Interested in a career in sustainability?

This week the Sustainability team are running their annual Sustainability Careers Week to help you gain the skills and understanding required to gain a job in the competitive sustainability sector once you graduate.

So, what even is “sustainability”?

Sustainability is an often used and little understood word. The most used definition that you might have seen before is the Brundtland Definition, which defines sustainable development as:

“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Brundtland Report for the World Commission on Environment and Development (1992)

In short, this simply means that to be sustainable, you need think about the effect that the decisions you are making now will have on generations to come.

A key principle of sustainability is the triple bottom line, which highlights the equal importance of the economy, society and the environment. This is also known as the three P’s – people, profit and planet.

For more information, why not watch the sustainability team’s vlog – What is Sustainability?

Careers in Sustainability:

So, now you know what sustainability is, you might be wondering what a sustainability career may look like…

That’s not easy to answer, purely because sustainability covers such a huge remit. However, some of the most common and in demand jobs in the sustainability and environmental sectors are;

Sustainability Consultants

Companies that do not have on-site sustainability team or those that may need additional expertise hire sustainability consultants to help them execute sustainability efforts including energy management systems, energy efficiency programmes and employee engagements. Examples of some companies that you may have heard of that hire graduate sustainability consultants are PwC, Ernst and Young and KPMG.

Environmental Scientists

Environmental scientists conduct research to identify, decrease the harmful effects of or eliminate pollutants and hazards to the environment or health of the population. As an Environmental Scientist, you could find yourself working for the local council, the Environment Agency or a private organisation.

Energy Engineers

Energy engineers work on the research, design and construction of power generation plants, including both non-renewable and renewable energy sources. As an energy engineer you could find yourself working for a large organisation such as Shell or BP or a smaller renewable company.


As an ecologist, you could be involved in conducting surveys to identify, record and monitor species and their habitats. Depending on the company that you work for you could be involved in Environmental Impact Assessments for large building projects or collecting and managing biological information for national databases.

Sustainability and Energy Managers

Sustainability and energy managers are in charge of implementing sustainability measures into the organisation that they work for. These can include energy efficiency projects, behaviour change and awareness programmes and also monitoring energy, waste and water data. Large organisations and universities often employ sustainability and energy managers.

Green Building Professionals

Professionals with sustainability skills are required at all stages of a build to ensure that buildings meet certain environmental requirements that have been set by the government. Input regarding sustainability is required from the architects, civil and mechanical engineers and urban planners.

The above are just some of the professions that we will be represented at our careers week. To find out more about a career in sustainability, why not attend our events;

sus1The Sustainability Careers and Volunteering Fair

Date – 24th November 2016

Time – 12:00 – 2:00pm

Location – The Octagon, Mile End Campus, QMUL

The Sustainability Careers and Volunteering Fair offers students the opportunity to find out about local volunteering, project placement and graduate opportunities to gain standout work experience for your CV as well as exploring a range of roles in the sustainability sector.

The Sustainability Speed Meet

Date – 24th November 2016

Time – 5:30 – 7:30pm

Location – Room 3.26, Francis Bancroft, Mile End Campus, QMUL

The Sustainability Speed Meet offers students the opportunity to meet sustainability professionals, ask questions about their experience and career to date and gain contacts.

Places are limited so make sure you book soon to avoid disappointment!

QMUL Sustainability Team


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