Written by Douaa Batersh
Reading time: 5 minutes
Demand for Sustainability Experts increased by 70%
The topic of sustainable development is a growing trend, especially for the younger generation in general. As future companies are hiring more and more staff specialized in this topic. As it gains popularity in the business sector, but mostly in Europe, cause of the rules and regulations that are being proposed and implemented by governments in the EU Green Deal initiative; businesses of all shapes and sizes are realizing how critical it is to minimize their environmental footprint and foster social responsibility.
The demand for individuals with the knowledge and abilities to assist organizations in achieving their sustainability goals has increased by over 70% according to research by the United Nations as a result of the growing emphasis on sustainability.
This article will address the education and experience required to pursue a profession in this expanding industry as well as the divergent and various fascinating careers in sustainability that are widely available. As a young professional interested in this topic; there are various routes to a solid career in sustainability, regardless of your passion for environmental preservation, corporate social responsibility, or sustainable urban development;
1. Create a foundation in sustainability: Start by researching and understanding the basic principles and concepts of sustainability. This will help you to have a better understanding of the field and to communicate more effectively with others.
2. Proper education: There are many educational opportunities available for those interested in sustainability, including undergraduate and graduate programs in sustainability, e-learning platforms or related fields such as environmental studies or ecology. Search for programs that offer an emphasis on direct experience and useful skills.
3. Expand networks: Attend conferences, Workshops, and events to meet and network with professionals in sustainability fields. Join Professional organizations such as us or the European Environmental Agency (EEA) or Sustainable Brands to connect with individuals that are on the same mission as you.
4. Aim for relevant experience: look for engaging internships or entry-level functions that will give you better hands-on experience in the field of sustainable development. Consider volunteering with Local organizations or NGO’s to gain experience and build your skillsets.
5. Choose an area of interest: sustainability is a broad field, therefore, it is important to find your niche. Whether it is renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, or sustainable fashion, find an area that you are passionate about and focus your time, energy and investments there.
6. Think about transferable skills: in addition to specific sustainability skills, develop transferable skills such as project management, communication, and leadership. These skills will be valuable in any career, including the synergy of sustainability.
7. Remain up to date: keep yourself in the progress of trying to be better at the topic of sustainable development, read policy papers, research case studies, attend events and find reliable sources.
8. Create online presence: Create an online portfolio on virtual websites such as LinkedIn, and other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Share relevant content and engage with others in the sustainability community.
9. Continue to be flexible: the field of sustainability is ever-changing, be open to new opportunities and be motivated, initiated and inspired to adapt to changes in the industry.
10. Multidisciplinary: Sustainability is a lifelong learning process, look at other relevant subtopics that align in your sector, you work in the building sector? How does a salesman sell a building to their customers? Look for opportunities with a holistic view on this topic.
Career in Sustainable Fashion
Let’s focus, for example, the fashion industry, responsible for an average 10% of carbon emissions. Therefore, this industry has been under pressure for having a determined effect on both society, health and the environment. Nonetheless, there is a growing drive in the sector towards sustainability, as sustainability experts working in this field are becoming more and more well-liked. These are some examples of careers in sustainable fashion:
- Durable Designer: Makes clothes out of eco-friendly and sustainable materials, examples are; recycled fabrics, organic cotton, and biodegradable materials.
- Ethical Specialist: Tasked with researching raw materials and finished goods that assist ethical business practices, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility.
- Environmental Consultant: Advises small and big fashion companies on how to implement efficient sustainable practices and minimize their environmental impact.
- Campaign Coordinator: Works within a fashion company to develop and implement campaign initiatives, such as reducing waste, raising community awareness, and improving energy efficiency.
- Reporting Journalist: Reports back to the brand on the latest trends and developments, at the same time reports about the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry.
- Green Marketeer: Promotes sustainable fashion products and brands, however, in addition; educates consumers on the benefits of sustainable fashion, which is tackling the problem and offering solutions on multiple fronts.
- Researcher: Investigates and researches the environmental and social impacts, thereby; developing and proposing solutions and strategies to promote sustainability in the industry.
These are just a few examples of careers in sustainability within the fashion industry. As sustainability becomes increasingly important to consumers and the industry as a whole, there will likely be more opportunities for young people to work in this field. Therefore, this content is part of the international Erasmus+ KA3 D.R.E.A.M.LAND project research for youth participation in sustainable development.
“Douaa is a 20 years old Biology student at the Lebanese University Faculty of Science. Born and raised in the capital of Beirut and interested in doing her Master’s in Forensics Science abroad. Moreover, Douaa is interested as a researcher in the field of environmental sustainability and its effects on the overall biodiversity, that’s why she got in touch with CoSE and immediately was interested to join the team to raise awareness on this important topic, not only from a European perspective but also for the Middle-Eastern youth in general. She is particularly focused on fashion design and its recycled and organic materials. Therefore, she is hoping to mash both natural materials and clothing together to reach sustainability in the fashion industry.”