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Consumers worldwide increasingly care about using services and products which are eco-conscious. This rising desire is influencing global business initiatives and causing a new demand for companies that take into account the growing need to be accountable for environmental concerns. Further to this, prioritizing the environment means that there is a need for new job roles – people who are eco-ambassadors within an organization, and others who are trained in sustainable industries. 

Conservation is also booming as a career option as governments realize the need to preserve or restore damaged ecosystems, with the COP26 conference demonstrating this will only become more of a priority in the years ahead. From carbon offsetting schemes to rewilding projects, huge amounts of money are being poured into rescuing damaged environments and setting up more planet-focused practices for the future. But how can you start an eco-conscious career and help to drive change?

Sustainability Manager

Many companies are starting to respond to the concerns of their customers by hiring sustainability managers. A sustainability manager is an advisory role dedicated to helping strategize, research, and implement newer practices within the business that are more environmentally responsible. 

This is a relatively fresh role on the market, but if you have a passion for business and a drive to achieve greener initiatives, this may be ideal for you. One advantage of this career is that it spans many different industries, giving you the potential for flexibility and diversity in your role. 

Heating engineer

Low-carbon heating systems are an important part of the UK government’s plan to reach net zero by 2050. Much funding has already been provided to develop the necessary new technologies, supported by a side-line government grant scheme for homeowners who upgrade outdated boilers to more eco-friendly options.  Other countries are following suit, such as the US which recently passed a historic climate change bill. By reducing the nation’s use of fossil fuels, the UK economy will be less susceptible to issues with price spikes and nearly a quarter of a million jobs will be supported. 

One of the best ways to capitalize on this shift in the market is to become a heating engineer. In order to fulfill their quota of eco-friendly home heating systems, the UK government needs eight times more engineers than they currently have and are therefore investing heavily in green engineering programs. Training in green heating jobs such as air source heat pump installation promises to be a stable and lucrative career move for many years to come.

Restoration Officer

What could be more rewarding than working to repair a damaged or destroyed ecosystem? Help to preserve and protect our precious planet by getting your hands dirty in the best sense of the phrase! Working as an ecological project manager or environmental officer means you could be doing important restoration such as rewilding, reforesting and cleaning rivers or developing ways of using nature for carbon offsetting initiatives such as mangrove and seaweed farms.

Roles in restoration can be found in a variety of sectors. You may wish to work as a researcher in an academic environment to find new methods for rebuilding ecosystems. If you prefer charity work, you may find a paid or voluntary role that is in the heart of the action or behind the scenes. Likewise, businesses and governments are also looking for environmental professionals to drive forward their sustainability commitments.  

Environmental lawyer 

Have you ever wondered who fights for the interests of Mother Nature when it comes to the law? Environmental lawyers do this and more, including resolving damaging issues concerning threats to human health and the use of natural resources. This career is certainly a philanthropic one: encourage responsible practices while fighting for vulnerable communities and ecosystems and bring about positive change in the law to protect the planet. On top of this, it can be very well paid!

While all of these eco-conscious job options require some degree of training, starting a career in law from scratch is the biggest investment in terms of time and money. You will need to gain legal skills and qualifications to do this role which can take years. You could do this via two routes: achieve an undergraduate law degree or do a degree in a different discipline before completing a law conversion course. However, if you can afford the investment, the future of environmental law is bright.