Our Director

Sonja Duncan

Sonja Duncan

Sonja has 23 years experience in environmental management, having worked in local and State Government within Australia and in the private sector. She started SD Environmental Management 17 years ago.

Primary areas of expertise include:

  • EHS Compliance and Management System Auditing
  • EHS and Sustainability Training and Capacity Building
  • Environmental Management Plans, Sustainability Plans and EMS Development
  • Sustainability Assessments and Staff Engagement
  • Online Training Development.

Sonja has a Science Honors Degree and a Masters Degree in Environmental Management. She is accredited as an Environmental Auditor with RABQSA and has extensive EHS consulting experience with a strong knowledge of relevant Australian legislation. In addition to her formal degree qualifications, Sonja holds Certificate IV in Workplace Safety, Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability. She is also a qualified Carbon Assessor (through Swinburne University in Victoria).

EHS Compliance and Management System Auditing and Mentoring

Sonja has conducted environmental compliance, EMS and waste management audits for a range of industry sectors including the manufacturing, health care, education, food and beverage, engineering, automotive, mining and agricultural sectors across Australia and internationally. Sonja has conducted environmental and social audits for mining companies in the Philippines, Laos, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

She has conducted compliance and systems audits for a number of local councils throughout New South Wales and has also worked with large and small organisations to establish environmental management programs and implementation schedules based on audit results.

She is currently working with a number of small to medium-sized companies to undertake environmental risk assessments and train staff in hazard identification and risk assessment and management processes.

At times this work has included mentoring businesses through the development of management systems, risk assessment processes and the formation and training of workplace committees. Sonja continues to develop comprehensive, targeted and engaging staff training programs on environment, health and safety for a range of organisations across NSW.

EHS and Sustainability Training and Capacity Building

Sonja has a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment and is an experienced and sought-after trainer. She has trained over 1,00 local council operational, compliance and education staff across NSW on environmental awareness, waste and stormwater management issues, as well as environmental legislation and the responsibilities of Authorised Officers.

Sonja has also delivered extensive in-house training across a range of industry and business sectors and develops client-specific training to reflect specific environmental training needs.

Training courses she has developed and/or continues to deliver include:

  • Protection of the Environment Authorised Officer Course
  • Authorised Fisheries Officer Training
  • Coastal Protection Act Authorised Officer Training
  • Energy and Resource Efficiency
  • Energy Management Basics
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Environmental Legislation and Due Diligence for Company Directors
  • Environmental Risk Assessment and Control
  • Staff Engagement in Sustainability
  • Sustainable Supply Chain Management
  • Business Planning for Sustainability
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and ISO 26000
  • Green Procurement
  • Environmental Auditing for Local Government Officers
  • Beachwatch: Recreational Water Quality Monitoring and Reporting
  • Stormwater and Urban Water Cycle Management
  • Constructed Wetlands Maintenance.

EHS Management Plans, Sustainability Plans and Environmental Management System Development

As an experienced project manager and communicator, Sonja has successfully managed numerous EHS programs for government and private sector clients. She is currently working with a range of businesses through the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Sustainability Advantage Program to develop staff and external stakeholder engagement strategies and programs leading to more sustainable business practices. She also delivers the Business Planning module, Environmental Risk and Responsibility module and the Sustainable Supply Chain Module as part of this program.

Sonja has worked with numerous businesses to identify environmental risks and develop integrated environmental and safety management systems using ISO 14001 as a framework. She has assisted companies in developing EMS procedures and processes to conform to ISO 14001 and has been actively involved in developing and updating aspects and impacts registers and undertaking environmental risk assessments across a range of industry sectors.

As an EMS auditor, Sonja has reviewed numerous Environmental Management Systems and prepared gap analysis reports for clients wishing to align existing systems to the ISO 14001 standard. Sonja is familiar with quality and safety management standards and promotes an integrated management system approach for her clients where appropriate.

Sustainability Assessments

Sonja is experienced at undertaking sustainability assessments for large and small organisations and has conducted energy, waste, water and consumable assessments for a range of businesses. She works closely with business staff and management to assess electricity and gas use, identify areas of energy and water wastage and set targets for reduction in energy use and associated CO2 emissions. Sonja has completed an accredited course in Carbon Accounting through Swinburne University and undertakes carbon assessments across a range of business sectors.