Careers for a Sustainable Future – Your Sustainable Future

Our Careers for a Sustainable Future campaign starts this week and it is all about promoting and raising awareness of sustainable career opportunities to our University of Edinburgh students, helping you transition into meaningful and environmentally conscious careers. Lindsey McLeod, Careers Consultant, introduces our campaign.

As we face the reality of climate change, an increased demand on natural resources and challenging circumstances for many people across the globe, a career in sustainability can be both rewarding and impactful. Sustainability allows you to play your own unique part in creating a more sustainable future for our people and planet. 

This campaign is for all. It does not matter what stage you are at in your career planning. Sustainability is a vital mindset for every workplace; you do not need to work in the sustainability or environmental sector to have a career that supports sustainability.  

The purpose of our campaign is to allow you to: 

  • Discover career paths that make a positive impact on people and planet 
  • Explore career paths and job opportunities in sustainability 
  • Gain insights from industry professionals leading the sustainability movement 
  • Learn about resources and support available for sustainable career development 

Often people talk about Sustainable jobs interchangeably with terms such as green jobs or environmental jobs and these umbrella terms can cover a vast swathe of industries.  Environmental and sustainability roles can encompass a wide range of degree backgrounds. As well as technical roles (requiring subjects such as science, engineering, geography, agriculture), there are quantitative roles, data and tech jobs, marketing, education, charity work and creative positions. Add in sales, policy, community work, food, and hospitality and much more, and you can see that a pathway in sustainability offers huge possibilities. 

What about getting a job in this area?  

In April 2022 Deloitte and IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment) (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment) published a report A blueprint for green skills workforce transformation looking at how organisations can boost the development of green skills across the UK’s workforce. They talk about how the shift to a green and sustainable economy will create green jobs within new and emerging sectors, while those working in existing sectors will have to gain the requisite green skills to achieve the target of ‘Net Zero’ in totality by 2050. They give an extremely helpful breakdown of what being Green/Sustainable could mean in the future, 

As the UK transitions to a green economy, our understanding of what it means to be ‘green’ will undoubtedly evolve. The following are our working definitions and assumptions. 

Green Skills 

An umbrella term to refer to the technical skills, knowledge, behaviours, and capabilities required to tackle the environmental challenges we face, and to unlock new opportunities for growth. 

Green Jobs 

Specialist roles that directly focus on specific domains or initiatives dedicated to improving environmental outcomes for an organisation or for the economy. 

Green Economy 

A potential future state of the whole UK economy, in which fundamental change in the way the whole economy functions, not unlike the first industrial revolution, has taken place. 

Growth will continue to be the essential motif of our economy, but its measurement will be more holistic, more consistently factoring in people and planet alongside profit. For example, we will quantify and value biodiversity as we quantify and value domestic production. 

Source: A blueprint for green skills workforce transformation IEMA/Deloitte April 2022 

That sustainable mindset is going to be essential no matter your subject discipline – you can still have an impact in a Green Economy. 

What can I do now… 

  • Taking that first step can be daunting. Not sure where to start? Tuesday 14th November, Lindsey McLeod and Kyla Atkinson will be focusing on ‘Thinking about a Career in Sustainability’.  Sign up via MyCareerHub 
  • Explore ideas for “Getting Sustainability Work experience in Scotland” with Bright Green Business on 14th November. Sign up via MyCareerHub 
  • Come along and “Meet People working in Sustainability” on Wed 15th November. This event brings together recent Edinburgh graduates, employers and professional and 3rd sector organisations who are as passionate about sustainability as you are. This is all about meeting early-stage career professionals, getting advice from like-minded people and hearing about their careers to date:
    • Get advice on the sorts of skills that are in demand – and how you can develop these.  
    • Talk over your job search strategy – what are the best ways to find work?  
    • Find out about new emerging job roles – and what developments are happening in the sector  

Now is an ideal time to start thinking about the causes and issues that really motivate you – and start to work out where and how you can play your part in building a sustainable future. 


For more content related to Sustainability Careers, please search #EdSustainabilityCareers on socials and MyCareerHub.  

 Coming soon….Geography graduate Leo shares his insights on getting into the environmental sector.


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