Working Towards a Sustainable Future: Building an Impactful Career
A series of speaker panels, info sessions and workshops to help you explore career paths in sustainability
The Oxford Careers Service is hosting a wide variety of sustainability careers events in Week 4 of Michaelmas 2021 to coincide with COP26.
Join our sustainability events in 4th week: 1-5 November 2021
Each day, you will find at least two key events taking place so there’s something for everyone. Cick on the event titles to book your place.
13:15-14:30 | Working Towards Net Zero: Sustainability Careers Outlook
Jessica Sansom, previously Head of Sustainability at Innocent Drinks and now Director of Sustainability at Huel, will be joined by Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project, to talk with Jonathan Smith, founding director of Oxford University spin-out social venture Skylark Works, about navigating a sustainable career path to achieve net zero.
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Jessica Sansom, Sustainability Director at Huel & former Head of Sustainability at innocent drinks
Jessica Sansom is Sustainability Director at Huel (a nutritionally complete powdered food designed for busy people who want nutritious food on the go) and former Head of Sustainability at innocent drinks (the number one smoothie brand in the UK). Sansom was responsible for the company’s commitment to become a model of sustainable capitalism – working not only to negate the business’ major impact areas through ethical purchasing, resource efficiency and sustainable packaging but also to develop a future business model that will ensure the long-term viability of the business whilst bringing value to meeting global sustainability challenges. In addition to this role, she was also Company Secretary for the Innocent Foundation which funds sustainable agriculture projects in developing countries.
Prior to joining innocent, Jessica Sansom was a Senior Environment Manager for McDonald’s, and also worked as an environmental consultant for a range of public and private sector clients in her home country of Australia. She has been featured in a number of review’s of leaders in green business including Forbes Magazine, the Ethical Trade Corporation Leaders in Sustainability and Rebecca Harrell Tickell’s book, Hot Rich and Green, highlighting 50 successful women in green business. Jessica has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science and a Masters in Environmental Law.
Sir Tim Smit, KBE, Co-founder and Executive Vice-Chairman of the Eden Project
Sir Tim Smit is best known for his achievements in Cornwall. He ‘discovered’ and then restored ‘The Lost Gardens of Heligan’ with John Nelson, which is now one of the UK’s best loved gardens having been named ‘Garden of the Year’ by BBC Countryfile Awards (Mar 2018). Tim’s book ‘The Lost Gardens of Heligan’ won Book of the Year in 1997.
Tim is Executive Vice-Chair and Co-founder of the multi award-winning Eden Project in Cornwall. Since its opening in 2001, over 22 million people have come to see a once sterile pit, turned into a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture symbolic of human endeavour. Tim is also Executive Co-Chair for Eden Project International which aims to have an Eden Project on every habited continent by 2025.
Jonathan Smith, Director of Skylark Works and Consultant for University of Oxford Careers Service
Jonathan is a founding director of Oxford University spin-out social venture, Skylark Works which, amongst other impact activities, helps businesses wanting to do good and charities wanting to do business.
He had over 30 years director level commercial experience before moving into the field of personal and corporate philanthropy which has seen him serve as a Business Ambassador for HRH Prince of Wales, create a £multi-million social purpose programme for a high-profile fund management business and co-found the third sector think tank, Charity Futures, and the Oxford Institute of Charity at New College. He is a member of the Development Advisory Board at Kidney Research UK and the Development Committee at the Oxfordshire Community Foundation.
16:00-17:00 | Sustainability Careers Beyond Business
Hear from alumni working in green careers from environmental policy to conservation and biodiversity in a range of organisations beyond the corporate world: Alice Eley, Water Team Manager at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust; Lucy Beagley, Senior Ecologist, LUC Environmental Consultancy (and previously with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee); and Sandra Fisher-Martins, Climate Action Mobilisation Manager, Oxfordshire County Council.
