6 Occupations You Might Not Know Existed: Sustainability Edition

From agriculture, to chemical separation, to the emulsifiers in your ice cream—sustainability is an up-and-coming sector that's full of unique possibilities. Read more about the diverse roles available within sustainability start-ups and companies among CapitaLand’s tenant community.

We tend to think of a stable, 9-to-5 job as being desk-bound daily, hunched over a computer, becoming experts at Excel. While those jobs may certainly exist, there are also many unusual and surprising careers that you might have never heard about.

What first comes to mind  when someone mentions sustainability?

If your first thought leaned to the 3R’s (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle), you’re not alone. We’ve shared  different guides on how you can introduce sustainable habits into your daily life, but did you know that sustainability practices are constantly being challenged and perfected at the industry level? The sustainability sector extends beyond just recycling and cuts across industries like agriculture, aquaculture and water treatment. In fact, sustainability has been spotlighted as an area of growth and 55,000 jobs are expected to be created by 2031, as Singapore pursues sustainable development.

If you’re curious to see what the possibilities are, scroll down to find out about some of the unique roles whose work directly contribute to this sector, and see how many of these you might have already heard of! 

Urban Farmer

Don’t pick up your pitchforks yet—these modern-day farmers do more than just till the land. They’re responsible for bringing hues of green to both residential and commercial properties all over our island, one of them being the urban rooftop garden at Funan Mall designed by Edible Garden City. Apart from ‘foodscaping’—a term referring to structuring and building edible gardens—these urban farmers also tend to farms, which can range from the traditional soil-based to new-age hydroponic ones. To top it all off, they take on the role of an educator as well, reaching out to people of different ages to raise awareness about food sustainability. Take a visit to the lush edible garden at Funan Mall to witness the fruits of their labour!

Membrane Expert

At first glance, you might assume this role belongs in the operation theatres of a hospital, but Seppure’s here to prove you wrong. Located at The Galen at the Singapore Science Park, Seppure is a nano-filtration start-up that has created a sustainable and chemical-resistant technology to separate chemical mixtures with minimal energy use. As for the Membrane Expert, their main work revolves around hollow-fibers and spiral-wound membranes. While these technical terms might be some we’ve rarely heard of, the Membrane Expert’s work impacts a variety of sectors, beyond just sustainability, including vegetable oil and pharmaceutical industries. 

Ice Pigging Project Engineer

Being an island nation with limited freshwater sources available, Singapore’s most precious resource is undeniably water. Our water comes from local catchment, Malaysia, the sea itself, or reclaimed water that’s thoroughly cleaned. One of the processes that ensures the water in our pipes remains sparkling clean is called ice pigging, a unique process that helps to clear sediments and deposits in the pipeline. It’s the ice pigging project engineer who ensures that every detail of this intricate process is carried out safely—a role you’d find amidst the team at Suez Water Technologies, situated in The Alpha. While project engineers can be commonly found in various industries, what sets this role apart is the technology they work with and the impact they make. In fact, ice pigging is not just energy-efficient, but water-efficient too, strengthening and safeguarding our water resources and Singapore’s collective future. 


You might be wondering: how is someone who fits glasses into windows and doors a prominent part of the sustainability landscape? At INOVUES, an energy-efficient window start-up, the glazier is the key person who brings buildings closer to their sustainability goals. The glazier is responsible for the fitting of energy-saving windows that allow companies to save up to 40% on energy consumption, which are benefits that CapitaLand tenants might soon enjoy. INOVUES emerged as one of the winners of the CapitaLand Sustainability X Challenge, allowing them to pilot their initiatives within selected CapitaLand buildings in the coming months.

Formulation Experimentalist

Different forms of formulations are the core part of any scientific venture, including sustainability-related ones. You might think they have a hefty title, but the formulation experimentalist has a heftier responsibility—not only are they responsible for timely preparation of various formulations, they’re also in charge of interpreting experimental data and results. These formulation experimentalists form a core part of Syngenta, which is an agriculture company that’s helping farmers worldwide make better use of available resources by developing tailored solutions. With their global headquarters based right here in Singapore at The Gemini, these people work tirelessly to keep the movement growing. Though the role might sound like a daunting one, did you know that formulation experimentalists can be suitable for anyone with previous lab experience? 

Application Technologist

Climate change has made all of us more aware of sustainable food products, with various alternatives emerging in the past few years. While various food scientists and technologists have been pushing the boundaries of what sustainable food could be (such as replacing your regular protein sources with insects and micro-algae), others are changing the status quo—like the application technologist at Palsgaard, who’s making that pint of ice cream in your fridge more sustainable day-by-day. Palsgaard (whose Asia Pacific office is located at Nordic European Centre in International Business Park) is a carbon-neutral emulsifier producer (which means their net carbon dioxide emission in 2020 was zero), and their team of application technologists are making emulsifiers that are kind to the environment and with better nutritional profiles. The best part about this specific role? You get to taste your experiments, whether it's ice cream, dairy, or confectionery.  

How many of these occupations did you recognise? The sustainability sector isn't just exclusive to specialists and experts—we’ve shed light on the broad spectrum of roles available within the industry, from those who nurture the fields for a more food-secure future, to those working towards innovating existing processes to reduce wastage. 

Subscribe to our e-newsletter your Workplace Community to receive content around

  • Hacks and ideas to enrich your work-life experience and well-being
  • Community stories and features
  • Upcoming events and promotions for the CapitaLand Workspace community and more!


You might also like...