Traineeship in environmental sustainability in banknote production

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General Information

Type of contract Traineeship

Who can apply? EU nationals eligible for our traineeship programme

Grant The trainee grant is €1,170 per month plus an accommodation allowance (see further information section)

Working time Full time

Place of work Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Closing date 27.11.2023

Your team

You will be part of the Production Section in the Directorate Banknotes. Our Directorate has around 70 staff working to ensure the integrity of euro banknotes as an efficient means of payment and protecting them against counterfeiting. In particular, we coordinate all the ECB’s activities relating to the development, production and circulation of banknotes, both across the Eurosystem and with third parties. The Production Section is responsible for directing and monitoring euro banknote production, including accrediting manufacturers; ensuring compliance with health, safety, environmental, security and quality standards; approving production references in printing works and paper mills; and providing technical support in the development of new banknote series.

We are currently working on many banknote-related sustainability topics, including the environmental footprint of cash, the use of sustainable cotton in paper production and waste monitoring.

In your role as a trainee in environmental sustainability in the Production Section, you will be part of a team of three to four members of staff responsible for all environmental, health and safety aspects of banknote production. You will work closely with other sections in the Directorate Banknotes, national central banks and banknote manufacturers. 

The ECB is an inclusive employer and we strive to reflect the diversity of the population we serve. We encourage you to apply irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other characteristics.

Your role

As a trainee in the Production Section, you will:
  • support the Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) team within the Production Section in all EHS-related activities;
  • contribute to an environmental impact assessment of euro banknotes and coins using the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology developed by the European Commission;
  • assist with activities looking into ways of reducing the environmental impact of waste disposal in the cash cycle and devise strategies to encourage environmentally friendly waste disposal;
  • support the ECB’s ongoing sustainable cotton programme;
  • process and present EHS data provided by the accredited manufacturers and engage with stakeholders on EHS topics;
  • participate in other ad hoc activities related to banknote production.

This position offers you excellent opportunities to work closely with banknote production experts on EHS topics and to apply the PEF methodology to cash. You will be part of a multicultural team that strives for continuous innovation to make a positive impact on the lives of European citizens. 

Qualifications, experience and skills

  • a bachelor’s degree or higher in environmental science or another relevant field such as chemical engineering, chemistry or biology, with a focus on the environment and/or health and safety;
  • a sound understanding of environmental impact assessments;
  • a sound theoretical background in environmental sustainability; 
  • excellent data management, analytical and quantitative skills;
  • a good knowledge of the MS Office package and advanced knowledge and experience of using Excel;
  • an advanced (C1) command of English and an intermediate (B1) command of at least one other official language of the EU, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

  • a master’s degree or equivalent in environmental science, chemical engineering, chemistry, biology or another relevant field;
  • experience in conducting environmental impact assessments; 
  • a good understanding of EHS management systems;
  • knowledge of waste treatment and disposal;
  • experience in conducting data assessments;
  • knowledge of sustainable production, such as cotton farming;
  • experience in database management.

You are curious and eager to learn, and want to further develop your ability to analyse complex information. You are keen to collaborate with others, pursue team goals and learn from other people’s diverse perspectives. You strive to know and anticipate stakeholder needs, and will signal any need for change and propose alternative solutions.

You are motivated to contribute to the ECB’s mission, to serve the citizens of the EU as a member of a public institution and to work with colleagues from all over Europe. You are keen to be part of our team and to use your skills and competencies to achieve the aims of this position.

Further information

Traineeship of between six and 12 months in total. 

For reasons of confidentiality, work carried out during the traineeship may not be used in any publication, thesis, external research, etc. without specific prior written permission.

Other details on the conditions applicable to traineeships at the ECB can be found on our website.

Application and selection process

The recruitment process for this position will include an online interview. 

Further information on how to apply is available on our website.

If you are not selected for this position but are still considered suitable, you will be placed on a reserve list for 12 months from the closing date for applications, from which you might be considered for other traineeship positions within the ECB.