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Alice Eley, Water Team Manager at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
After studying for a BSc in Zoology at Durham University I spent a few years job hunting in the environment sector. With little luck I chose to further my education to specialise in an area that I was interested in and went on to complete a MRes in Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation at Nottingham Trent. Shortly after completing this I was able to secure a role as research officer on a terrestrial research program on a small island off the coast of Madagascar for the NGO Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute. A 6-month role there turned into 2 years where I worked between the base in Madagascar and sister camp in South Africa. On returning to the UK I was keen to continue my career in the conservation world and was lucky enough to secure a role within Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. After some moving around between departments I settled as a project officer within the Water Team undertaking river restoration. I am now Water Team Manager and leading large scale projects to restore some of the world’s finest chalk streams.
Lucy Beagley, Senior Ecologist, LUC Environmental Consultancy (and previously with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee)
Lucy is a Senior Strategic Ecologist at the Land Use Consultancy (LUC). At LUC Lucy works on a wide range of projects include green infrastructure strategies, nature recovery plans and other landscape-scale biodiversity conservation and management projects. Prior to joining LUC, Lucy worked at the Joint Nature Conservation Committee as a Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Adviser where her work focussed on environmental projects in the UK’s Overseas Territories. Lucy studied at Oxford University and has a BA (Hons) in Biological Sciences from St Hilda’s College and a MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from Worcester College. Lucy is interested the inherent roles of economic sustainability and human wellbeing within successful conservation programme planning.
Sandra Fisher-Martins, Climate Action Mobilisation Manager, Oxfordshire County Council
Sandra is designing and driving a climate action programme to ensure Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council become net-zero by 2030 and play their part in the region's transition to a zero-carbon future. She is an entrepreneurial leader with over a decade of experience as a CEO. For the system-changing impact of her first venture, Claro, she was awarded the Skoll Scholarship for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford.
13:15-14:30 | Identifying and Applying for Sustainable Internships
The Oxford Internship Office will offer an insight into the broad range of sustainability internships available to Oxford students from conservation projects to environmental consultancies, to ‘green’ start-ups. The presentation will look at existing opportunities offered through the Micro-Internship and Summer Internship Programmes and at how students can identify and approach organisations directly to find exciting opportunities.
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15:00-16:00 | Sustainable Finance Careers
Tim Doubleday, CFO of Burger King (and Chairman of the Environment Leadership Team at Business in the Community), VP in the Climate Risk Centre team at sustainable investment firm MSCI and a Senior Consultant at Deloitte, join the Oxford Sustainable Finance Society and the Oxford Careers Service to discuss how to break into a sustainable finance career and what you need to succeed.
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Tim Doubleday, CFO of Burger King and member of the Global Goals Leadership Team at BITC (environment remit)
Over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector, operating at board level across a range of sectors including pubs, hotels, contract and concession catering and casual dining in companies such as Groupe Elior and Casual Dining Group
Tim was part of the team that in 2017 acquired the master franchisee and development agreement for the UK from Burger King Europe. He worked with Bridgepoint Advisors on the funding of the transaction and the completion of the MFDA and the acquisition of the Caspian franchisee. Since then Tim has led the acquisition of 3 further franchisees and the growth of the business to revenues of circa £200m
Tim was Chairman of the Climate Action Leadership Team for Business in the Community for 3 years and now sits on the Global Goals leadership Team with a responsibility for environmental matters. He also sits on the Advisory Board of UK Hospitality, the industry trade association and chairs it’s Sustainability Committee.
Boris Prahl, Vice President, Climate Risk Centre, MSCI
Boris Prahl is a climate-risk product manager and senior climate researcher with the MSCI Climate Risk Center. He leads design and development of the MSCI Climate Value-at-Risk model for physical climate risks. Previously, he worked on impact assessment for climate hazards as a postdoctoral researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Boris holds a doctorate in meteorology from the Free University Berlin and a master’s degree in physics from Imperial College London.
