Committed to sustainability? Desire to make it a part of your professional life? Not sure where to start? Consider these resources as you look for sustainability in your career or your career in sustainability.
What does my current job have to do with sustainability?
It may seem like a job in accounting, engineering, nursing, or law has nothing to do with sustainability but you’d be wrong. You make important decisions that have significant impacts. Reflect on your role within the organization. Are there changes you can make to address sustainability?
- Have you had a discussion with your colleagues, your team, and/or your supervisor about sustainability within the organization? What are your organization’s key values and how do they align with sustainability?
- Have you taken steps to reduce energy use, eliminate unnecessary waste production, implement recycling and composting programs, conserve water, address diversity and inclusion, engage local communities, and prepare for a changing climate?
- Are you willing to be a champion for these issues within the organization?
What if I want to move into a sustainability role?
There was a time when sustainability positions were very few and had to be generalists. Increasingly, sustainability is becoming a specialized field with experts in finance, energy, engagement, and research/innovation. Consider increasing your experience with these specialized resources:
- School of Environmental Sustainability MSESS and Certificate Programs: The SES has developed a series of sustainability certificates that meet the current specialized nature of this field.
- Quinlan School of Business: Quinlan’s Business Leadership Hub is committed to connecting business and purpose through specialized programs in Executive Training, Supply and Value Chain, MBAs, and Graduate Certificates.
- Alumni Events: Loyola provides events for alumni interested in getting involved in sustainability and service. This calendar lists workdays, trips, and career trainings that can support your sustainability interests.
- International Society for Sustainability Professionals: This organization provides a professional association and training for sustainability career professionals.
Sustainable Career Resources:
- GreenBiz: News about all kinds of sustainable businesses and tips for how to promote sustainability in your own workplace
- Sustainability Degrees: A resource for discovering a sustainability degree that fits your passion and skills, plus an ultimate "how-to guide" for students to get involved in sustainability advocacy and activism
- Net Impact: Resource for learning about careers with impact including a job and internship board and impact careers course
- Social Enterprise Jobs Google Group: Google Group with job announcements related to social enterprise and social innovation
- SES Sustainable Job Sites: This is a list of employers and job sites by topic area (ie. water, economics, academia).
Interested in personal sustainability? How to live sustainably in the adult world:
Here are some sustainability pro tips for the office and your home to help you stay eco-friendly after graduation.
- Where you live and where you work define your impact. If you spend hours commuting and can only do that by car, you’re going to create a lot of emissions, plus waste your day and spend money on fuel. If you have a large home but spend very little time in it, it is still using energy. Is your neighborhood walkable? Do you know your neighbors? Does it reflect the diversity of race, gender, income, and perspective that you seek?
- Reduce single-use plastics. Carry a reusable coffee or water container. Keep reusable cutlery and a washable napkin with you. When ordering food from a restaurant, ask to skip the utensil packet and pile of napkins. Consider bringing an extra container for leftovers, or if you’re taking it “to-go,” bring your own bag to avoid extra packaging.
- Use public transportation, carpool, or bike to reduce emissions on your commute. Did you know you can save up $2,174 each year by carpooling 40 miles round trip with just one other person? Don't have a carpool buddy? Check out erideshare.com to find a commuting partner. Uber, Lyft, and Divvy are also convenient options if you don’t have a car.
- Use LEDs and EnergyStar appliances in your home. These bulbs last 10x longer than their incandescent counterparts and use only about 30% as much energy. EnergyStar equipment carries the logo and lists energy consumption compared to similar devices.
- Turn off and unplug your computer and other electronics when you leave your office in the evenings. Even in a low-power mode, these items are still using small amounts of energy which contributes to CO2 emissions. Moreover, try plugging your office and home electronics into a power strip which you can turn off when you’re gone for periods of time.
- If you travel for your job, consider buying carbon offsets for each flight you take.
- Start your own compost. With a little dedication and patience, it’s easy to do and extremely beneficial for the environment. Get your housemates on-board too so it’s not all your burden. See the US EPA’s guide for composting at home for more information.
- Recycle! Go to your city's website to learn about their municipal recycling program and see what they do and do not accept. This link has resources by city. Also, make sure your office has a recycling program.
- Buy and sell used furniture, household goods and office supplies instead of buying new. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay and freecycle.org are great places to start.
- Get active outside! Save emissions and money by exercising outdoors instead of joining a gym. Consider joining a running or biking club or participating in yoga at the park!
Environment and Social Responsibility Pledge
All Loyola graduates are invited to participate in the annual graduation pledge. This pledge was adopted by the Dean’s Council in 2020 following a resolution by Student Government. As an institution with a deep history of social and environmental justice, the students wanted to engage their peers with a commitment to take these values into their future careers and endeavors. All students are given the opportunity to take the pledge listed below.
“I pledge to reflect deeply and critically upon the social and environmental impacts of all my endeavors. I will aspire to create a just, humane, and sustainable world for all people through my work, my community, and my actions.”