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Fractional Environmental Management vs Full-Time Staff: Which is More Cost-Effective for Your Business?

Fractional Environmental Management vs Full-Time Staff: Which is More Cost-Effective for Your Business?

As the world becomes increasingly concerned about climate change, businesses are under pressure to address their environmental impact. Many companies have implemented sustainability programs to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their reputation among environmentally-conscious consumers. However, one question that often arises is whether it’s more cost-effective to hire full-time sustainability staff or outsource environmental management to fractional environmental management (FEM) consultants? In this article, we’ll conduct a cost-benefit analysis of both options and help you decide which approach is best for your business.

Cost Comparison:

Hiring a full-time sustainability staff requires paying salaries, benefits, and other expenses such as training and development costs. According to Glassdoor data, the average salary for a sustainability manager in the United States is around $92,000 per year. On top of that, companies also need to provide benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and other perks.

In addition to salaries and benefits, there are overhead costs associated with hiring full-time staff such as office space rent or lease payments, equipment purchases or leases (such as computers), software licensing fees (such as for environmental management software), and utilities.

On the other hand, FEM consultants charge an hourly rate, project-based fee, or flat fee which can vary based on their expertise and experience level. The hourly rate ranges from $50-$200 per hour depending on the complexity of the project.


  1. Cost Savings: FEM consultants can identify cost-saving measures such as reducing waste and energy consumption that can result in significant financial benefits for the business. By providing customized solutions tailored to a company’s specific needs, FEM consultants can help businesses reduce their environmental impact while maintaining efficiency and profitability. This approach not only helps businesses meet their corporate social responsibility goals but also improves their reputation among consumers who are increasingly concerned about sustainability.
  2. Improved Sustainability: Implementing FEM provides companies with numerous benefits that outweigh its costs. It offers a customized approach that helps companies become more sustainable while improving their bottom line through cost savings and increased efficiency.
  3. Increased Efficiency: FEM consultants can help businesses identify areas where they can improve efficiency in their operations while reducing their environmental impact.
  4. Regulatory Compliance: Consultants stay up-to-date on changes in regulations related to environmental compliance which reduces risks related to non-compliance.


Overall, both approaches have advantages and disadvantages depending on your business needs. Hiring full-time staff may be more suitable for larger organizations with complex sustainability programs requiring ongoing monitoring and maintenance of infrastructure such as solar panels or wind turbines. However smaller organizations may find it more efficient to outsource these tasks since they may not require ongoing attention or maintenance.

On the other hand implementing FEM provides companies with numerous benefits including cost savings through reduced energy consumption; improved efficiency by identifying areas where improvements could be made; increased regulatory compliance by staying up-to-date with changing regulations related to environmental issues; improved reputation among consumers who are increasingly concerned about sustainability; decreased legal risks associated with non-compliance; customized solutions tailored specifically towards each company’s unique needs – all at a lower overall cost than hiring full-time staff members would entail.

Ultimately it’s important for businesses looking into either option weigh the pros and cons carefully before making any decisions about how best they should proceed when it comes down addressing concerns around climate change within their own organization.

Ready to determine which approach is best for your business? Contact Hanis Consulting today for a customized assessment of your environmental management strategy. Let our experts help you optimize your sustainability efforts while saving costs and improving efficiency.