There are research opportunities within all industries in the ‘green’ economy, in public, private and notfor-profit organisations. At government level both the North and Republic of Ireland have green research and development (R&D) high on the agenda, with a particular emphasis on the pooling of research expertise, the development of research alliances, the consolidation of R&D funding programmes and the development R&D strategy for the overall green and clean-tech sector. Evidence of this can be seen in the growth and expansion of centres in colleges and universities throughout Ireland, many of which are managing leading-edge research projects contributing to the development of green initiatives worldwide.
Food and retail
Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious. Shoppers want to know whether food and other retail items, especially footwear and clothing, have been produced and distributed using sustainable practices. Graduate buyers working for ethical retailers will be expected to vet suppliers strictly in considering where to purchase goods. In terms of packaging in particular, and also in terms of the reduction, reuse and recycling of domestic electrical waste, those promoting the drive for sustainability seek to influence manufacturers to invest in sustainable production and to consider the life cycle of their product.
Food exports remain one of the greatest contributors to the Irish economy and the food and drinks industry as a whole is Ireland’s most important indigenous industry. Quality artisan food production is growing steadily. Positions as food technologists, quality control and quality assurance technicians, development chefs and food product development experts are increasingly common for food technology and culinary arts graduates.
The increase in awareness of our personal environmental impact has stimulated growth in the eco-tourism sector, offering jobs for students and graduates of all disciplines. This includes roles promoting eco-holidays and also those helping tourism and travel companies to reduce their negative impact on the planet. Other business functions As with all other careers, organisations in all areas of the environmental goods and services sector of the economy also employ graduates from all disciplines in the day-to-day operational functions such as human resource management, sales, marketing, accounting and finance and IT support.
There are many careers in environmental work: