Some discussion about the evolving nature of the corporate sustainability space:
Over the past two years, my LinkedIn feed has been flooded with job postings for “Circular Economy Program Manager,” “Director of ESG,” “Renewable Energy Procurement Specialist” and the many other roles that were unimaginable even five or 10 years ago. The growth of sustainability career options has been undeniable and I realized how far the corporate sustainability field has come.
Corporate responsibility and sustainability has shifted from conservation and a broader environmental movement, to compliance and risk mitigation, and finally to today where it is being incorporated into business strategy and innovation.
Like the field of corporate sustainability, the career path is also quickly changing. During the earlier stages of corporate sustainability, businesses often started sustainability programs as response to controversies or perceived risks. Businesses would tap internal talent that was readily available and move them laterally into these new roles. As a result, the corporate sustainability career paths of the past consisted of learning on the job and have meandered across internal departments.
As corporate sustainability developed, academic degrees dedicated to sustainability became more common, along with certifications and professional trainings. This has helped professionalize corporate sustainability. This next generation of sustainability professionals will have sustainability backgrounds even at the entry level, something unheard of decades ago. They will also find significantly more entry level roles and the opportunity to directly enter the field as companies are further along their sustainability journey. Read the full article on GreenBiz.