Jori Hamilton 3m 874
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
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Sustainability is vital to modern business. With 81% percent of those under 30 believing that brands are an essential part of the solution to sustainability issues, the workforce is changing to become more aware of environmental needs.
In turn, this has led to the development of all kinds of jobs within the fields of sustainability and environmental conservation. Green jobs are no longer limited only to environmental science. The sustainability industry is a massive growth market that can fuel an impactful career.
This article will explore the breadth of the market for green jobs, how sustainability is changing existing roles, and how you can apply sustainability practices to almost any position.
There are all kinds of jobs you can get within the fields of sustainability and conservation. With as many as 93% of business leaders now expecting their consumers to hold them accountable for sustainability practices, we see an ever-growing awareness of the power sustainability has over business success. This means employers across industries are now hiring sustainability experts of all kinds.
Here are just a sampling of the green careers available to you with the right training:
- Agricultural engineer
- Civil engineer
- Chief Sustainability Officer
- Agriculture and food scientist
These are all lucrative and promising professions, through which individuals can make a real difference in the state of the environment. Whether you follow an engineering or a science path, you can explore the fullness of what these fields have to offer through higher education. Alternatively, you may only need some vocational training to become an expert in installing and maintaining solar panels and wind turbines.
The demand for individuals trained in sustainability practices will ensure that these career paths grow long-term. Businesses seem to only be becoming more aware of environmental needs as the effects of climate change grow more severe. As a result, ethical ventures will do everything they can to make a difference by minimizing their environmental footprint — this includes retaining the top talent in green, efficient practices.
Because the truth is sustainability is simply cheaper. Using fewer, replaceable resources to run business operations means lower overhead production and transportation costs.
While this heightened awareness has helped to create many new jobs, other existing roles are also rapidly changing to require more sustainability expertise. From manufacturing to the legal field, a need for low-cost green innovations is transforming the way we work. Even industrial giants like Whole Foods and Starbucks have implemented sustainability policies like recycling and renewable energy use.
Along with these green policies comes the need for expertise. In Starbucks’ case, this meant contracting manufacturers with the skills and tools needed to produce efficient recyclable cups. At the same time, agricultural professionals were required to understand and manage the specifics of the coffee seller’s fair trade processes.
These examples demonstrate how businesses across industries are increasingly reaching out to different fields to bring in talent in sustainability and environmental conservation. This talent even includes tech professionals who enable paperlite and environmentally sustainable processes for law offices. Software and technology are particularly useful for cutting down on material usage.
Tech innovations like 3D printing are transforming industries like manufacturing and at the same time are opening up new avenues for sustainable practices. With 3D printing, innovators have created alloys from renewable resources like hemp, which is biodegradable and can be as strong as steel.
3D printing is also improving the capability of engineers to design all kinds of efficient machines. Because of the additive manufacturing process, a 3D printer can create parts more cohesively and efficiently than was previously possible.
By applying new tech to existing practices, we are expanding the potential of green careers. Now, virtually any profession can adopt a focus on sustainability innovations.
When exploring a future in environmental conservation, there is plenty to consider. You might be interested in exploring an education in agricultural engineering so you can help innovate new, resource-efficient practices for farmers in water-scarce areas. Or maybe you want to build products out of renewable materials. No matter where your passions might lie, you can implement sustainability in your choice of career.
Here just a few tips for bringing environmental conservation to any career:
Advocate for recycling practices and recyclable products around the workplace.
Find goods and services that are manufactured with renewable energy or are dedicated to net-zero emissions.
Salvage, recycle, and donate during renovation projects or relocations.
Consider cloud computing for reduced energy needs.
Partner with other organizations interested in sustainability.
You can innovate for green practices in a wide variety of careers. While engineering and environmental science might be the most obvious paths, tech and manufacturing are also huge sectors where sustainability experts can make a difference. Even office administrators can make conservation the focus of their careers.
Explore these career paths and ways to advocate for sustainability to make a real impact in environmental conservation.
About the Author
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.