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ESG jobs: Everything You Need to Know in 2023

What are ESG jobs, why are they important, is it difficult to pursue an ESG job, and what are some examples of ESG jobs in 2023 for young workers seeking to work ESG jobs?
Business
2023-08-25T00:00:00.000Z
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Millennials and those a part of Gen Z look for different things in jobs these days than their parents did: such as the flexibility to work remotely, the culture of the company, and companies that take pride in their efforts to become more sustainable – such as ESG jobs. In fact, only 17% of baby boomers are interested in taking jobs that aim their efforts towards environmental reform, while a whopping 40% of Millenials have chosen jobs due to their sustainable efforts or corporate social responsibility. 

However, for many young job seekers – choosing to apply for ESG jobs can have financial repercussions, especially amongst the current period of exasperated inflation. Companies that are committed towards improving the current environmental circumstances may result in a lower pay-grade for employees, and not everyone is able to afford that at the current moment despite their passion for fighting against climate change. 

You know what they say, millennials want it all!

young people co-working together

Is there a happy medium to be met?

What does ESG mean?

The term ‘ESG’ in ESG jobs refers to environmental, social, and governance factors – which are used in a wide variety of sustainable practices such as in ESG investments and when calculating a company’s ESG score. 

Environmental

The ‘E’ in ESG explains the environmental energy usage of a company: such as the amount of carbon emissions they produce, their efforts to conserve energy, use of water, or how they treat animals. 

Investors will often look at the environmental aspect of a company when ultimately choosing whether or not to financially contribute to the project or organization. More often than not, investors and customers are becoming more interested in companies that make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint.

Social

The ‘S’ in ESG refers to the social interactions at a company: such as their methods of communication, transparency, efforts to implement diversity and inclusion, work conditions, and customer satisfaction.

The social aspect of ESG is imperative to the rest of a company's endeavors, as no business can exist without people ­– whether they are customers or employees. So no, the “social” aspect in ESG doesn’t have anything to do with how many social media apps are on your phone.

social media network

Governance

The ‘G’ in ESG refers to how companies manage and proceed with their business activities. Thai could be depicted in how an entity deals with internal conflicts within the company. Investors will often monitor this part of ESG in order to determine if the project or organization will be a worthwhile investment down the road. 

Now that you’ve been refreshed on the meaning of ESG – let’s take a look at ESG jobs.

What are ESG Jobs?

ESG jobs are found across multiple industries, and they can be classified as any jobs that seek to improve the environmental, social, or governance factors of a company. Therefore, the good news is that no matter your career – the odds of finding an ESG job are pretty good.

A few examples of ESG jobs include jobs that seek to monitor and assess the performance of the company or employees, business ethics, or regulate risk factors that could negatively impact the environmental or social factors of the business. ESG jobs can also include roles in sustainable investing or jobs that seek to promote sustainability in the government sector of a business. Even someone who takes on the role as an HR manager can be deemed as having an ESG job, as their day-to-day work activities involve managing the social interactions and managing the potential risks employees may create within the workplace. 

Due to the nature of ESG jobs and their impact on environmental, social, and governance – ESG jobs can be stressful due to the potential colossal impact, but in the process – they can also be deeply rewarding for both the planet, society, and the employees with ESG jobs themselves.

3 Benefits of Choosing ESG Jobs

There are a multitude of benefits to be had when choosing an ESG job, but for the sake of time: here are three reasons why seeking an ESG job could be beneficial to you and the rest of the world. 

Boost Productivity

It can get tiring day in and day out to work a 9-5 job; even if it is your dream career. Therefore, those who choose ESG jobs in their line of work will benefit both themselves, their career, and the company they work for with a newfound sense of intrinsic motivation knowing that their line of work will no longer benefit their individual industry – but ESG factors as a whole. 

Everyone, especially young people, aim to be more productive these days – an ESG jobs promote that value in today’s society!

Show Others How ESG Jobs Don’t Mean Settling

Choosing ESG jobs doesn’t mean someone has to give up on what they love to do. The motto that every small part makes a difference can be conveyed with ESG jobs – as showing others that it’s possible to find ESG jobs in a field that is known to produce excessive emissions or harm the environment can encourage others to change their daily habits and transition towards sustainability as well. 

After all, “Monkey see, monkey do.”

Implement Sustainability Into Your Career

Some people may feel guilty if their passions do not coincide with their sustainable values – such as those who work in fashion or the tech industry. 

Even Edna could make their career sustainable!

fashionista holding shopping bags

This is one of the overarching reasons people will seek an ESG job in their careers: so that they can continue to do what they love whilst still creating a positive impact on the world. It is one thing to do what you love for a living, and the added bonus of creating value in your line of work to adhere to the environmental precautions necessary is the cherry on top.

