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4th January 2016


15 interesting or unusual sustainability careers to inspire your job hunt in 2016

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Working in sustainability isn’t just about being eco-friendly and making sure you recycle the office cardboard each week. Neither is it limited to working at a wind farm or fitting PV solar panels on the roofs of houses.

Acre specialises in sustainability recruitment. We only have one planet, it’s our responsibility to keep it revolving and we hope we are helping to do our bit by connecting companies to people who have the same beliefs and thought processes when it comes to sustainability.

We thought we would highlight some of the more interesting or unusual sustainability careers out there (not just current vacancies on our website, by the way!) and see if we can whet your appetite with some juicy green jobs.

There is no limit to your dreams of netting that perfect sustainability job. Below is the lowdown on some of our favourite amazing sustainability jobs out there. If you think you can add to our compilation, be our guest and get in touch.

In the meantime, do have a great start to 2016 (And do recycle those Christmas cards).

1. What does an ecologist who specialises in dormice need to carry out the job in a bonafide fashion? A dormouse licence. We kid you not. Dormice are given full protection under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and the hazel dormouse is a European Protected Species. You cannot handle a dormouse unless you have the appropriate licence as an experienced ecologist. And that alone sounds pretty amazing to us.

2. Expedition Project Manager. This job is often voluntary but living expenses are paid. With projects in far flung places like Borneo, these roles are working with sustainable development charities like Raleigh International. The focus is on providing safe access to water, protecting vulnerable environments and building more resilient communities.

3. Training Coordinator with The Accord. The Accord is an independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces. It is a legally binding agreement and a Training Coordinator would lead a large, high profile workplace programme. Based in Dhaka, the Training Coordinator works closely with the Chief Safety Inspector and Executive Director. Responsibilities include training staff as well as developing and delivering a comprehensive building, fire, and workplace safety programme.

4. Innovative Social Entrepreneur. This sustainability role turns ideas into profitable activities that deliver environmental impact. This job requires someone with immense passion, a proven entrepreneurial spirit and a shared commitment to a firm’s values. A willingness to get stuck in to help build an entirely new social business goes without saying.

5. Fancy a job in sustainability where it’s important to get your taste buds insured for a cool £1million? That’s what happened to Sebastian Michaelis when he worked for the Tetley Group as a tea taster (a dream job surely? “I’ll just go on my tea break and then get to work…..drinking tea.” Imagine). Mr Michaelis is now Senior Tea Buyer and Blender and Ethical Sourcing Manager at Tata Global Beverages, the company responsible for the Tetley brand. Wonder if he ever fancies a cappuccino just for a change.

6. Destinations Programme Manager. This is a position that helps increase the benefits and reduce negative impacts of tourism in destinations. This is achieved by developing and implementing tourism initiatives to enable the long-term incorporation of sustainable practice.

Excellent people management skills are essential and experience in not only the tourism sector but also an environmental background is useful.

7. Ever wondered how journalists manage to keep their cool when reporting in war-torn countries? It’s all down to training. 1st Option Safety is the market leader in providing health and safety training to the media and broadcasting industry and creates simulated terrorist situations to train reporters before they go to war zones.

With a firm passion for all things health and safety, the team of highly experienced staff run courses including Hostile Environment Training which is aimed at equipping people with the right skills to deal with the challenges they may face in hostile environments or remote locations.

The course includes minefield awareness, kidnap and detention and working in a disaster zone training.

8. What about a job where you develop and deliver education on mobile devices to make sure refugees don’t miss out on education? Larger scale projects include the Vodafone Foundation & UNHCR’s Instant Network Schools Programme, which is designed to support quality education for young refugees and connecting schools through mobile technology.

They develop a solar powered centre with tablets where child refugees and teachers can ac­cess digital educational content and the internet. Some smaller scale projects are focusing on employment and mobile technology itself, offering instruction on mobile repair leading to certificates.

9. Urban Grower. This job could suit you if you like the idea of being committed to feeding city dwellers in a way that is positive for communities and the environment. Sustainable fresh fish, salads and herbs are produced in cities using a combination of aquaponic and vertical growing equipment. It is claimed that indoor farming and urban farming are necessary to feed a growing global population. Producing pesticide-free food indoors also means that consumers are protected from disruptions in the food supply caused by natural disasters and that farmland could be restored to ecosystems, such as forests, that could absorb greenhouse gases. Growing food indoors also uses 98 per cent less water and 70 per cent less fertilizer than traditional methods.

10. Green Doctor Advisor. The ideal Green Doctor Advisor will use their strong organisation skills to help transform people’s lives and places through social, economic and environmental action. The role is to monitor and evaluate each individual project as required. Projects include evaluating water usage in houses and helping improve water efficiency in the home.

11. Stay Safe Business Partner. This role supports regional and local leaders in the ownership, leadership and delivery of their Stay Safe strategies as part of their five year business plan to improve health, safety and wellbeing across the business.

The job involves delivering health and safety related training, sharing best practice, and acting as a visible leader for the principles of Stay Safe, as well as establishing an open culture to encourage a high level of communication.

12. Green Design Professionals. Professionals including building and landscape architects, engineers and urban planners, are needed to design green buildings, including their energy, waste and water systems, as well as the landscapes that surround them. Is that a job that could grab you?

13. In-vitro Meat Scientist. The future could be all about lab-grown meat; that is the idea of producing meat without actually using an animal. It’s all about growing stem cells and in theory, this process could supply meat globally. It is still largely in the research process at the moment, so don’t look out for that non-bovine beef burger just yet.

14. Landfill Miner. Landfill mining and reclamation (LFMR) is a method involving excavating and processing solid wastes which have previously been landfilled. The procedure typically involves a series of mechanical processing operations which are designed to recover recyclable materials, a combustible fraction, soil, and landfill space. Can you dig it? Yes you can.

15. Amusement Ride Inspector. OK, so this may well sound like a dream job, but don’t assume you can just rock up at your favourite theme park and while away a few hours thrill seeking. Amusement industry safety professionals…or amusement device inspectors…have to sit exams and study in hydraulics, electrics and inspection techniques. It is definitely not all fun and games and there are definitely some highs and lows to this health and safety career. In fact, some might say it’s a bit of a rollercoaster….