Luke Dickinson, Senior Consultant, Risk Advisory, Deloitte
l am a Senior Consultant in the Sustainable Finance team at Deloitte. I have been with Deloitte for just over 3 years, having joined as a graduate in September 2018. I studied economics at university and completed an industrial placement in management consulting before joining the Risk Advisory practice at Deloitte (within which Sustainability sits). I work primarily with Investment Management and Private Equity clients, on projects across Net Zero strategies, operational and portfolio emission, ESG regulation and sustainability reporting & assurance. I joined the Sustainable Finance team due to the significant positive impact the financial sector (with sufficient guidance and regulation) can have on the environment and in solving global problems. I was also drawn to the rapidly evolving landscape of sustainable finance as an area where climate science is intersecting policy and corporate strategy. In my spare time I try to train for triathlons and play cricket when it’s not raining. Coming from the South West I’m also an avid Plymouth Argyle/Exeter Chiefs fan!
18:00-19:00 | Sustainable from the Start(up): Entrepreneurs panel
Thinking about joining a start-up or setting one up yourself? The Oxford Sustainable Business & Entrepreneurship Society and the Oxford Careers Service invite you to learn from alumni at various stages in their entrepreneurial career: Peter Schelstraete, Co-founder and CEO of Ubuntoo; Elin Roberts, Co-Founder & Head of Marketing, Better Nature; and Smruti, CEO of Supreme Creations/ Bags of Ethics.
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Peter Schelstraete, Co-founder and CEO of Ubuntoo
Peter is co-founder and CEO of Ubuntoo, an Environmental Solutions Platform at the crossroads of Artificial Intelligence and Human Expertise. Ubuntoo’s mission is to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by scaling the most impactful and promising solutions.
Previously, Peter was at The Coca-Cola Company. In his 19 years’ tenure, he held a variety of high profiles roles, including Global VP Digital & Assets and CMO for Asia Pacific.
Being a true world citizen, Peter has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. He has Master's degree in Commercial Engineering at the University of Leuven, Belgium and also holds a Postgraduate Master's degree in Business Management from the University of Montpellier in France.
Elin Roberts, Co-Founder & Head of Marketing, Better Nature
Elin is the co-founder and CMO of Better Nature, an innovative meat-free brand bringing the all-natural plant-based protein tempeh to the mainstream. As a marketing strategist and a passionate advocate for a better world for people, the planet and animals, Elin loves translating real-world insights into emotionally compelling marketing that gets people to adopt better habits. At Better Nature, this mainly involves getting people to eat more tasty tempeh!
Smruti, CEO of Supreme Creations/ Bags of Ethics
Smruti Sriram is CEO of Supreme Creations/ Bags of Ethics the world’s largest ethical manufacturer of reusable bags, and sustainable promotional merchandise. Our mission is to create incredible reusable products, whilst reducing single-use plastic consumption.Global clients include Nike, Boots, John Lewis, L’Oreal, Liberty London, London Fashion Week and Tesco. For nearly 25 years Supreme Creations has been supplying some of the world’s best brands – with headquarters in London, and manufacturing base in South India – we own the entire supply chain and have invested heavily in promoting ethical and sustainable practices across it. Our Bags of Ethics label represents our ethical and environmental efforts – 9 out of 10 of our workforce in India are women, many of whom are the main breadwinners in their families. We have won several awards as a business, including the government’s Cop26 #OneStepGreener, UK Business is GREAT campaign, and the HRH Prince of Wales’ Award on supply chains. We are Which? Accredited for the Great British Designer Face Coverings campaign.
Smruti studied PPE at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, was Treasurer of the Oxford Union and founded the Wings of Hope Achievement Award – a national award for student enterprise for good.
13:00-14:30 | Law Beyond the Obvious: Environmental Law Careers
Considering law and want to combine your passion for the environment?
