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Insights Why should you take your sustainability career to North America?

Following the publishing of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the UN flagged it as a " code red for humanity”. The planet is facing a climate emergency and we’re witnessing a water crisis in the United States of America (USA), an increase in hazardous weather across Canada, and an overall threat to human health.

With all the challenges that North America is facing, could there be anything more gratifying than a job that tackles the problems head-on and looks for solutions that will change the world for the better? Here at the AtkinsRéalis Group—which includes our Atkins and Faithful+Gould businesses—we believe in protecting future generations from the threat of climate change.

Clean energy is shaping engineering in Canada. Whether you’re looking to start out your career in sustainability or already have some experience under your belt, here’s why North America should be top of your list.

graphic image of a city using clean energy sources

Combat extreme weather and climate disasters

Although we’re facing a global crisis, according to an article published by Yale University, some countries are more affected by climate change than others. Their Environmental Performance Index 2020 ranks Canada and the USA at positions 20 and 24 respectively, indicating that they have high climate resiliency. Yet, both nations have witnessed extreme weather events over the last few decades, so action needs to be taken. The US for example is experiencing a water crisis and a strain on critical infrastructure that supports it.

In 2021, Canada set a record-high temperature reading in British Columbia of 49.6 C. Meanwhile, in the United States of America, around one in three people have been affected by extreme weather events during the summer of 2021 alone. A sustainability career is a chance to limit the threat of these disasters.

Help make a difference and create a better future

North America is just at the beginning of its sustainability journey, and there’s a long road ahead. Despite a decline in overall employment due to Covid-19, clean energy remains the number one job creator within the United States of America’s energy sector, employing over 3 million people in 2021. This only accounts for a portion of sustainability careers and there are more varied roles springing up in new and exciting sectors. In Canada, a 44% increase in environmental jobs is projected from 2020 to 2030, and though retiring employees will account for some of this, there are some key growth areas contributing to the boost in sustainability jobs, which include a transition to Net Zero, the rise of the clean-tech industry, and younger employees looking to pursue a more meaningful career.

As more companies shift their attention to green talent development, we should see the sustainability job sector continue to grow. Whether you’re a project manager wanting to act on climate change, an engineer inspired by the idea of using renewable resources, or an architect wanting to design sustainable cities and communities, you can chart a career path where you make a difference.

An opportunity to put climate action at the top of your company’s agenda

The overarching role of an environmental consultant is to ensure the world is a safe place for future generations. That’s not to say that you can’t get involved. In order for real change to take place, we need all hands-on deck. For people like Kirstin, who works at Atkins—a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group, it’s not just a case of minimizing our impact. We need to develop and implement strategies that will leave our world in a better state for future generations and work towards a Net Zero world.

Why AtkinsRéalis is the place to bring your sustainability career

AtkinsRéalis has been a signatory of the Global Compact, responding to Agenda 2030 since 2015. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, we’ve assessed how we can better integrate sustainability and strengthen our economic incentives for operating more efficiently. We know what we’ve got a lot of work to do to engineer a sustainable society, but we rely on our talented teams to bring our plans to life.

A job at AtkinsRéalis is not only a chance to have a positive impact on the world, but you’ll also work on some major projects across North America. You’ll be challenged each and every day, developing a broad skill set that will set your career up for success.

Browse our latest sustainability jobs and find the role that’s right for you.

Sustainability is at the heart of everything that we do, and we’ve got a whole raft of sustainability content that will help keep you informed on what we’re doing here at AtkinsRéalis and what’s changing in the wider market.

We’re looking for more bright minds who share our vision and want to join us on our quest to build a better tomorrow. Does this sound like you? Explore jobs in the USA and jobs in Canada to find some of our core roles across North America, or take your search further afield and see what opportunities lie waiting for you in any one of our markets.