Director of Operations / COO

Common Seas

  • Full Time

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About Common Seas

Common Seas is a not-for-profit enterprise on a mission to quickly and significantly reduce the amount of plastic produced and stop it polluting our rivers and seas. Our global team works across government, business, and society to leverage change by driving new policy, investing in the circular economy, and catalysing a cultural shift in how we make, use and dispose of plastic.

How you will support our mission

Common Seas Indonesia is looking for a Chief Operating Officer (COO), who is a hardworking problem solver, with proven business acumen, to deliver our programme Clean Blue East Java.

We already know many of the tactics and solutions we need to solve the plastic pollution crisis, but they require testing in real-world scenarios before they can scale.

Clean Blue Alliance is a methodology that turns our theory of systems change into action – delivering practical, on-the-ground demonstrations of circular economy solutions. Common Seas runs Clean Blue projects in three countries, each chosen for the complexity of their plastic waste challenge, and their appetite for change.

Together with our partners, Clean Blue East Java is on a mission to stop plastic pollution entering the Brantas River, transforming it into a source of healthy drinking water for the millions of people living along its banks.

The Brantas is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, and the single-use diaper is amongst the most prolific plastic items found in the river. Our local team is therefore initially focused on stopping the flow of single-use diapers into the river in a way that brings widespread and long-lasting social and economic benefits to the region.

We’re doing this by creating a market for reusable diapers, improving the management of diaper waste, and cleaning up existing waste hotspots along the river. Our reusable diaper initiative aims to employ 600 local women and stop 29,200,000 diapers entering the Brantas in 2021.

What we’re looking for:


– Hardworking problem solver, with proven business acumen and proven capacity as a leader.
– Work experience, and/or ability to quickly become familiar with topics, related to plastics circular economy and waste management.
– Excellent organisational and management skills, with the ability to work across demographics, including, our volunteer network of mothers, financiers, politicians, and seamstresses.
– To develop and execute a business plan, securing the long-term viability of the programme.
– Confident communicator, in English, Bahasa, and ideally Javanese. The job will involve facilitating private sector and government engagement.
– Based in Greater Surabaya region, with domestic and occasionally international travel.
– MSc level education – ideally related to social science or environmental engineering.
– Dedication to building a safe and healthy Brantas River.
– Ability to start working with early in 2021

– Active networks with the key actors across the Indonesian single-use plastics value chain, including government.
– Practical knowledge in the plastic’s circular economy and waste management
– Experience working in a cross-cultural context and work with international partners.

Working environment

Located in our office in Surabaya. You will report to our Country Director and work closely with our team currently comprising 8 people, including head of business development, textiles production manager, education lead, community coordinator, communications officer, and team assistant.

How to apply:

If you think this sounds like the role for you, please send a copy of your CV and a one-page cover letter outlining your suitability for the job according to the requirements to


Submit your application by 15 January. Please note that we may close the submission date earlier if we feel that we have the right pool of candidates.

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