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Implementation Officer

Zero Waste Europe

Deadline 15.12.2022 €3,000-€3,700/month (est.)

Zero Waste Europe is looking for an Implementation Officer

Location: Belgium based, hybrid between home and our Brussels office.

Duration: Open-ended.

Start date: As soon as possible.

About us

Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) is the European network of communities, organisations, local leaders, experts, and change agents working towards the elimination of waste in our society. We advocate for sustainable systems and the redesign of our relationship with resources, to accelerate a just transition towards zero waste for the benefit of people and the planet.

The ZWE network now includes 34 members from 27 European countries and works with topics across the whole chain. From product design to reusability to end-of-pipe waste management solutions, from the phase-out of plastics to municipal zero waste strategies, our scope has significantly expanded but our mission and vision remain the same – a zero waste, fairer, inclusive, circular Europe for all (and planet, too, while we’re at it).

We are a successful and fast-growing independent NGO where personal development, fairness and inclusiveness are high on the agenda. We are the proud founders of the Mission Zero Academy (MiZA), through which we offer Zero Waste certifications to cities, municipalities and (going forward) small businesses; we are founding member of various movements and coalitions that are hosted under our entity (such as Break Free From Plastic), and are the European chapter of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA),

Our ZWE Values

  • We are purpose-driven, always putting forward a solution-oriented approach.

  • We are game-changing – we challenge the status quo, explore emerging topics and create a safe space to succeed (and to recover from setbacks).

  • We are adaptable, constantly striving towards learning and improving; open to change and taking agency.

  • We believe that acting with integrity is crucial to achieve impact and change, both inside and outside our network.

  • And we care deeply about our communities, the environment, and systemic changes that benefit society as a whole – while also looking after ourselves and our own well-being as a team and as individuals.

About you

You are impact and values driven, able to see the big picture whilst taking care of the details. You have experience in local waste management topics and are capable of building positive relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. You are a team player who is also comfortable working independently, and you have a good understanding about both the challenges and solutions facing the waste sector today. You thrive when facing complex situations, you are passionate about the zero waste vision.

About the role

Zero Waste Europe’s latest strategic framework, is built around three key pillars: movement-building, enabling conditions and the implementation of zero waste solutions. This third pillar, focusing on implementation of solutions at the local level, aims to accelerate the transition to zero waste by supporting local actors with increased knowledge, resources, capacity and finance.

The Zero Waste Cities programme has existed formally for over 5 years now, but more informally since the creation of the first Zero Waste City, in Capannori (Italy, back in 2017. In the 15 years since, we have welcomed zero waste commitments from over 480 municipalities in Europe. In recent years, we have professionalised our work with cities through the creation of the world’s first Zero Waste Cities Certification, hosted by our sister organisation, the Mission Zero Academy (MiZA). Demand for our model and expertise has dramatically increased since the creation of the Certification for cities, with key cities like Barcelona, Riga and Munich joining the movement, this role will be directly involved in helping ZWE fulfil its goals in these areas.

Your role will be pivotal in this work, providing key logistical and technical guidance and support to our local 34+ member organisations, partners, cities and businesses, You will be the focal point for zero waste knowledge and best practices for the European zero waste network, helping to connect the dots between our local work on reuse, organics, financing and more. You will report to the head of implementation.

The core responsibilities of the Implementation Officer are to:

  • Coordinating, designing, and executing strategies to help accelerate our work with municipalities.

  • Develop methods to capture and share key information, data and strategic advice related to work happening at the local level across the team and network.

  • Provide technical guidance and support to ZWE members to support the implementation of local zero waste strategies, in response to the external environment and in partnership with the team and members.

  • Develop and strengthen relationships with key cities, waste management companies, civil society partners, academics, and industry representatives working on related issues.

  • Manage the BioBest project, helping to capture and showcase the best practices of collection and treatment of organic waste.

  • Create informative and accessible tools and content, such as case studies, blogs and guidance documents, that effectively capture and disseminates zero waste best practices at the local level to a global audience.

  • Help organise and implement capacity-enhancing sessions for ZWE members and close partners, like our study tours, webinars and conferences.

  • To work closely with staff at the Mission Zero Academy team to assist cities in the process of becoming certified zero waste cities, supporting the growth of the certification and the development of MiZA services related to cities and businesses.

