An increasing number of business organisations are creating new sustainability job roles focusing on more environmentally-friendly supply chains.

Reducing waste, increasing the use of renewables and implementing climate-positive measures are the key responsibilities of these positions. Over 900 businesses, including IBM, IKEA, L’Oréal, Mars and Nestle, have joined the business and government coalition We Are Still In, pledging ongoing allegiance to the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change. This commitment includes supporting green jobs.

“The number and range of companies and organisations hiring sustainability professionals continues to grow,” Maureen Hart, Executive Director of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, told Greenbiz.com. “In spite of or perhaps because of the current political climate, the private sector appears to be increasingly embracing the responsibility of evaluating and responding to environmental and social sustainability-related risks. These include risks to supply chains and resources, risks to facilities and employees, and reputational risk if organisations are seen as being part of the problem rather than the solution.”

In December McKinsey & Company published a survey showing 60% of organisations were more engaged with sustainability than they were two years ago, while just 9% said they were less engaged.

Clothing firm Patagonia has established its own Social and Environmental Responsibility department to ensure sustainable supply chains. The California-based company has its own supplier workplace code of conduct and benchmark document that suppliers are expected to follow. Conditions include reducing the environmental impact of air emissions, energy, water, waste and hazardous materials.

The SER department recently hired a Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility Manager.

Amazon has also invested heavily in its sustainability team. Recent job openings include a Sustainability Science Researcher whose responsibility it is to assess the sustainability impact of supply chains. Another high-profile company with a growing sustainable supply chain team is Google, which recently took on an Environmental Program Manager in its supply chain.

Major corporations are leading the way in sustainability, helping green job growth as well as a safer, healthier planet.

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