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Environmental & Sustainability Careers

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“An understanding of the natural world and what is in it is a source of not only great curiosity but also great fulfilment.”

David Attenborough

Whether you’re starting out in your career or looking to move into a different industry, environmental and sustainability roles are a fantastic option for people looking to make a difference in the food industry.

Global food systems include the entire process of growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, consuming and disposing of food. They account for over one third of greenhouse gases, occupy half of the world’s habitable land, account for 70% of our fresh water consumption and are the single biggest cause of biodiversity loss. A sustainability role in the food industry could be a great option for you if you’re looking to make tangible change for the good of the planet.

More and more companies are committing themselves to becoming environmentally sound, and creative and motivated new starters are essential to their success in this field. Read on to find out what options are out there.


Do I need a science degree to get into sustainability?

“That’s what’s so important in sustainability, I don’t just need scientists and climate experts, I need communicators who can tell the story, who can make it live through the brands that our consumers interact with. I need people in HR who are finding the next best people to come in. I need people that can build relationships externally so that we can build partnerships and collaborations to tackle some of these big challenges. So absolutely, for anyone who is looking to get into sustainability, don’t think you need to just do a geography degree or a science degree. There’s a whole wealth of different skills, perspectives, and talents that we need to help us deliver on making our sustainability goals a reality.” – Dr Emma Keller, Head of Sustainability, Nestlé UK & I

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Is a Sustainability themed degree your starting point?

There are now lots of specific university courses for Sustainability, such as Sustainable Development or Business Sustainability Management. Some people also study Science or Environmental Management.

Check out the International Institute for Environment and Development website for work placements and internships. Environmental charity posts lots of information about sustainability in general, including jobs and a paid work placements for young people aged between 18 to 25.

Some key skills that companies look for:
  • Research skills, an investigative mind
  • Laboratory skills
  • Problem solving and creative thinking
  • Scientific, ethical and philosophical perspective
  • Good with numbers/statistics
  • Project management and time management skills
  • Ability to work in a team and work independently

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