Why people are quitting jobs to help tackle the climate crisis

Forget reusable coffee cups or avoiding air travel to reduce your carbon footprint.

For some, tackling climate change starts with their career and an increasing number of U.S. workers are quitting their current roles for the sake of the environment.

A new kind of activism

In a recent study featuring 4,000 U.S.and U.K. workers conducted by climate campaigner and former CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman, 51% of U.S. workers said they would consider resigning if their company’s values didn’t align with their own. Another third shared that they have already resigned for that reason, and this figure rose to 44% for Gen Z and Millennial employees.

Take former Google staffer Eugene Kirpichov who has since launched the non-profit Work on Climate as the perfect example. In a viral social media post Kirpichov revealed that he was leaving his software engineer role with the tech giant after seven and a half years.

“The scale, urgency and tragedy of climate change are so immense that I can no longer justify to myself working on anything else, no matter how interesting or lucrative, until it’s fixed,” he wrote.

Consciously hiring

Despite the fact that only 60% of organizations have sustainability strategies in place, jobs in sustainability are on the rise as companies are increasingly taking action to implement environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies to not only keep investors happy but motivate their employees, drive productivity and attract new talent too.

Industries that formally relied on fossil fuels are also adapting: electric vehicles are expected to be one of the largest areas of employment, and clean energy also looks set to provide 16 million workers with new roles: it’s estimated that in order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the world will need to create 14 million new clean energy jobs.

Going green

But how easy or difficult is it to pivot to an environmentally friendly career? There has been a surge in demand for green skills in jobs that aren’t traditionally seen as green, including software engineering and data science. It’s estimated that the demand for green talent will soon outpace supply — meaning those with green skills will be in high demand.

Soft skills like the ability to think creatively and critically, resilience, empathy and communication are also increasingly important when it comes to green jobs and employers are actively seeking candidates that list a variety of soft skills among their qualifications.

So if climate quitting is calling your name and you’re ready to make the leap to take your career in a greener direction, the VentureBeat Job Board has hundreds of opportunities in companies that are bolstering their environmental endeavors in meaningful and tangible ways, like the three below.

Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) Coordinator, Delta Dental of Colorado, Centennial

Reporting to the director of ESG, the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Coordinator will be responsible for developing metrics to track the performance of all ESG projects and activities. You’ll also provide event support to the ESG committee, inclusion and diversity council and other assigned committees and assist in events including Colorado Gives Day and Dollars for Doers, Money for Movers. Applicants should have excellent organizational skills, strong project management skills and the ability to exercise independent and sound judgment in handling confidential and sensitive information. View more details here.f

Asset & Wealth Management ESG Risk-Executive Director, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Columbus

As an Executive Director in asset and wealth management (AWM) risk specializing in environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainable investing, you will report to the global head of reputation risk and will support ESG and sustainable investing related initiatives and projects within the risk management team. You will develop and drive ESG strategy, governance and risk, and stay up-to-date on regulatory changes and requirements related to sustainability, climate and ESG. To apply you’ll need 10 years’ of relevant work experience, preferably in asset and wealth management along with experience related to ESG and sustainable investing. See the full job description here.

Director, Sustainability Consulting Marketing, Cognizant, Dallas

Cognizant’s sustainability practice is its latest capability group and is looking for leaders to shape and grow the department. As such, it is currently seeking a global marketing lead to take on a newly created Director role. The ideal candidate will be required to develop and execute the global marketing strategy for sustainability advisory, generate the right content to be promoted through the right channels to reach the right audiences and generate industry-leading thought leadership collateral to deliver findings. Along with proven ability in generating industry-leading thought leadership, you will need to be comfortable translating abstract, unformulated and untested new ideas to senior clients and colleagues. You can apply for this role here.

For more exciting opportunities across ESG, visit the VentureBeat Job Board today

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.