January 26, 2016
Over half of ‘Gen S’ workers would refuse to work for employers who have a record of using slave labour, generating high levels of pollution, employing unsafe working conditions, poor environmental performance, questionable investments and unethical practices. According to the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment’s (IEMA) annual Practitioner Survey these people see environmental roles as the career change of choice, with 42 percent of professionals who now work in these roles considering themselves “career changers”. Those entering the profession come from a variety of backgrounds including finance, operations, marketing and communications and R&D. Gen S workers are typically people in their mid-thirties, above average in their qualifications with 45 percent having a Master’s degree or doctorate, looking for more than just a career and earning money, but actively seeking a career which is primarily “ethical” in nature.
Said Tim Balcon, CEO, IEMA: “We are now looking at new generation of savvy career movers. “Generation S” candidates are refusing to work for unethical employers. These career movers are typically extremely well qualified and employers who don’t have a sound reputation for good environment and sustainability performance are missing out on the pick of the crop, whether they are new graduates or career movers.
“Instead Generation “S” are looking for employers that offer opportunities to advance their career in a role that can make a positive difference to the planet, the economy and society,”
Generation “S” have developed their interest in sustainability in response to environmental issues rising up business, political, and consumer agendas, with more climate change related events reshaping our world and increasing concern about high levels of pollution. Environment has moved beyond something where people do their bit by recycling, to a mainstream objective in these workers personal and professional lives.
Those that move into environmental careers want to stay – 90 percent of IEMA members who have moved into the profession report high levels of satisfaction with their choice of new career.
So what makes a career in environment and sustainability so attractive? According to a recent survey of IEMA members, this is an area with a rewarding career that makes a difference (35 percent) and offers a lot of variety (28 percent). 59 percent say these roles are challenging, reflecting the diverse and fast-moving pace of the profession as more and more businesses and entire industries are waking up to the scale and scope of environment & sustainable opportunities.
Tim Balcon says: “Environment and sustainability roles are rewarding careers – with high job satisfaction levels. With the economy becoming increasingly dependent on environment and sustainability skills, it’s great to see that many who boast these skills are enjoying their roles to such a high level. The new skills and people that are entering the profession have a vital role to play in enhancing and supporting business action in this area.”