Did you know? The Green Energy Act's Feed-in-Tariff program is the single largest climate change initiative in Canada

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Green-governance is for those who love to delve into the messy world of law and politics. There are many opportunities at all levels of government, within the legal sector, or outside of government working for an environmental policy NGO (Non-Governmental Organization). In Green-governance, you get to work with people and ideas, so good communication skills are key for this challenging field.

Sustainability Manager
As environmental responsibility and energy efficiency become bigger priorities amongst businesses and organizations, companies have begun employing personnel to deal specifically with its environmental practices. Sustainability Managers are responsible for the overall environmental picture within a company or organization, from cost analysis to policy implementation. You will develop energy efficiency or waste reduction policies, ensure that eco-friendly supplies and materials are being used, and monitor the overall environmental impact of the organization's operations. Working with a team, you will find practical and innovative ways to green your organization's practices.
You will be designing and implementing environmentally friendly programs and policies in businesses, hospitals, NGOs or any number of other institutions. Whether it's creating a new waste reduction program or developing strategies to be more energy efficient, your work will ensure that your company or organization is taking its environmental responsibility seriously. Other responsibilities include conducting monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, surveying energy data and costs, and preparing status reports.

Understanding: energy efficiency principles, energy-saving technology, energy markets, and time-of-use pricing

Skills: critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, organization, communication, English, accounting, program management, research, writing

University degree in Environmental Studies, Economics, or related field. Engineering degree is also relevant/useful. Relevant courses include sciences, computers, English, sociology, political science, environmental studies, mathematics/economics, and communications.

Relationships: As manager, you are responsible for a number of other employees. You may find yourself in meetings with government officials, other managers, and corporate officers.

Atmosphere: Your time is largely spent in an office, though some travel may be required if you are acting as a consultant or for policy recommendations.

Policy Advocate/Environmental Lobbyist
In a competitive and challenging world where environmental messages don't always get the attention they deserve, you help bring green issues to the forefront. You represent concerned groups who seek to influence legislators on new and existing regulations and laws. Your job is not only to present environmental problems, but also to suggest and advocate for the most effective solutions. This is an exciting and competitive field with potential for national impacts. If you're a natural networker and love to talk, argue and negotiate, this career may be a great fit!
Your main responsibility is to present the right issues to the right people, so developing a network and gaining access to influential policy makers will be key. Much of the work will involve holding high-level meetings and advocating for positive environmental change in current policy. In addition, your work may include creating public awareness using innovative marketing and media strategies, and using public forums and events to engage the public in a particular cause.

Understanding: variety of environmental policies and trends, socio-economics

Skills: communication, persistence, negotiation, writing, interpersonal

A university degree is a minimum requirement, though a graduate degree in law or public policy is an asset. More importantly, most employers will want extensive experience in the green industry, including an established network and a thorough understanding of the environmental policies and politics at play. Courses in political science, law, sociology, economics, and environmental science are very useful.

Relationships: You will be working with government officials, other policy advocates, special interest groups, non-governmental organizations, media.

Atmosphere: Often in an office, though national travel will likely be necessary.

Environmental Policy Analyst
Designing new policy to protect the environment is what this dynamic and challenging career is all about. You are responsible for researching how people feel about the environment, what they want to see government do about it, and determining the best course of action. Policy affects many people, so finding a balance can be difficult, but also very rewarding.
You will work mostly with numbers, statistics and other forms of data to analyze trends in social thought and environmental concerns, and suggest or advocate for possible policy solutions. If you work for a government official, you may be responsible for crunching the data and writing brief reports for her or him to present to a committee. Policy Analysts compile all the research and data that make change in policy possible.

Understanding: broad understanding of environmental issues, though specializing in one area may be beneficial

Skills: communication, critical thinking, research, writing, and statistical analysis

A university degree is the minimum requirement, though a graduate degree in economics, law or public policy is an asset. Courses in sociology, political science, mathematics, economics, writing, and international relations are useful.

Relationships: You will be required to develop many different types of relationships, with government officials, businesses, NGOs, and members of the public, among others.

Atmosphere: You may find yourself working at any level of government, for a private company, or a non-governmental organization.

Environmental Officer
Are you tired of seeing companies get away with poor environmental performance and practices? Becoming an Environmental Officer can be the solution. Usually employed by a government body, environmental officers help to enforce environmental regulations within the public and private sector. By making sure that companies are managing their energy, waste and pollution in accordance with the law, environmental officers help to ensure public safety.
As an environmental officer, you will need to be familiar with related environmental laws and regulations. You will conduct rigourous site assessments and track sustainability trends and compliance records within a particular sector. You may also be asked to develop best practice guidelines and strategies that will help companies understand and comply with laws and regulations. Alternately, you may find yourself working in the private sector, helping to ensure that your company meets all applicable laws and regulations.

Understanding: energy efficiency and pollution prevention principles, environmental law, and broad knowledge of environmental issues.

Skills: problem solving, critical thinking, organization, research, English (both official languages an asset), report writing, communication, attention to detail, analysis.

