As governments and private industries around the globe attempt to reduce their carbon emissions, forging a career in sustainable development is an attractive option.
By playing a vital role in how society meets its environmental and social needs without sacrificing economic development, you’re helping to bring about a better, more sustainable future.
Although there are still significant challenges ahead, the United Nations has outlined 17 key goals to transform our world. This blueprint helps visualise the biggest global issues and outlines how these are being addressed in the years ahead.
Whether you analyse the environment in the field, design smarter cities or consult for green operations, consider these sustainable development roles alongside a small business or large-scale operation.
Sustainability development careers
1. Sustainability analyst
Sustainability analysts help businesses identify areas for environmental improvement and develop strategies to get there. With a strong background in research, these analysts produce detailed reports and provide recommendations for corporate sustainability programs.
All SGX-listed companies in Singapore must prepare and publish annual sustainability reports. Sustainability analysts detail an organisation’s environmental practices, highlight targets for the next financial year and feature a board statement that explains how these issues are being closely considered.
Alongside helping smaller organisations understand and address their environmental impact, sustainability analysts shape the decision-making process and drive eco-conscious processes.
2. Sustainability consultant
As governments and companies look to become more socially and environmentally proactive, sustainability consultants evaluate their practices and identify ways to limit their global impact.
This role is required across numerous sectors, ranging from residential housing development to transport infrastructure and mineral projects.
For instance, a sustainability consultant will aim to reduce a company’s carbon footprint while supporting business activities. However, they often have to balance opposing factors to deliver the ideal outcome.
Once they’ve identified areas for improvement, they help guide a company to make smarter decisions around factors like energy and water usage, packaging, wastage and shipping.
With this role growing in prominence over the last few years, sustainability consultant positions are perfect for those looking to collaborate on ways to make the world better.
3. Landscape architect
Landscape architects are crucial to how communities experience an eco-friendly existence. There are endless opportunities for smarter design and resource management, such as in an urban centre.
This fascinating field recognises how landscapes provide food, energy and wildlife habitats while preventing natural disasters and promoting health and wellbeing. With this in mind, landscape architects shape our communities into more sustainable spaces that benefit biodiversity.
By fostering green space and accounting for renewable energy production, landscape architects positively impact streets, towns and regional areas. This career offers fantastic prospects for jobseekers who want to have a tangible impact via the built environment.
4. Soil conservationist
Soil conservationists have a central role in protecting and utilising natural resources to their maximum potential. By learning intricate skills around soil, water and environmental conservation, these workers often help agricultural operations level up their sustainability performance.
There are numerous benefits to improving the quality of our soil. For example, increased fertility means crops deliver bigger yields. Plus, this reduces our reliance on harmful chemicals that prevent disease.
Soil conservationists might also deliver solutions that prevent pollution from seeping into nearby waterways. In addition, specialised techniques like soil carbon sequestration also store harmful emissions in organic matter, helping to limit its impact on the atmosphere.
Ecologists study the interrelated existence of plants, animals and the environment. As they work to understand the careful balance between these pillars, they develop clever solutions that enhance how land or water is used to improve ecosystems and biodiversity.
Typically, ecologists specialise in a specific environment or species, such as marine life or coastal settings. Then, they’ll use their knowledge to collect and analyse data, make recommendations to landowners, and plan environmental restoration projects, among many other tasks.
In addition, ecologists collaborate closely with several stakeholders, including government, corporate bodies, environmental agencies and more. Working from the field or the laboratory, these specialists are imperative to environmental management and protection.
A fulfilling career path for the future
A role in sustainability development can easily see you planning out a path for your future, since this is a sector with the future in mind. Set short and long term goals so you can chart your progress as you embark on a fulfilling career path in sustainability.