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For businesses, being green is the hot, new thing. And by green, we're talking small-carbon-footprint, good-for-the-environment kind of green. As a sustainability manager, you're responsible for ensuring that your company does all it can for the environment—at the best price for the organization.
To do this, you examine every angle of a company, and figure out big and small ways to make operations more energy-efficient and less wasteful. For example, you might reorganize how supplies are delivered, introduce company-wide recycling, install solar panels, or create a ride-share system. In other words, your area of expertise covers all aspects of pollution reduction, resource conservation, and energy efficiency.
It's also your responsibility to stay updated on the different rules that govern your industry, as well as researching the latest, greatest practices in sustainability and green technology.
Why the job outlook is good:
Because of the growing demand for environmentally friendly practices, the entire green industry is charted for growth. While this specific position is anticipated to expand at average rate, the US Department of Labor has labeled it a Bright Outlook occupation—which means this job area should have a sunshiny future (great for all those solar panels!).
What training you need:
For this career you'll need an undergraduate degree in business, engineering, or environmental science. Find an entry-level position in a company’s green initiatives department. While you're working your way up, consider getting an MBA in order to improve your chances of becoming Chief Sustainability Officer—a top ranking executive position.
Show me the money!
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average salary of a sustainability specialist around $62,000.
Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a career exploration site that helps people discover and pursue a career that excites them. Check out the website for more information on sustainability managers or join in the conversation on Twitter.