With the increase of globalization, sustainability is also increasing in trendiness. This mega trend that has emerged in the area of the environment is now a big priority for countries worldwide. It’s an issue that affects both the public and private sector. Many companies are ‘going green’, thus, implementing sustainability measures nowadays. Growth in green careers is even outpacing the rest of the job market as research shows. The reasons are either for profit and reputation (which can lead to greenwashing) or to actually make a positive impact on the community.


Whichever the case is, this results in growing opportunities for students to pursue a college degree in fields related to sustainability, such as environmental protection, renewable energy, environmental law, waste reduction, green architecture, and various other disciplines.  At the end of the day, ‘green jobs benefit both the economy and the environment and include everything from alternative fuels to tasty foods’ as National Geographic states. As it turns out, a green career can also mean a bigger paycheck. AC Online says that green jobs pay 10 to 20 percent more than other jobs.


We’ve gathered from SUMAS and the two aforementioned targets a list of eight examples of careers that are sustainability-related:


1.  Sustainable Architecture & Design

sustainable architecture

Photographs by Tom Ross

Sustainable design has now become standard practice in many countries. In addition to benefits related to energy, there are many other aspects, such as a healthy environment and other aspects of indoor environmental quality which make sustainable architects and designers sought after in recent years. Architects in Australia have made the first carbon-positive prefab home which can produce more energy than it consumes!


2. Financial Advisor for Responsible Investment

Responsible investment is the consideration that companies take regarding environmental, social and governance issues when making investment decisions. Therefore, financial advisors that are environmentally and socially conscious and know how to invest sustainably whilst maintaining capital growth are highly required.


3. Clean Car Engineer

Manufacturing accounts for 462,000 of the 3.1 million U.S. green jobs according to the U.S Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. And since transportation is another key green jobs category companies are trying to make vehicles that consume less fossil fuel and produce less pollution. Electric cars are the alternative that clean car engineers are going for.


4. Chief Sustainability Officer

Chief Sustainability Officers act as a company’s advocate for all environmental matters. They will often implement various measurable improvements in sustainability such as a ‘reduction in the ecological footprint of the company, retarget efficiency, a boost in positive innovation and ultimately offer long-term guidance on threats, risks, and prospects to the CEO and CFO’.

SUMAS further explains that ‘CSOs are a crucial element for companies seeking to become leaders in their specific markets and are valued by investors for their continuous cultivation of a strong sustainability strategy and culture.’


5. Environmental Lawyer

Lawyers who have the skills to counsel clients on the latest green standards, environmental laws and sustainability issues are highly in demand.


6. Renewable Energy

Studying sustainability can also mean studying relative energy targets like wind, solar, geothermal or other less common forms of renewable energy is something the 21st century needs. Professions related to renewable energy are being a civil engineer, geologist, or materials scientist.


7. Sustainable Agriculture

‘Sustainable agriculture relates to the development of food production methods that are sustainable, protect the environment and avoid causing irreparable harm to soils and other natural systems.’ One that wants to work in this field can become a food scientist, an organic farmer, or a sustainable food systems manager.


8. Urban Growers

Living in the city doesn’t mean one doesn’t need fresh products every day. Green roof gardens are the solution! And they’ve become quite common. They can deliver locally targetd foods that help protect the environment in all sorts of ways. As National Geographic further explains, they minimize the use of pesticides, fossil fuels, and other retargets to grow and transport food to markets. Moreover, green roofs can improve the urban environment by protecting buildings against energy loss, improving air quality, and providing places of recreation.


If you’re interested in doing a job that is fulfilling AND benefits the environment, then you will like one of these. We hope you soon find your next great, green gig!


Blog post contributed by SUMAS -the first Sustainability School in the world located in Gland, Switzerland.