Guest post: Pursuing a career in sustainability.

Since it’s the new year, some of you may be searching for jobs with an emphasis on sustainability or the environment or even renewables.

At ALLEN & YORK we specialise in niche technical recruitment, which means that we work with companies across the world to source the best talent for very specific roles.We recruit across a wide range of positions, with an emphasis on sustainability, environment and wellbeing.

We are delighted to work with progressive companies who are conscious to minimise their environmental impact (where possible), to utilise renewable energy sources, look after the safety and well-being of their employees and engage with the local community to support educational facilities such as schools and universities by recruiting a sustainability professional.


If you are a job seeker, here are three things we recommend.

1. You may probably already be aware of the specialist job boards such as IEMA, ENDS, RenewableEnergyJobs etc. that are out there. If you haven’t already done so, we would definitely recommend that you sign-up to receive their job alerts, so that you can be the first to hear about a new job in your field.

2. Tailor your CV to the jobs that you are applying for, emphasising your most relevant experience. e.g. if you are applying for a sustainability role within a very corporate and commercial company, then highlight occasions in which you have made a difference to your employees bottom-line, with the introduction of sustainable practices.

3. Register with a recruitment agency, it doesn’t cost you anything and they will be working furiously on your behalf to find you your dream job.  They will also be able to introduce you to jobs that haven’t been advertised yet, which can give you a competitive advantage.

If you are a company seeking to hire, here are three things we recommend.

1. Be open to explore the interesting alternative.  Every employer wants the perfect, first class degree candidate, however, particularly in a candidate short market this can be very difficult and you could miss great potential by being too narrow in your specification.  You may be able to take on someone more junior and train them in-house to find the perfect employee in the long-run.

2. Be fair and realistic in your salary offers, so that you remain competitive in your market.  You will only attract the very best if they are offered the whole package – a great working culture, flexibility and a fair and competitive salary.

3. Be clear what you are looking for.  Do you need a sustainability professional with a commercial edge, are you looking for an Ecologist who can also build their own clients?  You need to be sure are looking for candidates who have the right mix of technical and commercial skills, (if that’s what you are looking for) and be sure to communicate this in your advert, to your recruitment partner and at interview stage, so that you and the candidate are always on the same page.


If you wonder what life is like in the field of recruitment, let me tell you that we sometimes have to deal with very complex situations.

On one particular occasion we had been approached by an international mining company to help them recruit an Environmental & Social Director for their site in Armenia.

Not only was this an amazing job, with a remit to align the company’s economic activities with environmental and social objectives, it was also highly skilled and technically specific, demanding a highly targeted approach from our recruiters.

Oh yes and did I say it was based in Armenia?

Essential criteria for the candidates included; an in-depth understanding of a particular type of mining, extensive experience of environment, community and social matters in that setting, and strategic planning ability, with the gravitas to engage and influence key stakeholders at board and governmental level.

So, a real challenge for our team!


What makes this job even more amazing is that the candidates that were sourced came from all around the world due the highly skilled nature of the role.

The final shortlist comprised of an Italian based in South America, a Briton living in Canada who was on business in Japan, and an Australian based in Mongolia. It sounds almost too good to be true.

The final three candidates were separated by three continents with the recruitment team on a fourth!

As you can imagine the logistics were challenging, but what could have been an overly complicated process was helped tremendously by the flexibility of the senior management team who worked in partnership with our experienced recruiters to successfully recruit their preferred candidate for the role, overcoming the many challenges along the way.

For this, we received a brilliant recommendation! If you’d like to read that and the rest of the details about this case study, click here.

Jobseekers, we also have an amazing range of jobs over all sectors such as Energy, Environment, Health & Safety, Planning & Surveying, Corporate Sustainability and more. To have a browse, click here.


ALLEN & YORK is a leading recruitment consultancy specialising in the appointment of experienced professionals across the built and natural environment. They work with a variety of companies; from start-ups and SMEs, to global organisations. Their mission is to make a positive difference to a global sustainable economy through introducing specialist talent.

ALLEN & YORK recently supported ‘Future Planet’ Circular Economy: packaging, Plastics & The Oceans’ with speakers from the London Waste and Recycling Board, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Social Stock exchange.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect Blue Patch‘s views. Allen & York is a member of Blue Patch.