Sustainability and the Jobs It Has Created
Sustainability has become not just a trend, but also a need in the recent years. There is no doubt that it has developed into a hot career field with new job opportunities being offered to those who are experts in business, energy, biology, and engineering. In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Defence Fund Climate Corps, more than 4.5 million jobs will be created by 2025 to meet the renewable energy demand in the United States alone. How many more jobs must be created to meet the demands of the world?
Why the sudden spike growth of openings in the sustainability industry, one may ask? Perhaps it could be the rising heat temperatures worldwide, 22 degrees Celsius higher than the summer’s norm, and shocking rate of melting ice caps in the last decade. It could also be the spreading awareness that the environment and ecosystems are becoming largely affected, with plastics being discovered in the guts of deer in Nara, Japan all the way to the bellies of amphipods living in the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench. More and more people are trying to discover sustainable solutions.
A wide range of designations and work opportunities are now being offered to meet the demand for change, listed below are seven emerging key roles in the sustainability industry:
1. Sustainability Consultant: An expert in sustainability who assists business clients improve their organization’s environmental performance. Eco-efficiency is their bottomline. They establish a full-spectrum of sustainability practices by proposing transformational strategies, ensure projects are cost-driven and green-conscious, promote growth through project innovations that practice corporate social responsibility; and develop a supply chain that practices circularity, among others.
2. Sustainability Director: A modern-day eco-warrior who ensures that an enterprise commits to an agenda that will lead to a secure and sustainable future. The Sustainability Director helps implement the foundations and policies initiated by a Sustainability Consultant. They take control of the development, promotion, and monitoring of green strategies that is required to manage waste, reduce an organization’s carbon footprint, and promote ecological sustainability.
3. Environmental Engineer: Uses the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to discover solutions to the climate and environmental crisis. They are involved in efforts that improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, water and air pollution control, along with ensuring that land is healthy for human habitation or any other organisms.
4. Pollution Control Officer: Engages in environmental projects and environmental compliance. They help provide objectives, targets and programs that will help any organization preserve natural resources, reduce generations of company waste, and establish proper mitigation on pollution controls in their immediate environment. They also manage the impact company activities has on air, land, water, flora, fauna, and human beings. Pollution Control Officers must be aware of their company’s environmental compliance set by the local government’s laws.
5. Water Engineer and Scientist: With the rising numbers of microplastics found in bodies of water, along with other impurities, a Water Engineer and Scientist is responsible for supplying, managing, and maintaining clean water. They develop procedures that help ensure sewage waste is properly managed. At the same time, they also look into preventing flood damage. They incorporate green practices when repairing, maintaining, and building structures that control water.
6. Green Building Professional: Be it a profession in Architecture, Interior Design, or Landscaping, these professionals ensure that all construction and building utilizes natural light, reduce the need for using electric appliances, and outsource from a supply chain that practices circularity.
7. Agriculture and Food Scientist: These scientists are changing the game of food production in companies, farms, and processing plants. They investigate and implement new methods to improve animal or soil health, nutrition, and other facets of food quality. On a larger scale, they help ensure that all processes are executed with a green mindset that sustains the environment.
Many of these opportunities didn’t exist ten years ago, and ten years from now, a new set of careers may emerge to address the ever changing landscape of the environment. Throughout these changes, one cannot doubt that the climate crisis has surely created a new state of mind, where sustainability is the goal and has become the true bottomline.