors.

The consultant will review main donors’ environmental compliances. We are not seeking for an exhaustive all SC donors review but the main ones, such as World Bank, EU donors (ECHO, Devco), USAID, GCF, DFID, CIDA, SIDA, NORAD, DANIDA…

2 Interviews with external actors and SC members, regions and countries.

The consultant will conduct 1:1 interviews with SC Netherland, SC Canada, SC Australia, SC UK and at least one of Nordic European members (Norway, Denmark, Finland or Sweden) to assess their expectation against their institutional donor requirement and their own practices. For example, SC Netherland has been certified ISO26000 and such experience will be important to capture.

In addition, the consultant will conduct interviews with:

· At least two external organisations of equivalent size than SCI that have already adopt an EMS, to learn from their own experience.

· SC regions and countries to evaluate the current practices and readiness for an EMS

3 Mapping SCI departments and functions that will have to adapt their processes to integrate environmental management procedure and standards and outlining any changes required

The consultant will work with functional representatives at SCI to discuss and outline any changes required in their work to implement an EMS. For example, but not exhaustive:

  • Supply Chain, IT, Risk Management, Award Management
  • Program and Quality (shelter, Food Security, WASH…)
  • Emergency Operations
  • Desk review of existing Environmental Compliances from key donors.

4 Analysis and outline of gaps to achieving ISO 14000 or equivalent certification

The consultant will analyse the gap to achieving such certification and will set out a rough investment needed to achieving such standards. In views of the investment required and the practices from other organisations, we expect the consultant to recommend different options to improve our environmental management system that should be fit for purpose but might be different than ISO standards.


Mid-Aug to end December


Expected deliverables are as outlined above


This piece of work is commissioned by Save the Children International, Dean Chan, International Programs Planning and Management Lead, Christophe Belperron, Global Lead – Climate Resilience and Jim Ridgwick, Director of Procurement


The consultant should have the following essential skills and knowledge:

· Proven track record in development of EMS for large organisations (including ISO 14000 certification)

· Excellent understanding of donors environmental safeguarding principles and certification process in environment sector

· Familiar with INGO work

How to apply

Applications must be submitted on or before 15th of August via email to, copy mailto:

Expressions of interest are invited from suitably qualified and experienced consultants with capacity to undertake the above activities. The Consultant should submit:

  • a short description outlining the Consultant’s understanding of the TOR and the proposed approach to conduct the assignment;
  • A proposed activities schedule/work plan with time frame;
  • Copy of her/his CV

    Financial requirements

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