This panel session invites environmental lawyers from a range of backgrounds to share their experience and top tips:
- Katie de Kauwe, Environmental Lawyer at Friends of the Earth
- Anne Harrison, Legal Director (Barrister) at DAC Beachcroft
- Sam Bright, Senior Lawyer (Energy) at the Foundation for International Law for the Environment (FILE)
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Katie de Kauwe, Environmental Lawyer, Friends of the Earth
Katie is an environmental lawyer working primarily on public law actions on issues of environmental justice, and legal challenges concerning protest rights in the context of environmental campaigning. Katie has significant experience of strategic climate litigation, and worked on Friends of the Earth’s Heathrow JR which went to the Supreme Court in October 2020. Katie is currently acting for Friends of the Earth on its legal intervention in the Sarah Finch/ Horse Hill oil challenge, which goes to the Court of Appeal in November 2021, and has also been working on the Whitehaven coal mine planning inquiry.
Anne Harrison, Legal Director (Barrister), DAC Beachcroft
Anne was called to the Bar in 1992 and is a legal director (barrister) in the real estate department of DAC Beachcroft's Bristol office. She is a member of the firm's national safety health and environment team and specialises in regulatory compliance and environmental law matters and planning. Previously, Anne was in-house counsel at the Environment Agency, advising on the statutory powers, duties and responsibilities of the agency as regulator, environmental regulation, waste management, the contaminated land regime, land drainage/flood defence and water law, habitats and conservation, town and country planning, environmental impact assessment, and other UK and EU environmental legislation.
Anne also spent two years as an environment manager in the Environment Agency, responsible for five operational teams covering waste management, environmental permitting and COMAH regulation, pollution incident response and site inspections, pollution control and radioactive substances regulation, water quality, water level monitoring, and a special enforcement team.
Anne now advises both private and public sector clients, including residential developers and the healthcare sector, on regulatory environmental and planning law matters in both an operational and transactional/due diligence context.
Sam Bright, Senior Lawyer (Energy), Foundation for International Law for the Environment (FILE)
Sam is an environmental lawyer currently working at the Foundation for International Law and the Environment. His work focuses on using the law to accelerate the energy transition, address climate change and reduce the impacts of pollution on people and planet. He originally trained and practised competition and State aid law at law firm Clifford Chance. Since then he has also worked with ClientEarth.
15:00-16:15 | Careers in Sustainability: Fashion, Media & Living Spaces
If sustainability is your passion and you want to find out more about how industry leaders are working to promote and incorporate it into our everyday lives, this panel event is for you.
This is a rare and unmissable opportunity to hear from leading professionals in fashion, filmmaking, journalism, architecture and real estate about the importance of sustainability in the work they do and offer career tips and advice. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions. Our panellists are:
- Christopher Raeburn, Global Creative Director at Timberland and Creative Director at RAEBURN
- Yasmin Jones-Henry, Journalist & Senior Strategist
- David Kirkland, Founder and Principal at Kirkland Fraser Moor and D-Lab
- James Levelle, Filmmaker and Adventurer
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Christopher Raeburn – Global Creative Director Timberland and Creative Director RÆBURN
Christopher Raeburn is the Creative Director of British fashion label RÆBURN. His RÆMADE ethos in particular has pioneered the reworking of surplus fabrics and garments to create contemporary pieces defined by a distinctive aesthetic, meticulous detail, considered functionality and sustainable intelligence. Raeburn’s work has brought responsible design to a mainstream fashion audience and presents a new definition of luxury with integrity.
Raeburn has won numerous awards over the years, including a British Fashion Award 2020, selected as one of the Honourees of the Environment category. He was appointed Global Creative Director of Timberland in October 2018.
Yasmin Jones-Henry - Journalist & Senior Strategist
Yasmin is the founder of @workinfashion.me and #TheCollective, an online platform for ethical lifestyle brands and a publication focused on sustainable fashion, ethics and business. She is also a journalist, writing for the FT How To Spend It and the Guardian Newspaper. In 2013 she graduated from the University of Birmingham with a joint honours degree in Classical Literature and Civilisation and English Literature.
As a senior strategist at Futurecity (a global placemaking agency) Yasmin currently works within the strategy team to create and manage a diverse portfolio of culture and placemaking programmes. Yasmin’s specialism covers the arts, fashion and macroeconomics. She is committed to demonstrating the economic value of culture and its role in delivering sustainable economic growth.