University degree in environmental science, environmental policy, or environmental engineering is necessary. Graduate degrees may be desired and provide additional earning potential. Relevant courses include English, biology, sociology, chemistry, and geography.

Relationships: You will be working with other members of government as well as sector councils and companies to develop compliance strategies.

Atmosphere: Your time will be split between being on site and in the office, travel to conferences or meetings may be required.

$50,000-$75,000 (depending on education and experience)
Environmental Lawyer
Kevin Lam
A passion for the environment and a strong sense of justice drives you. Environmental law is a new and challenging area where fresh ideas and determination really pay off. As an Environmental Lawyer, you may work with environmental disputes between parties, criminal cases, or perhaps in negotiating contracts and land claims for renewable energy developments.
Environmental lawyers are responsible for upholding and protecting the environmental laws of the country. This can mean representing an NGO (non-governmental organization), working independently with individuals and groups impacted by pollution, being part of a larger legal firm, or working for the government. Environmental legislation in Canada is complex, and varies from province to province, so staying up-to-date on your particular area of expertise will be key. As stricter laws are passed, corporations and private businesses will also need legal expertise to ensure that they comply with the latest environmental regulations. Environmental lawyers are sometimes also called upon to help develop new policies.

Understanding: broad understanding of environmental laws and issues, though specialization in a specific area is beneficial.

Skills: problem solving, public speaking, critical thinking, organization, research, negotiation, report writing.

A graduate law degree (called a J.D., or juris doctorate) is necessary to practice law, which requires articling with a law firm and successful completion of the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) following university education. Attending seminars and conferences can provide additional education. Useful courses include political science, sociology, philosophy, environment, business, psychology, and English.

Relationships: Connections will be made with a number of other lawyers, government agencies, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and businesses.

Atmosphere: Work will be in an office, in a courtroom, in a boardroom negotiating settlements, in the field interviewing witnesses, and visiting sites. Lawyers are often required to work very long hours.

Varies with education and experience; $60,000-$150,000+

Policy advocate, policy analyst, policy maker, green business adviser/consultant

Environmental Impact Assessor
Environmental Impact Assessors review the feasibility of proposed development sites and evaluate the potential impacts on air, soil, water, and wildlife. They also evaluate the construction process itself, making sure that it conforms to regulations. More and more governments and investment agencies are making environmental site assessments mandatory for new development projects, so this field provides great opportunities to make a difference.
You will be responsible for gathering and analyzing data from sites, conducting inspections, identifying potentially adverse effects and recommending preventative measures, ensuring that the site conforms to environmental regulations, meeting with residents or government agencies, and possibly making policy recommendations.

Understanding: familiarity with air/soil/water contaminants, chemical processes, and applicable regulations.

Skills: analytical, attention to detail, communication, report writing, English, technical language, computers, research.

University degree in environmental science is a minimum requirement, though a master's degree is preferred. Useful courses include chemistry, biology, English, physics, sociology, political science, philosophy, mathematics, and geography.

Relationships: You may find yourself conducting meetings with local residents and businesses or in discussions with government offices. You will often work alone or as part of a small team and sometimes meet with other experts in the field.

Atmosphere: You will either be in an office or outdoors. Some travel may be necessary.

$50,000-$100,000 (depending on experience and education)

Environmental auditor, energy auditor, energy educator, social marketer, policy advocate, policy analyst

Environmental Consultant
Environmental consultants are on the rise, as more businesses seek to implement environmentally-friendly practices in the workplace. Consultants are involved in a wide range of activities that address both the technical and behavioral aspects of "greening" a workplace, but essentially, their job is to interpret environmental regulations and help businesses stick to them. From implementing waste reduction programs to assessing the water quality in the area, environmental consultants play an important role in helping companies and organizations recognize their responsibilities to the environment. This is your chance to change the world, one company at a time!
Environmental consultants advise businesses and other organizations on how to create a more environmentally-friendly workplace. On the technical side of things, you may be performing energy audits and giving out advice on how to be more energy efficient. Alternately, you may be more involved in the scientific aspect of things, like conducting site assessments or surveying habitat loss. Other areas of responsibility can include helping businesses apply for permits, designing eco-friendly training practices for employees and ensuring that nearby ecosystems remain protected. Whatever your role, the goal is to establish a set of green policies that comply with the law and foster a culture of environmental responsibility in the workplace.

Understanding: broad knowledge of environmental policies and heath and safety regulations, with specific expertise in areas that include biology, waste and water management, pollution, energy efficiency, ecosystem and habitat assessment.

Skills: critical thinking, analysis, organization, communication, decision-making, attention to detail, report writing.

A university degree in Environmental Studies or related studies is required. Useful courses include chemistry, biology, physics, geography, mathematics, English and political science.

Relationships: You will constantly be working for new clients, but may also spend time working alone or with a small team.

Atmosphere: As a consultant, you may work from home or in a small office, with frequent trips on-site.

College diploma: $30,000-$35,000 University degree: $40,000-$60,000