Start your Sustainability Career with One of These 10 Companies

Jessica Melnychuk | October-01-14

 

 
 
“Sustainability” is an umbrella term that relates to ethics, social issues, health and the marketplace. But for companies who work with the environment, sustainability generally refers to decisions and practices that reduce their impact on the environment.
 
 
Sustainability is growing in Canada. Our 2013 Careers in Sustainability report found that there are more than 50,000 sustainability professionals in Canada, and 18% of Canadian organizations have at least one sustainability professional on staff. 
 
 
Sustainability is more than positive public relations. Employers rely on sustainability professionals to support key business functions, such as risk management, increasing returns on capital and driving business growth.
 
 

Where are the sustainability jobs?

 
Most sustainability jobs are in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. Government organizations are one of the top employers of sustainability professionals, representing 27% of the sustainability workforce. 
 
But there are plenty of opportunities in various industries, and these opportunities continue to grow as organizations learn about the advantages that come with demonstrating sustainable business practices.
 
 
Learn more about some Canadian companies with sustainability initiatives below.
 
 
 

1. CH2M HILL

 
Industry: Civil Engineering
Size: 10,000+ employees
Headquarters: Englewood, Colorado, United States (Canadian Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
 
 
What They Do:
 
This spring, CH2M HILL joined forces with TERA Environmental Consultants, a Canadian firm that provides services to the pipeline, powerline and oil and gas industries. In addition to environmental planning and management, clients rely on TERA’s environmental expertise in areas such as regulatory applications, Aboriginal engagement, environmental protection plans and more. 
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
CH2M HILL’s commitment to sustainability led them in 2013 to reduce total water use at company headquarters by 1 million gallons, recycle nearly 73,000 pounds of electronic waste, and reduce paper use by 24 tons, among many other initiatives. Last month, Engineering News-Record ranked CH2M HILL #1 in the Top 200 Environmental Firms Sourcebook. 
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
In the field, CH2M HILL employs a variety of environmental workers, including environmental scientists, vegetation managers and more.
 
 
 

2. Stantec

 
Industry: Architecture/Design
Size: 10,000+ employees
Headquarters: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
 
 
What They Do:
 
With over 14,000 employees in more than 230 locations across the world, Stantec is Canada’s largest architecture company. Working across industries such as energy and infrastructure, Stantec’s consulting services include engineering, architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management and more. A newly announced Edmonton office, which will be among the tallest buildings in Western Canada, is set to begin construction this fall.
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
A recognized leader in sustainability design and consulting, Stantec’s architects, engineers, planners, scientists, urban designers, project managers and management consultants demonstrate their expertise in projects like: strategic sustainability services, sustainable community and land planning, climate change, energy and resource management, natural systems, building performance and water. More than 150 Stantec projects have achieved LEED certification, and hundreds more are LEED registered.
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
Across industries, Stantec employs environmental workers in areas such as hydrogeology, wildlife biology, architecture, engineering and more. 
 
 

3. AET Group

 
Industry: Environmental Services
Size: 11-50 employees
Headquarters: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
 
 
What They Do:
 
An employee-owned multi-disciplinary company, AET provides clients with environmental consulting, auditing and scientific services. With clients including homeowners, government agencies and international corporations, AET integrates sustainable practices in their core values.
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
AET sees sustainability as an advantage in business, from cost savings, innovative new products or services, enhanced employee engagement and strengthened brand and reputation. AET helps clients discover and understand the possibilities that sustainability brings to them, and how they can be applied to their organization. AET’s expertise in sustainability stretches from greenhouse gas assessments to waste reduction to energy and water assessments and more.
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
AET employs environmental workers such as ecologists, biologists, building science specialists, landscape architects, environmental scientists and more.
 
 
 

4. Ketek Group

 
Industry: Environmental Services
Size: 201-500 employees
Headquarters: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
 
 
What They Do:
 
With services in water resources, sustainability consulting, environmental solutions and more, Ketek Group lends their expertise to clients in various industries such as oilfields, mining, forestry, agriculture, municipal construction and more. 
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
Throughout North America as well as internationally, Ketek Group provides consulting and training services such as sustainability strategy, CSR assessment, stakeholder engagement, sustainability reporting and more. Clients include federal, provincial, municipal and foreign governments, Aboriginal communities, private corporations, educational institutions and non-profit organizations.
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
Sustainability consulting staff at Ketek Group include geologists, engineers, OHS experts, technicians and other environmental professionals.
 
 

5. Blue Source

 
Industry: Environmental Services
Size: 11-50 employees
Headquarters: Murray, Utah, United States (Canadian Headquarters: Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
 
 
What They Do:
 
As the longest-running carbon offset developer and marketer in North America, Blue Source’s expertise on sustainability and the environment helps clients in three areas: project development, offset marketing and sales, and consulting and technical services. 
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
Blue Source’s projects span across North America, Central America and East Africa, in areas like forestry, transportation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, carbon capture and sequestration, and more. At the Cargill High River Methane Capture Project in High River, Alberta, for example, experts are capturing biogas from the wastewater treatment facility’s existing anaerobic wastewater lagoons and implementing the beneficial use of the biogas to reduce natural gas usage at the processing plant. 
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
Blue Source’s team includes experts in carbon projects, forestry, and project management. 
 
