12 October 2023

The future is green: navigating a career in sustainability

By Trivium Communications
News contact
Peipei Yang
Peipei Yang
Sustainable Sourcing Project Manager

Sustainability has come a long way over the last few years and is now integrated into how most businesses operate. That presents a wealth of opportunities and challenges for young professionals. From the urgent need to address climate change to the vital role of education, they have a unique chance to be at the forefront of meaningful change.

Finding your path: start small, dream big

If you're new to the sustainability sector and unsure where to start, the best approach is to begin by identifying your interests. Whether it's sustainability in the packaging industry, FMCG, energy, finance, healthcare, or technology, focus on a specific topic that you're passionate about. Once you've selected a focus area, build on it by diving into resources, exploring hands-on learning opportunities, training programs and networking.

Bridging the gap: reality vs. expectations

Many young professionals think they need to know everything before embarking on a career in sustainability. The truth is that you learn the most through experience. In many cases, companies aren't necessarily looking for the 'perfect candidate' but rather someone who is passionate about sustainability, willing to learn, grow with the role, and looking for opportunities to contribute to the greater good. Some companies even collaborate with local governments and universities to design training courses based on the company's hiring needs. The key takeaway here is to stay flexible, active, and willing to take the initiative.

Keep learning and discovering

In today’s digital age, learning resources are more accessible than ever. LinkedIn, for example, is a fantastic platform to grow your knowledge. Being active on social media not only can help boost your professional profile or connect with like-minded people but also enables you to follow the latest insights and happenings from the industry leaders on Sustainability. LinkedIn Learning offers many free courses on a wide range of subjects to help you achieve your personal and professional goals.


You can also consider watching environmental documentaries, such as 2019 Our Planet (David Attenborough), 2017 Chasing Coral (Jeff Orlowski), and 2018 The Biggest Little Farm (John Chester), just to name a few. When you are on the road, books such as The Little Book of Mindful Travel (Tiddy Rowan), or The Nature Fix (Florence Williams) are are also great ways to learn about our fascinating mother nature.

Collaborative experience

Working on large-scale projects is an incredibly valuable experience for anyone interested in growing their career. Though it may seem difficult to find those opportunities, there are actually numerous projects focused on empowering young professionals. Joining a relevant group or a program will provide structure and resources to develop your ideas.

There is one initiative that is especially well-positioned to boost an early career in sustainability. Organised by the UN Global Compact, the Young Professionals Program (YPP) is a year-long program designed for young professionals across various industries. The program brings together professionals to work on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-related challenges. The experience is both enriching and diverse, providing an opportunity to work on the broad set of challenges set out by the SDGs.

Skill development

YPP and similar programs are not just about the project at hand, they also aim to develop you as a professional:

  • Taking on leadership roles during a project can help you improve your project management skills and shape your mindset to think like a project leader.
  • Mastering stakeholder management is vital for fostering good collaboration relationships, not only cross-functional within your company, but also with customers, suppliers, and your local communities.
  • Being proactive in your communication is crucial. Sharing opinions, feelings, and expectations openly, as well as being a good listener is essential for both your personal and team success.
Driving positive consumer behaviour

A unique challenge and opportunity for young professionals in the sustainability sector is contributing to changing consumer behaviour. While the task may be monumental, it is equally rewarding. Instead of just focusing on our stubborn habits, young professionals can be the bridge between awareness and action. By applying innovative solutions, running awareness campaigns, or developing educational programs that can make a meaningful difference, young professionals can help companies navigate these shifts.

Be the change

The sustainability sector offers a multitude of avenues for young professionals to make a tangible impact. Whether you're starting small or aiming high, remember that the sector needs passionate individuals ready to bring about change. By utilising the right resources, participating in developmental programs, and honing vital skills, you're well on your way to becoming an influencer in the sustainability space.