James Levelle - Filmmaker and Adventurer
Filmmaker and adventurer James Levelle lives life on the wild side: from frozen Arctic wilderness to the Amazon rainforest, he knows both the beauty and power of Nature.
He hitchhiked his way 6000 miles across South America with no mobile phone, no credit card, and no cash for Discovery Channel’s 6-part series, ‘Free Ride’. He trekked through the frozen wilds of Alaska for Discovery’s hit series ‘Gold Rush Trail’ and risked life and limb chasing hurricanes for UKTV & BBC's ‘Hurricane Man’. The following year, ‘Race for the Future’ saw James speed 9000 miles from the UK to Chile… fossil fuel free… on a mission to document youth climate messages and deliver them in a film to the United Nations Climate conference. He has just returned from a 3-month jungle expedition with National Geographic.
James is determined to use the power of storytelling to explore, experience and better understand the vital relationship between people and the Natural World.
Ailish Christian-West - Director of Real Estate at Get Living
Ailish is responsible for managing Get Living’s existing £2 billion build-to-rent neighbourhood portfolio and current development pipeline of circa 6,000 homes development, working with investors and development partners to drive investment performance and grow the Get Living UK portfolio to our target of 15,000 homes. She also leads Get Livings ESG agenda and supports industry collaboration on a broad range of issues, advocating for a sustainable real estate sector.
Ailish has more than 20 years’ experience in UK real estate. Prior to Get Living, Ailish enjoyed 12 years at Landsec, laterally as an executive committee member responsible for portfolio management and portfolio operations. At Landsec she led key strategic initiatives including pivoting London suburban retail assets to mixed use, selling out of secondary shopping centres and creating significant value through building a retail outlet portfolio. She also spent 10 years in fund management, running core plus and opportunistic funds including at La Salle Investment Management.”
David Kirkland - Founder and Principal at Kirkland Fraser Moor and D-Lab
David is the founding practice principal of Kirkland Fraser Moor an award-winning and internationally published architecture firm noted for its research, innovative design and contribution to the Regenerative Design agenda. His past projects include the Eden Project in Cornwall and the Waterloo International Terminal station roof.
He is a founding principal of D-Lab a social enterprise with a mission to foster 'bottom up' creativity, design and innovation within local communities and of Enviarch delivering EVATool – a unique Cloud Based software tool for enabling architects to achieve the goals and aims of Sustainable Development.
David has contributed to numerous television and radio programmes and has a deep interest in nature and its design process and previously served as an Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Design and Nature.
David Studied architecture at the Royal College of Art, London and at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)
13:15-14:30 | How to make it in Corporate Sustainability
Can you really make an impact on net zero targets in the corporate world as a new graduate? How do you move into sustainability jobs and how do graduates become future leaders for sustainability?
In this session, we will be posing these questions to a range of corporates: Ocado, Lego and BCG, to help you find out how to make it in corporate sustainability: Sam Sherburn, Consultant at BCG; Daniel Costigan, Sustainability Lead at Ocado; and Andrea Du Rietz, Senior Manager Sustainability at the LEGO Group.
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Sam Sherburn, Consultant, BCG
Sam is a Consultant in the BCG London office. He is a member of the Social Impact Immersion Program, where he focusses on topics in climate & environment.
BCG Experience: Supporting mobilisation, strategy development and campaign planning for the UK's Presidency of COP26, Supporting the World Wildlife Fund to establish a taskforce considering key issues in Carbon Markets
Developing the operating model to deliver on ambitious climate & nature targets for the biopharma & vaccines business of a major pharmaceutical company; focussed on operational decarbonisation, sustainable supply chain, carbon offsetting and embedding sustainability in the finance function
Defining strategic investment pathways in methane emissions and energy efficiency for a leading climate investments fund.
Sam holds a Bachelors degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford. He has spent periods studying overseas at the University of California Berkeley, Peking University, Tsinghua University and at a language school in Berlin.
