President & CEO, ECO Canada
Kevin Nilsen rejoined ECO Canada in September 2016 as President & CEO having previously worked for ECO Canada for 7 years, most recently as Director of Professional Services. In his role as CEO, Kevin’s key focus is ensuring that ECO Canada’s products and services align well with industry, government, and academic stakeholders to promote sustainable economic growth of the sector.
As ECO Canada’s President and CEO, Kevin Nilsen embraces the change, rapid growth, and innovation of Canada’s environmental sector. Over the course of his career, Nilsen has seen a massive influx of talent and capital within the field — and intends to make the most of this exciting period of transformation.
Across all industries, ECO Canada acts as a steward for the Canadian environmental workforce, connecting with entities across business and academia. Nilsen makes sure ECO’s products and services align well with the varied needs of industry, government and academic stakeholders — no small feat in a field experiencing such a high rate of innovation!
Nilsen joined ECO Canada as President and CEO in September 2016. Previously, he worked for ECO Canada for 7 years, most recently as Director of Professional Services. Nilsen’s career reflects his adaptability, flexibility, and willingness to embrace change — in fact, he started his career as an officer in the Norwegian Army, before moving to Canada in the year 2000. In his time at ECO Canada, Nilsen established the Canadian Centre for Environmental Education (CCEE). He also helped scale up EP certification and academic partnerships, as well as launch regional networking events across Canada.
Outside of his experience at ECO Canada, he managed large-scale offshore oil and gas projects, gaining experience with energy-sector clients and stakeholders across Europe, Asia and the United States. One particular highlight of this chapter of Nilsen’s career was his work leading the development of a safer, more environmentally friendly gas-handling tool used in the drilling process.
Throughout his career, Nilsen has been guided by a principle of putting clients first. That philosophy serves him well at ECO Canada, which caters a diverse, dynamic community of professionals across various skill-sets and industries.
As the sector grows, ECO Canada supports those workers with professional development, soft skills training, and certification to help environmental workers grow their careers. By developing resources that support a better career model for ambitious and promising environmental professionals, ECO Canada drives responsible economic growth that also prioritizes environmental care.
It’s a mission that’s only become more important — and more challenging. Research from ECO Canada shows that the environmental sector is expected to see 304,300 job openings by the end of the decade as a result of sector growth and retirement. While this is promising, ensuring the right skills and people are in place to meet this demand is challenging.
In light of these ongoing changes, leading an organization like ECO Canada can be a complex, demanding task. Doing so requires agility, a forward-thinking leadership style, and well-rounded professional experience across industries. With his client-centric attitude and wealth of globally-distributed experience, Nilsen is just the candidate to serve the workforce of this burgeoning sector.
“We are excited when Canadian expertise and the knowledge and wisdom that we have with our Environmental Professionals can be an export good. One of our goals at ECO Canada is to elevate the credibility of professionals and raise that bar and the EP certification is one mechanism to do that, holding people to a higher standard and meeting that standard."- Kevin Nilsen
How ECO Canada is Impacting Sustainable Action
At ECO Canada, we champion the end-to-end career of an environmental professional. We work to ensure that businesses in the environmental sector get the support they need for sustainable economic growth while also maintaining environmental care and best practice as a priority. In working towards this goal, we’ve developed services which hit every touchpoint within the environmental workforce.
Many businesses in the sector are SMEs and our services help them grow. Our wage funding programs, which help businesses employ new talent that otherwise may not have been possible, is an example of one of these services. In addition, our webinars and workshops help businesses develop their employees’ skills (both soft and technical) and our EP Employer certification supports businesses with in-house training and HR services so that they are best placed to grow and advance the environmental sector.
Our work is guided by our leading research which provides unmatched statistics and analysis on economic and labour trends to identify workforce gaps within the environmental sector. Over the past 20 years, our research has provided invaluable insight for environmental policymakers, workers, educators, and students across the country. Our insights cover both existing markets and new ones to ensure the products and services needed to support businesses with sustainable outcomes are available.