  • Support in fundraising efforts for the local implementation pillar of ZWE’s work, as well as the necessary reporting for projects and grants.

  • To provide technical support and assistance to the work that Zero Waste Europe does on reuse with businesses and municipalities, bringing best practice examples for reuse from the local level to the project partners and participating cities.

  • Represent ZWE’s work on cities in the GAIA Zero Waste (Cities) working group and within Break Free From Plastic’s work on zero waste implementation.

  • Represent the organisation as a spokesperson at public events, in meetings with cities and waste officials, and to the media.

  • Develop the database for the programme - municipalities, waste professionals, academia, by identifying and engaging with key stakeholders.

Required skills and competencies

  • At least 2-3 years of experience of working in the field of waste management and the circular economy.

  • Knowledgeable on successful project management.

  • Excellent communication and writing skills, with experience in creating persuasive, effective communications for a wide range of audiences.

  • Strong ability and desire to foster working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including membership networks and local authorities ideally.

  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal abilities.

  • Initiative, self-motivation, and team player.

  • Problem-solving and results-oriented, keen to find better ways of working and drive impact

  • Ability and willingness to work autonomously, use initiative and take decisions.

  • A strong commitment to Zero Waste Europe’s ethos and network structures.

  • Excellent proficiency in English.

Preferred skills and competencies

  • A university degree in social or political science, environmental governance, or advanced technical qualifications relevant to resource management and/or circular economy.

  • Knowledge of environmental issues in the field of resource & waste management, climate, or environmental justice.

  • Experience being able to communicate on how local waste management systems operate and are funded, especially in the field of bio-waste.

  • Experienced in interacting with public officials/decision-makers at the local and regional levels.

  • Knowledge on bio-waste generation, collection and treatment.

  • Other languages, apart from English, are a plus.

  • Solid IT competences with collaborative tools (Google Drive, Slack, Trello).

  • Experience in working in coalition settings.

  • Experience in project management and grant reporting.

  • Experience in working with people from different cultures and nationalities in a way that facilitates conflict prevention and values community wisdom.

Equal Employment opportunity

We are committed to the principle of Equal Employment Opportunity for all employees, regardless of sex, marital status, nationality, religion, age, sexual orientation and any other characteristics unrelated to the performance of the job.

We also realise that not all individuals have the same opportunities to engage in paid work or studies and are open to receiving applications from those who may not fulfil all the required skills but have the interest, passion, (cap)abilities and drive to fulfil the role. In this respect, we encourage people from a diverse intersection of backgrounds to apply.

Location, Compensation and Work Environment

This is a full-time position based out of our Brussels office, under a hybrid working setup with a split 50/50 working from home vs from the office. A valid working permit for Belgium is required.

We offer a competitive NGO salary (€3,000 - €3,700 gross based on skills and experience) plus benefits, including lunch vouchers (8€/day); 13th month (year end bonus); double holiday pay (Belgian standard); 20 vacation days plus 6 extra-legal holidays + 4 days between Christmas and New Year; Hospitalisation; Ambulatory and Dental Insurance (DKV); Travel insurance; home working and other allowances (€170.00 net/month); full coverage of public transport costs for commuting (minimum €49.00 net/month); and flexible working hours/times.

We take pride in our ability to support one another's work in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, and look forward to introducing the successful candidate to our welcoming and highly motivated team and network members.


The funding for this role after 12 months or so is not confirmed. It will be an ongoing priority for the Implementation team to secure further funding to continue this role well beyond an initial 12 months, but at this stage, this cannot be guaranteed.

Deadline to apply: Thursday 15th December 2022 at 23:59 CET.

To apply:

Please send your CV and motivation letter in English with two references (all merged into a single PDF document) through the appropriate form on the ZWE website (“Work With Us” page). Only the applications sent via this form will be taken into account. We can only guarantee that short-listed candidates will be contacted.

The position remains open until filled. We encourage potential candidates to submit their applications when ready, and not to wait until the final deadline, as we will conduct interviews on a rolling basis as and when applications are received before the deadline. Our 2-round interview process will also include an assignment lasting 1-2 hours for selected candidates after round 1.

If not organised before, first round interviews will be held on Monday 19th December, with second round interviews held during the week beginning 9th January.

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