Daniel Costigan, Sustainability Lead Ocado
Daniel looks after Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility at Ocado Retail, covering topics from carbon removal to food redistribution.
After graduating from Oxford, he started his career in Consulting and specialised in leading small, high-performing teams on strategic and operational transformation programmes for private sector clients. He then joined Ocado Retail where he worked on the M&S launch and led the Brexit preparations, before taking over as head of the Sustainability & CSR team.
Daniel is passionate about finding profitable solutions to the problems of people and planet.
Andrea Du Rietz, Senior Manager Sustainability at the LEGO Group
Andrea is a Senior Manager in the Sustainability Engagement team. She leads the LEGO Group’s work on environmental communications, hoping to inspire advocacy, co-creation and dialogue with experts, legislators, influencers, children and parents around the world. In her previous role on the Environmental Responsibility team, Andrea was responsible for climate strategy and reporting. Before then, she worked as a Carbon Markets and Climate Policy analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Andrea has a BSc in Management from the London School of Economics and an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University.
15:00-16:00 | First steps to a career in sustainability: networking, gaining experience, further study and beyond
How can you find contacts and build your network in sustainability? What sort of experience is useful and should you be doing further study?
Oxford University careers advisers will be running this session to answer these questions and more to help you navigate your first steps in a sustainability career.
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13:15-14:30 | Applying for Sustainability Jobs: CV and cover letter advice
A practical session to help you shape your CV and create winning cover letters for a range of jobs within sustainability and environmental careers.
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15:00-16:00 | Early Careers in Sustainability Panel Session
We will be finishing the week of sustainability careers evens with a panel of alumni who are early in their sustainability career path.
This session, run with the Oxford Climate Society and OxCAN, is a great opportunity to expand your horizons, gain some key insights and ask those burning questions to recent graduates.
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Mark Fischel, Founder, Aklimate
Mark graduated from Balliol in 2018, and swapped Classics for Climate Change by studying an MSc at Imperial College Business School. Following that, he spent a few years in predictive modelling and big data at Mastercard, particularly enjoying working with green fintech start-ups. In March 2021 he left Mastercard to build his own company, Aklimate, leveraging the reach of global supply chains to put effective carbon management tools into the hands of thousands of businesses worldwide.
Stephanie Burrell, Lead, Forest Economy at the World Economic Forum
Stephanie read Biological Sciences from 2010-2013 at St. Catherine's College. She leads Forest Economy initiatives at the World Economic Forum, with a particular focus on unlocking the full climate potential of forests and forest products. Previously, she launched and scaled Digital Membership, the Forum's first fully digital membership offering. As a Consultant at Accenture, she harnessed technology to provide strategic advantage to private sector clients. She was also a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University and currently serve as an Alumni Leadership Board Member of the Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity.'
Working towards achieving net zero and making a real impact is high on the agenda of Oxford students and graduates when it comes to finding jobs.
To meet this desire for change we are organising a range of informative, virtual careers events (panels, speaker sessions and workshops) to help you navigate a range of relevant sectors and roles. Everything from how to make it in corporate sustainability to environmental law careers to finding green internships will be included.
We are working with small start-ups through to global employers and welcome students and alumni to learn about opportunities that fit your own values for a sustainable future. The events will be aimed at everyone from first years to more experienced environmental science graduates.
With thanks to...
We are delighted to be working with:
...and a number of Oxford student societies to host these events:
- Oxford Climate Society
- Oxford Sustainable Finance Society
- Oxford Sustainable Business & Entrepreneurship Society
- Sustainability and environment resources for job search and recruitment, tips from clean energy and environmental recruitment specialists Climate17
- Career briefing on the Sustainability and the Environment sector, written by Oxford Careers Service advisers
- Sustainability at the Careers Service: How to access to employers’ green credentials
Looking for more?
Check the CareerConnect platform for all our upcoming events and opportunities, book appointments, find jobs and internships, and more.