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Will Sustainability Transformation Drive The Next Jobs Boom?

Companies worldwide are bringing sustainability to the core of their business strategy. Are we on the verge of a sustainability transformation jobs boom?


Mon Nov 15 2021

Companies undertaking new digital projects, implementing new software into their operations, and experimenting with new technologies led to the birth of the buzzword ‘digital transformation’.

Digital transformation grew rapidly year-on-year; global spending on digital transformation rose by around $350 billion between 2017 and 2020. 

The trend created countless jobs. And now, we could see the same with ‘sustainability transformation’, as companies begin to adapt their strategies to bring sustainability to the core of their business.

This new global shift is the subject of ESSEC Business School’s new MSc in Sustainability Transformation.

The sustainability tipping point 

ESSEC has launched its new MSc program with the first intake starting at the end of August 2022. The school aims to prepare students for sustainability transformation, which it believes is set to explode over the coming years. 

Program director Alexis de La Tour du Pin (pictured) argues that, while sustainability has been part of government agendas and business objectives for some time now, it’s been more of an afterthought than a central theme. 


But that’s all about to change, he says. In the corporate world, 90% of executives say sustainability is important to their future, and 60% have dedicated sustainability strategies. A good start that will only increase in the coming years, Alexis thinks. 

Companies are also under pressure to respond to the more eco-minded. Scenes of wildfires, floods, and 50 degree heat waves have sparked a change among consumers; 73% now report that they want to live more sustainably. 

“We’re at a tipping point,” Alexis explains. “More and more companies are pledging to get to carbon neutrality by 2030 or 2040, and everybody wants to work in sustainability or align their strategy around it.” 

The emerging sustainability transformation job market 

Just as digital transformation has done over the last decade, sustainability transformation is likely to bring with it a wealth of new jobs and opportunities. 

Already, specialist sustainability consulting firms like AccountAbility, Salterbaxter, and BSR are advising companies on how to shift their strategies to become more sustainable. They’re teaching organizations how to circularize supply chains, measure their biodiversity impact, and adjust their business objectives to account for the environment. 

“We are seeing more and more specialized consultancies appearing,” Alexis explains, “all of a sudden they have tons of roles available because they have too much demand from clients.” 

The next wave of opportunities will come within organizations themselves. As sustainable practice takes a more prominent role, corporate social responsibility (CSR) teams will expand headcounts and, more importantly, have greater influence within organizations, Alexis says. 

But changes to the job sector are likely to go beyond just the appearance of new roles. It’s also likely that established jobs will have to adapt to incorporate a larger focus on sustainability. 

Marketing managers may have to promote the carbon neutrality of their product to a more aware consumer. Similarly, accountants might be required to record a company’s carbon footprint, alongside its revenue. 

“All of these roles are going to be augmented,” says Alexis, “so they’re about the people and the planet, not just the profit.”

This combination of new roles alongside more sustainability-led traditional jobs means the employment market will be favorable to graduates with sustainability skills and expertise in the coming years.

An MSc in Sustainability Transformation helping to make an impact

ESSEC aims to prepare students for the potential sustainability transformation job market boom with a career-focused curriculum. 

The program teaches fundamental management skills such as negotiation, along with specialist concepts like ESG investing and sustainability marketing. Based on their interests, students can specialise in one of six majors, including Circular Economy, and Climate & Biodiversity. 


ESSEC also has strong industry connections and will provide talent and career days, along with consulting projects to help students develop their network. Outside their courses, students will benefit from a range of sustainability-focused student associations helping them to make an impact before graduation. 

Combined, the curricular and extracurricular activities will provide students with the skills, expertise, and network to become leaders in the sustainability transformation market. 

To ensure they can have an impact after securing a job, the program also has a large focus on change management with modules like Leading Change and Transformation, and Creative Facilitation for a Changing World. 

ESSEC aims to prepare students to bridge the gap between the science of sustainability and the everyday business practices of companies.

“Everything that we’ve tried and implemented in the last decade was insufficient, so we need to invent a new playbook,” explains Alexis. 

“In my view the goal of this playbook is to profoundly change organizations and that’s what we’re going to teach students.”

During learning expeditions, field visits, and thematic courses, students will see how sustainability is being practiced by NGOs and within alternative living, sustainable campuses. Alexis hopes this will inspire students to come up with innovative ideas they can bring to their new jobs. 

“We need to develop students with immense creativity,” he says. “A lot of us are too experienced and we have trouble imagining new solutions, and that’s where some freshness of point of view will be useful. 

“We want to spark some creativity and spark some hope when students see people actively trying to change our world.”

Student Reviews

ESSEC Business School




On Campus

The best intercultural university

There are more than 50 nationality in the grade, so there are opportunities to interact with people from all around the world. In terms of academics, the BBA course offers diverse courses for the 1st




On Campus

Creativity, adaptability and entrepreneurship

The Master in Management program at the ESSEC Business School allows the students to choose their courses accordingly to their preferences and their professional targets. We can also go through international exchange and take part in internships with companies that are also partners with the school. The school is also next to the city of Paris.




On Campus

Top business school in France

Doing PhD in essec took some time, to be precise about five years. But the experience was very good and cost effective too. There are opportunities for the student for teaching assistantship and that helps both financially and in career. In the final year I could manage to teach marketing to M1 students and this helped shape my career




On Campus

Great college

The program is well suited for early professionals with an engineering degree preferably or a degree in economics. I would suggest taking the ceasure irrespective of the experience level as it helps you take your time to adjust to the job market.





Good school in France

I am currently enrolled in M2 in Essec business school. I am specialising in marketing management. The Grande Ecole programme is valued in France and my school ranks very high up. There are a lot of opportunities for internships and CDD.




The program curriculum

BBA program. The program is really practical and useful, provide us many international opportunities. Like internship and humanitarian experience, and the flexibility is also really cool, we can choose different campus and tracks as we want.




International Course

This school is very international and business oriented. Highly recognized by the companies The campus has been renovated and is very functional and modern from now on. Excellent atmosphere. Reputation of essec is a plus




Friends, Career opportunities.

The program I did gave me the opportunity to start in Singapore. I got the chance to know all the students that started there and we bonded and made some friends for life. The career opportunities that ESSEC also gave me were unbelievable.




Practical and useful

I think the best thing about Essec is that it's not focusing on academics rather it emphasizes on future job mindset and professional experiences.. The classes are interesting and we have plenty of workshops attributing to different sectors.. The campus is very nice with a good cafe and wonderful library. The only problem is the location of the campus. It's quite far from Paris.




On Campus

Amazing experience! Must try

I think its a very amazing school with great and experienced faculty. Also the alumni network is very solid and useful. The school has a great balance of studies and work experience which is really essential for a student.