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Head of Operations

Reference     (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors   Environmental, CSR & Sustainability
Location   Scotland (Central)
Town/City   Edinburgh
Salary   Full time role, salary according to experience
Type   Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status   Full Time
Level   Mid Level
Company Name   Plan Vivo Foundation
Contact Name  
Email   info@planvivofoundation.org
Website   Further Details / Applications
Also Listing:

The Plan Vivo Foundation is seeking a highly motivated individual with a keen interest in the nexus of climate change and international development. The Head of Operations plays a central role in the strategic direction of the organisation, overseeing all aspects of the Foundation’s operations. This exciting role will pick up on the momentum of recent growth in certified projects and service offerings. It involves managing up to 3 positions within the Secretariat team, based in Edinburgh, and takes the lead on all Human Resources, Financial management and administration responsibilities. The role involves working closely with the Board of Trustees to implement the organisation’s strategic plans, while guiding the organisation effectively in order to drive overall performance.

About Plan Vivo

The Plan Vivo Foundation (PVF) is an internationally focused charity, registered in Scotland. Its purpose is to develop and oversee the Plan Vivo Standard and support Plan Vivo-certified projects worldwide. Plan Vivo is a framework and Standard for community-based payments for ecosystem services, principally in developing countries. Its growing portfolio of 24 operational and over 20 pipeline projects comprises a diverse range of ecosystem restoration and protection projects, as well as livelihoods development initiatives. These empower smallholder farmers and rural communities to reduce and reverse ecosystem degradation, while improving natural resource management to meet basic needs. Plan Vivo certified projects are typically geared around land-use, forestry and blue carbon interventions, with a clear link to water, biodiversity and livelihoods development activities. Plan Vivo’s work leverages both private sector and donor financed activities, working with a growing range of partner organisations to deliver on some of the world’s most pressing global challenges. Plan Vivo engages academia, the private sector, sustainability consultancies, NGOs and civil society actors in order to develop and improve climate mitigation and adaptation solutions. Its work touches on natural climate solutions, net zero targets, zero deforestation supply chains and the Sustainable Development Goals.

PVF’s charitable aims are to:

  • Reduce poverty through engaging rural communities in sustainable land-use projects;
  • Promote environmental protection and improvement through biodiversity conservation and the restoration, protection and management of terrestrial ecosystems;
  • Advance education and build local capacity through the transfer of knowledge, skills and resources to developing countries.

The Plan Vivo Foundation has the competence and responsibility to:

  • Take all decisions on the registration and status of Plan Vivo projects;
  • Annually review projects and coordinate third-party validation and approve verifiers;
  • Approve technical specifications and coordinate peer reviews by relevant experts;
  • Issue Plan Vivo Certificates in respect of ecosystem services generated by projects;
  • Develop the Plan Vivo System and Standard in consultation with stakeholders;
  • Maintain and disseminate clear and up-to-date information about Plan Vivo
  • Advocate for pro-poor, participatory approaches to forest management and land use, where communities and smallholders are involved in every stage of project design and delivery.


The successful candidate will have a track record of managing effective teams, and developing and cultivating a range of partnerships, combined with demonstrable experience and understanding of carbon markets and business administration, particularly as it pertains to third sector organisations. The candidate will boast excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills, have good attention to detail and be accustomed to dealing with scientific and technical documentation. He/she will thrive on the opportunity to develop the role according to his/her particular strengths, keeping abreast of developments and innovations in the sector, engaging with staff, trustees, a variety of developing country partner organisations, INGO’s, academics and diverse voluntary carbon and other environmental market actors.

Specific Responsibilities

The following tasks form the core responsibilities of the role:

Strategy/Business Development

  • To drive innovation, collaboration and partnership work;
  • To support the increase and growth of Plan Vivo projects and service offerings;
  • To lead on financial planning, grants and cash flow forecasting, annual account preparation, reporting to OSCR and Companies House;
  • To represent the Foundation in public, networking at a high level, presenting at conferences, in the media and in formal settings;
  • To ensure the financial security of the organisation, with income generation and fundraising activities at the forefront.

Operational/Performance Management

  • To provide the Plan Vivo Foundation with high-quality leadership and management, overseeing the work of Plan Vivo Secretariat staff, consultants and subcontractors;
  • To take overall responsibility for recruiting new staff;
  • To facilitate an effective working partnership with the Board of Trustees, the Technical Advisory Committee and wider advisory and stakeholder representative structures;
  • To undertake other tasks agreed with the Board of Trustees and Technical Advisory Committee commensurate with the nature of this post and necessary to achieve its overall purpose.
  • To review the practices and services of the Plan Vivo Foundation to ensure they are developed and delivered in accordance with current legislation and follow best practice.


  • To coordinate continued development of the Plan Vivo Standard, production of guidance, templates, promotional materials;
  • To ensure the delivery of technical support to Plan Vivo-certified Projects, due diligence, oversight, monitoring and reporting of Projects’ activities.

Qualifications, Skills and Expertise


  • Fluency in spoken and written English
  • Advanced degree in a relevant field, such as Business administration, economics, physical sciences, environmental, etc.
  • Minimum of 5+ years of progressively more senior experience in a relevant function
  • Knowledge of the voluntary and compliance carbon markets, climate change policy, and the land use and forestry sector.
  • Strong interest in international development issues.
  • Proven organisational, project and time management skills, with an ability to prioritise and juggle multiple assignments.
  • Ability to work independently and proactively, taking the initiative.
  • Well organized, high level of accuracy, and meticulous attention to detail
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity and ease operating in different socio-cultural contexts
  • Identification with Plan Vivo’s core values of transparency, equity, and respect.
  • Strong knowledge of ethics and compliance standards for non-profits.
  • Numerate and comfortable interpreting and evaluating quantitative and technical data, as well as general computer/IT skills.  


  • Proficiency in spoken and written Spanish, French, Bahasa or other relevant language
  • Experience developing fundraising applications, sales and/or marketing campaigns
  • Expertise in designing, operating and/or auditing against environmental or social standards
  • Experience of working in developing countries and/or with INGOs and CBOs
  • Involvement in designing or researching PES projects and programmes
  • Experience designing/implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, projects or action plans
  • Experience of project finance in a major environmental or natural resource sector

Application process

To apply for this position, please email a full CV and motivation letter addressed to info@planvivofoundation.org

PVF is an equal opportunity employer, and ensures positions are accessible to all, regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, age, disability, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation or identity, religion, marital or parental status.

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