The private sector can range in size from sole traders or very small ecological and environmental consultancies to global multi-disciplinary environmental and engineering companies. The private sector means that the company is looking to make some level of profit from its activities, but the private sector can also be a major contributor to activities to protect and enhance nature and help manage climate change.
Some private sector companies (often sole traders or smaller, specialist companies) exist to provide land management advice to farmers and other landowners to help them manage their land (and wetland areas) in ways that can help nature but also help their business.
Many private sector companies are involved in development projects, where they be an extension to a house, the creation of a large housing estate or the building of a new port, road, wind farm or railway. Many kinds of development projects can harm the natural environment. Private sector ecologists undertake surveys to assess the likelihood of damage to habitats and species and to design ways that the project can go ahead with minimal damage and, wherever possible, more opportunities for nature to do well. Sometimes this isn’t possible and a proposed development project cannot then go ahead. For bigger development projects private sector ecologists will often liaise with engineers, architects, planners and landscape designers. Large private sector companies will often also employ data managers and mapping specialists to get the most information out of the results of ecological surveys and design.
Some private sector jobs involve providing specific specialist services often to other ecologists or developers. For example, this may involve using drones to undertake ecological surveys from the air, applying a technique called eDNA to identify species present in a pond, or using specially trained dogs to identify whether certain species are present or not.