 

6. Levelton

 
Industry: Civil Engineering
Size: 201-500 employees
Headquarters: Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
 
 
What They Do:
 
Specializing in environment, geotechnical, building science and materials services, Levelton lends expertise to a client base that includes residential, industrial and commercial owners, the public sector, design-build contractors, architects, and engineering consultants. In addition to field work, Levelton operates laboratories to provide testing services related to construction materials, soils, aggregates, air and water. In 2012, Levelton formed an internal group to research and provide alternative environmental and sustainable options to their everyday practices. 
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
Recently, Levelton’s Air Quality Group has been building mobile air monitoring units, choosing local companies to purchase from and using solar panels and a solar charge controller and battery system to power the units. On another project at Suncor oil sands, Levelton investigated and quantified significant emission sources at the site, including mining, extraction, energy services, upgrading facilities, tailing ponds and waste disposals. 
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
Levelton’s multi-disciplinary consulting firm includes roles as engineers, scientists and technologists. 
 
 
 

7. City of Calgary

 
Industry: Government Administration
Size: 10,000+ employees
Headquarters: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 
 
What They Do:
 
As the official administrative body for Calgary, Alberta, The City of Calgary has many different departments including transit planning, enforcement, environmental protection, recreation and more. The City’s Office of Sustainability team focuses on embedding sustainability within the corporation, in community engagement and other networks. In 2010, the office developed the 2020 Sustainability Direction, which identifies where the organization would like to be in 10 years and how it will get there. The 2020 Sustainability Direction was a core component of the 2012-2014 business plans and budget. 
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
The imagineCALGARY initiative represents the voice of 18,000 Calgarians. It is designed to help put all Calgarians on a shared path towards urban sustainability, called the imagineCALGARY Long Range Urban Sustainability Plan. The Plan covers systems such as built environmental system, natural environmental system, social system and economic system. Additionally, the Calgary Food System Assessment and Action Plan aims to create a sustainable and resilient food system within the Calgary region, giving Calgarians access to local, healthy and environmentally-friendly food.
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
Sustainability is a core factor in many City of Calgary jobs, including transportation planning, engineering, infrastructure and more.
 
 
 

8. AltaLink

 
Industry: Utilities
Size: 501-1000 employees
Headquarters: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 
 
What They Do:
 
As the largest regulated electricity transmission company in Alberta, AltaLink connects homes, farms, businesses and industries to the electricity generated across the province. Alternative electricity sources such as thermal energy, wind power and hydro are generated to transport high voltages safely over long distances via distribution lines.
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
AltaLink’s guiding principles for corporate sustainability include initiatives to avoid or minimize environmental impacts, reclaim or restore where impacts are unavoidable, and maintain a responsible approach to resource consumption. This year, AltaLink became the second electricity company in Canada to receive the Canadian Electricity Association’s Sustainable Electricity Company designation. In an effort to sustainably build upon and upgrade Alberta’s outdated transmission system, AltaLink is exploring, testing and implementing innovative designs, technologies and practices, such as reducing their overall surface footprint by more than 80% by using screw pile foundations for tower structures instead of conventional concrete foundations. 
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
Many of AltaLink’s operations positions include a sustainability focus. Operations positions include project managers, project engineers, engineering technologists, land specialists and more. 
 
 
 

9. Canadian Natural Resources Limited

 
Industry: Oil & Energy
Size: 5001-10,000 employees
Headquarters: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 
 
What They Do:
 
One of the largest independent crude oil and natural gas producers in the world, Canadian Natural’s portfolio includes projects in natural gas, light oil, heavy oil, in situ oil sands production, and oil sands mining, in North America, the North Sea and Offshore Africa. 
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
Canadian Natural aims to develop resources in a sustainable and responsible way by managing and minimizing their environmental impact. In an effort to enhance sustainable practices, Canadian Natural created the Environmental Excellence Initiative in 2010. The initiative focuses on fostering a culture of environmental awareness, where everyone in the organization plays an important role in identifying and mitigating environmental impacts from projects. It intends to proactively manage the company’s environmental footprint by protecting biodiversity, using water efficiently, and reducing greenhouse gas and other air emissions.
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
Environmental workers can find roles at Canadian Natural in areas like regulations, reclamation, engineering, and more. 
 
 
 

10. Pinchin West

 
Industry: Environmental Services
Size: 51-200 employees
Headquarters: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 
 
What They Do:
 
As part of The Pinchin Group of Companies, which includes Pinchin Environmental, Pinchin LeBlanc Environmental, and Le Groupe Gesfor Poirier, Pinchin inc., Pinchin West provides environmental, engineering, geosciences and health and safety solutions to clients across Western Canada.
 
 
Example Sustainability Projects:
 
Pinchin West has been providing sustainable environmental solutions to clients for nearly 30 years, and offer services in environmental site assessment and remediation, energy management, LEED construction support, building sciences and more. Staff engage in projects in a variety of industries, like oil and gas, real estate, construction and more. Internally, Pinchin West encourages sustainability through initiatives like the use of energy efficient lighting, office recycling, encouraging employees to take environmentally-friendly transportation to work, engaging in community projects like Habitat for Humanity builds, and more.
 
 
Available Sustainability Jobs:
 
A variety of roles involve sustainability, including LEED AP certified project managers, energy management specialists and site remediation and reclamation specialists.