Get a green job in Singapore, save the environment

Energy Carta pushing clean-tech sector; 18,000 new jobs likely by 2015
Eisen Teo, Straits Times 14 Nov 09;

JOB seekers could be missing out on green-collar jobs - employment opportunities in areas that help to save the environment - believes Energy Carta, a non-profit organisation here.

The field is new, and it could do with some crusaders to help sell it.

The group, founded two years ago by five final-year undergraduates from the National University of Singapore (NUS), aims to get across the message that environmentally conscious youths can find career prospects in the clean-tech sector.

The area is expected to contribute $1.7 billion to Singapore's gross domestic product and offer 18,000 new jobs by 2015.

It may be easy to get youths enthusiastic about projects that centre on sustainable development and environmental issues. The problem is that few venture into the field after they graduate from university.

One of Energy Carta's founders, bank management associate Chean Yujun, 26, puts this down to a lack of awareness.

And it is the non-engineering students who are least interested, so Ms Alison Wong, 21, a third-year environmental engineering student at NUS and an Energy Carta member since April, believes.

Many think environmental conservation does not really concern them, she said, or that it belongs to the domain of engineers.

But the group wants to make it known through events such as talks and seminars that the local clean-tech sector offers jobs even for non-engineering types.

These include designing and managing green buildings, carbon trading and developing more energy-efficient computing, or 'green computing'.

Today, Energy Carta has 30 members, with a following of more than 800 on Facebook.

Through its annual events like the Asian Youth Energy Summit (Ayes), students can rub shoulders with speakers from clean-tech industry giants such as Asia Cleantech Capital and Vestas.

Its second summit was staged at NUS over two days in September, and brought together 238 youths and speakers from more than 30 clean-tech companies.

It was organised in tandem with the Chevron Case Challenge, a competition to promote appreciation of issues facing the energy industry.

Almost 100 teams mapped out a 20-year energy plan for a fictitious city, and the winning team walked away with $3,000 in cash.

Ayes director Bharath Seshadri, 20, a final-year NUS mechanical engineering student, joined Energy Carta in April last year to learn how to apply pragmatic solutions to environmental problems.

'That's better than simply railing against global warming and environmental pollution,' said the Indian national, who is gunning for a job in the energy industry after he graduates next year.

'We must all work together to leave our planet in a better position than we found it.'

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Green-collar jobs

Sustainable architect

Designs green buildings which efficiently use energy and water resources, reduce waste and pollution, and protect the health of occupants.

Environmental engineer

Applies science and engineering principles to optimise the environment for human habitation, which includes rehabilitating polluted land. Studies the environmental impact of proposed construction projects and advises on treatment of industrial waste.

Green IT professional
Straits Times 14 Nov 09;

Installs, maintains and trouble-shoots computing and communications systems that cut down on energy wastage and pollution.

Carbon trader

Brokers deals between companies that buy credits from other companies to offset their carbon emissions.

Clean energy researcher

Conducts research and development for clean technologies.

Some organisations that offer green-collar jobs in Singapore

Economic Development Board (Alternative Energy), Energy Market Authority, Energy Studies Institute, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Renewable Energy Corporation, Siemens, The Carbon Neutral Company, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Vestas Wind Systems.