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Sustainability professionals happier, survey finds

June 2015

Professionals who switch to environment and sustainability roles believe they have chosen well.

A practitioner survey says 87% report a high level of satisfaction with their decisions, and more than 92% of respondents are undertaking some form of professional development.

Another interesting trend is that 42% in environment and sustainability work have consciously chosen to move into it from other jobs.

The figures appear in the annual practitioner survey of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), the UK-based professional body for more than 15,000 executives worldwide dedicated to raising sustainability standards.

The survey goes on to highlight pay levels, which buck the UK’s austerity trend and continue to rise. Present annual remuneration ranges from just over £23,000 ($35,000, €32,000) for a junior entrant to £230,000 for a director.

The IEMA predicts the profession will make a vital contribution in the difficult business conditions expected to intensify in the next five years.

Its researches found that only 13% of organisations were confident of having the skills to compete successfully in a sustainable economy.

The IEMA said companies would be hampered by the collective effect of a growing scarcity of vital resources in a rising population, rapidly increasing prices of essential materials such as energy, and climate change challenges.

The key to competitiveness and productivity, says the report, lies with environment and sustainability skills.

Many companies have been found to be reacting already by integrating these skills into the fabric of their business.

Jonathan Garrett, Jaguar Land Rover’s CSR director, told the researchers: “Embedding sustainability into our business plan and fostering a passion for ‘environmental innovation’ among our people has helped us achieve business success.”

Universities too are adapting programmes to provide these skills, says the report.

Paul Caulfield, of Nottingham University Business School’s international CSR centre, said: “To thrive, businesses need to move sustainability from a peripheral issue to one that’s at their heart. Those organisations that are doing that today are really benefiting.
 




IEMA | Europe | Sustainability

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