Now that you know just a few of the benefits of choosing an ESG job, what are some of the best careers that will lead to more opportunities to be hired for an ESG job?

5 Examples of ESG Jobs

As explained before, there can be ESG jobs for almost all fields of work – as long as the job is tailored to adhere to ESG values. However, if you’re looking for something more specific, here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.

ESG Researcher

An ESG researcher position is best for people with mathematical degrees, especially those who work in finance or other commercial industries. In order to become an ESG researcher, most people acquire Master degrees in business, social sciences, or study law. ESG researchers work to review data within a company in order to better understand and implement the regulations necessary to improve upon existing ESG values. Ultimately, ESG researchers are responsible for reviewing this data to make sure companies are doing the best job possible to make a positive ESG impact. 

Ecologist

Becoming an ecologist is one of the easiest ways for people to broaden their horizons and open up new options for themselves in their sustainability careers. Ecologists study the way that people interact with the environment and the impact it creates, and mostly work with environmental organizations dedicated to this type of study. The main goal is to observe how humans impact the environment and create plans to prevent those types of impact. In addition to this, ecologists may help with restoring previously harmed areas due to human activity or engage with their communities to encourage greater local awareness on the importance of protecting the environment.

Becoming an ecologist is like people watching and hoping that some hugs a tree, and then finding ways to encourage them to hug trees in the future if they didn’t do so already.

person touching a tree

ESG Consultant 

ESG consultants are people who work in conjunction with various companies to help guide them through their ESG problems, provide greater insight, and develop new solutions to improve upon their own ESG efforts. In order to become an ESG consultant, an understanding of ESG and the industry seeking assistance is required. 

Urban Planner

For those with architectural degrees who want to employ their skills in ESG jobs, becoming an Urban Planner may fit the bill. Urban Planners that fall under the category of ESG jobs work with other companies and even the government to landscape eco-friendly parks, city plans, roads, and green areas such as parks to ensure that local communities are implementing green initiatives wherever possible. 

Urban planners can feel good about the ESG jobs knowing that they are helping to encourage the growth of the population in the area while seeking to improve the environment as well – pertaining to all three ESG values. 

ESG jobs for Engineers

If you’re an engineer passionate about the environment, you’re in luck – because there are several different careers in ESG for you. Some of these ESG jobs for engineers include becoming an ESG Air Quality Engineer or a  Sustainability Engineer. ESG Air Quality Engineers seek to develop and employ technologies that can help to control air pollution. Sustainability Engineers, on the other hand, seek to develop projects and programs which make use of renewable energy. To become one of these types of ESG engineers, passing the required engineering programs and obtaining the necessary engineering license will be required.  

Why might people looking for work hesitate to apply for an ESG job?

The number of ESG jobs are likely to increase alongside the growing concern for climate change, but some states across the U.S. may make it hard for the job market to experience this type of sustainable makeover.

In fact, several states are seeking to develop legislation that will prevent companies from choosing ESG investments – which is ironic, as this could actually deter lucrative opportunities for both the business and the state attempting to mitigate these types of ESG practices. Another issue with this newfound, selective angst spread across various states is that many ESG funds help to ensure schools and financial pensions are funded. Therefore, some millennials and Gen Z goers may be hesitant to apply for ESG jobs given the current political climate around ESG jobs.

There are more reasons why some may view an ESG job as an unstable career move, such as by the fact that choosing an ESG job requires utmost trust in the company you work for to consistently measure and monitor their emissions, their supply chain, and make a continuous effort to prevent greenwashing. 

The thing that young people seeking new jobs in sustainability or environmental reform should remember is that while having the title of an ESG job may make it easier to lessen the guilt of your environmental impact, is that a job doesn’t have to be an ESG job to be deemed as beneficial to the planet and society. 

For example, a job that organizes funding for reforestation or aiding in the development of research for new sources of renewable energy. Ultimately, both of those jobs still push the planet towards the use of clean energy, encourage sustainability, and seek to avoid future harm to the environment.

ESG jobs are just a term to classify different types of work, but it shouldn’t keep other jobs seeking to incorporate sustainable values out of the question. Just like there are several different types of diets that could improve one’s mental and physical health, such as veganism, paleo, or gluten-free – there is no one right answer to the type of job a young person seeks in order to mitigate excessive emissions or environmental harm. 

Remember, when choosing a job: if you believe the mission is key in the fight against climate change, and the work makes you feel like you’ve made a positive impact – then the label of having an ESG job is just an added bonus.

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about ESG jobs has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Keeping your company going green such as by providing ESG jobs can be challenging, but don’t worry  – Greenly is here to help. Click here to schedule a demo to see how Greenly can help you comply with all of the upcoming regulations relevant to your company. 

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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