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sustainable jobs are the new cool, and Wien Energie tells us why

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Not only are they the leaders of the Great Resignation, Gen Z are bound to alter the working world even further with their job role demands.

Before, it used to be a high salary, an extra week of holiday, shares in the company, but nowadays it’s flexible working options, work-life balance and a job with a meaningful green, environmental purpose. This is what the latest generation joining the workplace, particularly women, are looking for in jobs and their careers.

Companies that can offer this type of work or adjust current job positions to include some focus on sustainability and environment protection are bound to secure the top talent of the latest generation entering the workforce and the future leaders of tomorrow.

Climate change, followed by inequality, war and Covid-19 are the biggest worries for Gen Z today

56% of people aged 14-29 answered that climate change is the most concerning issue to them today, making it the biggest worry of the youngest newcomers entering the world of work. This is a topic that’s concern has been rising exponentially over the last few years, meaning working with a sustainable purpose is no longer just a work trend, but rather a necessity for Gen Z.

Latest studies show that sustainability is an important factor in employer selection too. Almost 40% of respondents of the survey stated they have an affinity for climate protection movements and would therefore not work for ‘environmental sinners’.

Companies that already operate in the environmental sector, and other sectors that are able to innovatively pivot part of their projects to take ecological sustainability into account, will benefit the most with an increase in applications and talent. In terms of applicants, graduates with degrees in STEM subjects or people with interest or early experience in the field will be the most sought out candidates.

Green jobs are most in demand when offered as a package deal that also takes social and personal needs into account, such as flexible working arrangements. Companies who work directly with the environment have the biggest scope to get this right and adjust themselves to suit this new demand.

New job titles and positions to look out for

To answer this demand for jobs conscious of the future there are numerous new green job titles and positions appearing on job search platforms. Key search terms to identify these jobs include; sustainable, green, environmental, climate and organic.

Particularly in the energy sector, a large number of green jobs are being created to master the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Looking inward to see who here in Vienna is already getting that right, we found that Wien Energie, the largest regional energy supplier in Austria, currently offers green jobs in 42 areas of their business, including Plant Management and Optimisation, e-Mobility, Business Development and Strategy, Innovation & Management Systems. They also offer a Climate Protection Trainee Programme in collaboration with the Wiener Stadtwerke to combine the need to make Vienna climate ready for the future with the sustainability interests of Gen Z. We reached out to find out more about these roles and positions.

Q: Why is it important to Wien Energie to have green jobs?

A: Climate change is part of the biggest challenges of our time. Above all, large cities such as Vienna play a decisive role for climate protection. As the biggest regional energy provider of Austria we have a particular responsibility. We cannot solve all climate problems alone. However Wien Energie sets all levers in motion and works unstoppably on making Vienna CO2 neutral with a range of solutions for the private everyday life as well as the public city life in regards to heating, cooling, electricity from renewable energy sources and E-mobility. Only together, can we ensure that our city remains so liveable.

Q: A green job is a job that avoids environmental damage and preserves natural resources. How exactly does a green job at Wien Energie contribute to this?

A: For Wien Energie, climate protection is not a trendy topic, instead it’s a company philosophy. Our colleagues engage in multiple ways daily in driving climate change forward step by step. At Wien Energie there is always room for new, green ideas. It’s becoming increasingly important to more people to generate sustainable added value with their actions. They also want to make a contribution to climate protection in their working lives. As well as innovative and sustainable ideas and solutions, we need the best talents, who want to actively work on the future of energy supply, to master climate change.

Q: Green jobs are not just a trend, they’re here to stay. What does the future hold for green jobs at Wien Energie?

A: A job that one lives and loves. An increasing number of people want to make a contribution to climate protection in their everyday working lives and are therefore on the lookout for a company, which is addressing the climate crisis with full commitment and transparency. At Wien Energie, we deliver what we promise. At Wien Energie we live by climate protection and work daily on the big challenge of being climate neutral by 2040. Employees at Wien Energie can not only find a profession but rather their vocation. Digitalisation, changes in technology, research and innovation open numerous new professional fields and areas of responsibility. In the next coming years at Wien Energie we want to create over 200 new jobs. Digital talent is in demand and the number of women is to be significantly increased, particularly in the technical fields.

Q: What can trainees expect on the Climate Protection Programme?

A: What makes the Climate Pioneers programme special is that it is the first trainee program with a focus on climate protection in the DACH region. Together, we’ve created an overarching programme in which the trainees experience various group companies of the WSTW Group with different corporate cultures, ways of working, strategies and more. The goal of the program is to identify and create synergies, especially on the topic of climate protection, within the WSTW Group and to build a climate community. Trainees are able to contribute their own knowledge and experiences in the stations, but will then also transport new knowledge from station to station. A special feature is the so-called Greener Friday: Every Friday, the trainees have the opportunity to further their education, to network, to initiate and implement their own initiatives, together with existing colleagues of the WSTW Group, but also with the Viennese population - all in the name of climate protection! During their 18-month program, the climate trainees are accompanied by personal mentors, each of whom are sustainability managers from the WSTW Group. The mentors provide them with professional and personal support, help them with networking, and offer advice and support in the event of challenges. Of course, the mentors themselves also benefit from the mentoring by receiving fresh ideas from the climate trainees and being able to exchange information on existing projects and initiatives!

With even more green jobs planned for the future, Wien Energie will also be introducing their very own climate protection trainee programme in 2023. Become a Trainee for Future and check the programme out here. Applications open in April.

green jobs (and the demand for them) are here to stay

In order to satisfy the career needs of this generation and secure the top talent, employers are going to have to pivot their mission and visions and pay closer attention to their company’s impact on the environment. These companies can benefit from restructuring their open positions and offer career paths with the future of the earth, the employee and the company in mind, like Wien Energie.

Nevertheless, companies should expect to be questioned by applicants on whether they can deliver on what they promise in the role description. Only 14% of study participants think green jobs deliver what they promise. Employees who are genuinely concerned about the climate won’t be fooled by greenwashing practices.

about Wien Energie

Wien Energie is Austria’s largest energy provider and is a subsidiary of the municipal utility company Wiener Stadtwerke. They supply over two million people with environmentally friendly electrical power, cooling, heating, electromobility and telecommunications in the capital of Vienna. Committed to producing energy in a sustainable manner, Wien Energie maintains a balance between environmental, social and commercial interests within their company.


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