How to Get a Job with the Sustainability Industry

Written by Shea Harty & Immanuel Rodulfo

The sustainability industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. It is expected to be worth $12 trillion by 2025. The sector is made up of businesses and organizations that are committed to making a positive impact on the environment and society. There are many sectors within the sustainability industry, including renewable energy, green building, sustainable agriculture, and environmental consulting.

Working in the sustainability industry requires a specific set of skills. To be successful in this field, you need to be passionate about environmental issues and have a strong understanding of sustainable development principles. In addition, you should be a strong communicator with research and analytical skills.

If you're interested in finding a job in the sustainability industry, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success. First, use job-specific websites like Greenjobs or RenewableEnergyJobs to find openings in your field. You can also use general job sites like Indeed or Monster, but search for keywords like “sustainability” or “environmental.” Finally, networking is always a helpful way to find a job, so please reach out to your contacts and let them know you're seeking employment in this sector.

When it comes time for your interview, there are a few things you can do to prepare. First, research the company thoroughly so you understand its mission and values. Second, understand the culture that you’re entering. Third, understand and have solutions to their challenges (you’ll need to do some research for that information). Fourth, don’t forget to practice common interview questions with friends or family members. And finally, try to relax.

What is the Sustainability Industry?

The sustainability industry comprises businesses and organizations focusing on reducing environmental impact through increased efficiency and conservation. The three main sectors of the sustainability industry are renewable energy, green building, and sustainable agriculture.

Renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with solar and wind power leading the way. Solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity is expected to grow from 227 gigawatts (GW) in 2019 to 870 GW by 2040, while wind power capacity is expected to grow from 564 GW in 2019 2,244 GW by 2040. Technological advancements and falling costs are driving the growth of renewable energy. For example, the cost of solar PV has fallen by more than 90% since 2010, making it one of the most affordable forms of energy.

Green building is another rapidly growing sector of the sustainability industry. This refers to building design, construction, and operation focusing on reducing their environmental impact. One key aspect of green building is energy efficiency, which can be achieved through improved insulation and more efficient heating and cooling systems. Green buildings also often use renewable energy sources, such as solar power. In 2018, there was an estimated 1.2 billion square meters of LEED-certified space globally – a 35% increase from 2017.

Sustainable agriculture is another important sector of the sustainability industry. This involves practices that aim to improve yields while using fewer resources and having a less negative impact on the environment. Sustainable agriculture includes various methods such as crop rotation, conservation tillage, and integrated pest management. It is estimated that sustainable agriculture could increase global food production by up to 50% by 2050 while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 60%.

What are its key issues?

The key issues facing the sustainability industry are climate change and resource scarcity. Climate change is already causing widespread global damage, including more frequent natural disasters, droughts, and heat waves. If left unchecked, it could lead to even more devastating consequences, such as mass extinction, large-scale displacement of people, and catastrophic economic damage. Resource scarcity refers to the limited availability of water, land, and minerals. This issue is exacerbated by population growth and climate change. As populations grow and demand increases, prices will rise, and competition for scarce resources will intensify. This could lead to social unrest and conflict.

What skills are required to work in this industry?

The skills required vary depending on what sector you want to work in, but some common skills include analytical skills; project management; teamwork; communications; marketing; sales; financial analysis; research; fundraising; event planning; policy analysis; writing; critical thinking; problem-solving; data analysis.

How to Find Sustainability Jobs.

Many websites list sustainability jobs specifically. A few good ones are SustainLane, Green Jobs Network, and Clean Edge.

Use general job websites.

In addition to job-specific websites, you can search for sustainability jobs on general job websites like Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder. To find sustainable jobs on these websites, include keywords like “sustainability” or “corporate social responsibility” in your search.

Use networking.

Another great way to find a sustainability job is through networking. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and contact your contacts to see if they know of any open positions or companies hiring in the sustainability field.

How to Prepare for a Sustainability Job Interview.

When preparing for a job interview in the sustainability industry, it is essential to research the company beforehand. This will help you understand the company's mission and values and what they are looking for in a candidate. You can find this information on the company's website or other online resources.

Prepare for common interview questions.

Some common interview questions are often asked in sustainability job interviews. It is essential to prepare for these in advance so that you can give thoughtful and well-informed answers. Some of these questions include:

  • What motivated you to pursue a career in sustainability?
  • What do you think are the most critical issues facing the sustainability industry?
  • What skills do you have that would make you successful in a sustainability role?

Use mock interviews to practice.

Another way to prepare for a job interview is to practice with mock interviews. This involves interviewing someone who is not applying for the job but who can ask you similar questions that you might be asked in an interview. This is a great way to get comfortable answering questions about your qualifications and experience and getting feedback on your performance.


The sustainability industry is a rapidly growing sector with many opportunities for those with the right skills. If you're seeking employment in this field, the best place to start is by using job-specific websites, general job websites, and networking. Then, when preparing for an interview, research the company and prepare for common interview questions. With practice and preparation, you can land the sustainability job of your dreams.