What happen to all those sustainability Jobs

Now that I am in my last semester of Grad school, I started looking for jobs and given what I learned during my time at Penn, I started my search with the term of sustainability specialist or sustainability director, or sustainability “anything”. To my surprise, I find that there are so little position that is especially build for someone like me who specialize in corporate sustainability.

My first reaction is well, I guess what I have learned and what all these articles and reports that are making headlines. What happen to companies being push by Walmart’s sustainability consortium, or companies making the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for years, or even corporations that are partnering with NGO’s to help develop its sustainability program?

So I guess what I am trying to say that people like me who study environmental strategies and systems and sustainability systems are unable to find jobs because companies are no longer looking at a centralized sustainability team. It took me a while, but soon I realized that the reason I am unable to find jobs that I want to find is because of how current corporate sustainability is moving toward the extremes. In one hand, companies who are all about sustainability are adopting its sustainability strategies into its core and everyone is a sustainability manager of their own space. On the other hand, companies that are starting sustainability are now outsourcing the position to consultants or experts.

Looking forward, it seems that I need to change my perspective on job search. I need to look for positions that are in position to make an impact on corporate’s sustainable management. This does not mean that I will find a sustainability specific position, but maybe a quality assurance expert with specialty in sustainability. Or, I just need to be an expert in ISO14001 or GRI and be a consultant to help


About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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