Discussing "climate-friendliness" of careers

The spirit of the Climate Career Pledge is to encourage individuals to shape their career into one that is as "climate-friendly" as possible. Just as some people decide to commute by bike, install solar panels on their homes, or eat a vegan diet, the advocating for sustainable practices within one's career has the potential to empower people.

...So, what is a "climate-friendly" career? Obviously, some careers are intrinsically tied to carbon emissions, whereas others are several steps away. And different people within an institution may or may not have the ability to directly influence company policy.

What does "climate-friendly" mean to you when it comes to career? Do you have any stories to share? Discuss by replying below!



Curt Newton's picture

Talk about climate change with your coworkers

By talking about climate change with your colleagues and coworkers - no matter the field or role you're in - you can help make all careers more climate-friendly.

We need to end climate silence, to break through the sense that this is too controversial to bring up, that it's only for the experts to discuss.

When a coworker asks you on Monday morning, "How was your weekend?", please do talk about that climate article you read in the paper that stuck with you. Or how good it felt to walk/bike somewhere instead of driving. Or how you're starting to plan the next vacation, and struggling with how to deal with airline emissions.

The more we can open up and talk about it, the more others will too.

Sarah Lipuma's picture

I often hear people ask, at

I often hear people ask, at the end of talks on climate change, "well, what can we, the people, do about it?" I have asked that question before, which is why I am endeavoring to do something about it
with my career, since changing light bulbs and growing a garden only go so far to placate one's sense of guilt to contributing to the problem. I am now an assistant for a science granting organization, and I think it is relatively climate friendly, insofar as we support scientists who research climate change's effects on the environment.
Solar panel installers and salespeople, wind turbine installers, etc. are the traditional jobs showcased when I look at the "jobs in sustainability" you could get on college websites, especially right out of college and even right out of high school.
I suppose if you're not working directly to increase carbon emissions, as in working for an extraction company, you could make your job more climate-friendly by bringing it up as an issue, not letting it be just a problem not affecting anyone. However, it is extremely difficult to have any sway in a company or organization when you are fresh from college, or even mid-level.
I had a friend who interned with me who was a bit older and had come back from working in oil extraction in the Middle East, making a sizeable amount of money. He wanted to change his line of work to not be so directly problematic.