Top 21 Sustainability Internships To Make You Stand Out From Other College Graduates
Going green does not only help companies reduce emissions — it’s becoming a healthy business model that allows you to reduce operating costs and use resources more efficiently.
As a result, employers want young professionals who can implement and manage sustainable business practices.
So, whether you’re majoring in finance or engineering, getting some internship experience in sustainability can be a big plus to your resume.
With this in mind, let’s look at the best undergraduate sustainability intern jobs these days.
Best 21 Sustainability Internships
Sustainability, Health & Safety Intern — Biopharmacy
As an undergraduate intern in a biopharmaceutical company, you’ll help develop an implementation plan for the newly revised Chemical Segregation manual in all chemical stockrooms and other locations on campus. 
You’ll assist in occupational health and safety risk assessments and review journal articles on lab safety best practices. To apply to this job, you need to be pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree and have completed at least the second year of an undergraduate program.
Environmental Management Intern — Real Estate
As an intern, you’ll be given a variety of environmental, sustainability, property management, and construction tasks related to the operation of a real estate portfolio. You’ll assist in activities like environmental risk, solar power development, as well as utility and construction data analytics.
If you're interested in Real Estate operations, you’re an ideal candidate for the job.
Corporate Safety Intern
You’ll be working with the sustainability team, helping gather data and measure current sustainability initiatives, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of current initiatives and help realign those with the overall corporate strategy.
Summer internships like these offer students plenty of opportunities for fun and off-site team-building events.
Environmental Specialist Intern
You’ll gain experience in the area of environmental regulation in your state and have the opportunity to visit a variety of regulated facilities and take part in the compliance inspection process.
You’ll also practice the basics of engineering investigation and review. To apply, you need to be a graduate or undergraduate in Biological Science, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Natural resources, Geology, Engineering, or a related field. This job type includes a lot of fieldwork.
Ethics, Compliance, and Sustainability Internship
In this internship program, you’ll receive on the job training and participate in professional development workshops, executive speaker series, and other networking and social events.
The projects may include the development and enhancement of management systems and technology tools, researching legal obligations, or assistance with reporting for various stakeholders. An ideal intern for this job is a BS, BA, or MS student with a minimum GPA of 3.2.
Social Impact Partnerships Intern
You’ll support all social impact partnerships with project management, relationship management, operational organization, impact tracking, and reporting. Your job will also be to identify new potential partnerships and review nonprofit and university charitable fund ops and grant submissions.
For this internship, you need experience as a program or project manager, while previous work at a foundation or nonprofit is a huge bonus.
Associate Sustainability Account Manager Intern — Recycling
If you’re a high-performing Environmental Science graduate who is passionate about contributing to a cleaner environment, then you may as well try interning as a sustainability account manager for a recycling company.
You’ll be dealing with lots of emails and phone calls to arrange business with current and future customers, as well as educate visitors about the importance of recycling electronics.
Environmental/Sustainability Internship — Natural Resources
As an intern in the department of natural resources, your job will be to develop and implement a written environmental management system that is consistent with the ISO 14001:2015 environmental standard, as well as NPS (National Park Service) standards.
An ideal candidate is enrolled in a Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree program in Environmental Science or a related field.
Energy Efficiency Internship
An intern in this role will be expected to work alongside and help the Energy Efficiency team across a variety of program areas. You’ll be responsible for market research to support new products, processing program applications, and landscaping analytics on program participation.
To qualify for this job, you need to be pursuing a degree in an energy-related discipline and have a strong interest in market-based solutions.
Environmental Health Program Internship
You’ll be conducting scientific and corporate research, compile information, participate in conference calls and meetings and complete a variety of tasks according to program needs. On this job, you’ll gain experience in shareholder advocacy and the food system, as well as hone your research and technical writing skills.
In addition to strong organization and time-management skills, you need experience reading and synthesizing peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Sustainability Project Management Internship
In this job, you’ll serve as a project manager for collecting and validating data inputs, working with the report development team, and maintaining a project execution plan. You’ll often be collaborating with senior leaders, which will provide valuable opportunities but also require a heightened level of professionalism and communication skills.
To apply for this job type, you need to be at least a junior in an Engineering, Business, Marketing, or a related academic program.
This is the time to get into a green career! The rapid growth of green/alternative economies will require more jobs exponentially. Organics, recycling, alternative energy, conservation of species and ecosystems, fair trade in green investments, sustainable agriculture and forests, and ecotourism, to name a few.
A. Alonso Aguirre Ph.D., Department Chair & Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
Environmental Health and School Achievement Intern
This internship program provides a job opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students who want to pursue a public policy career to work in a policy research environment. You’ll help develop research at the intersection of environment, health, and education policy for young children whose school attendance and learning were disrupted by recent wildfires.
You may be asked to prepare air quality, health, and school data for analysis and conduct descriptive analyses.
Environment, Health, and Safety Internship — Automotive
EHS interns are engaged with a variety of activities, where under the mentorship of EHS managers they take part in projects directed at specific topics such as equipment safety, industrial hygiene, occupational ergonomics, environmental compliance, sustainability certifications, and training & education.
Ideal interns for this job are 3rd or 4th-year students working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies, Industrial Engineering, or Occupational Health & Safety.
Disaster Response Internship
These internship job types allow you to gain Federal Experience while exploring your career options. For example, in Disaster Survivor Assistance you’ll be working directly with people affected by a disaster, manage documents, conduct surveys, or work at a recovery center. 
This often means registering survivors for assistance in the field and using systems to map areas that you and your team will canvas. These internships are applicable to a wide range of college majors.
Environmental Education Internship
This part-time internship job is an opportunity to receive 3 undergraduate credits with your college while helping create a green-minded generation through inspiring environmental stewardship and teaching.
You’ll work with schools, nonprofits, and businesses while raising awareness of the importance of honey bees. Interns may be asked to create letter templates, research new data on bees, as well as to explore educational strategies for blogs and social media.
Sustainability Performance Benchmarking Intern
As a research intern, you’ll conduct basic and applied research on important and challenging open system problems and demonstrate improvement in the sustainability of applications using a Sustainability Benchmark prototype.
You’d then research methods to optimize application performance to energy use. An ideal applicant for this job is a creative thinker pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Statistics, Mathematics, or equivalent field.
Sustainable Engineering Interns
An engineering intern will work on a variety of high impact jobs such as landfill construction, landfill permitting, soil and groundwater remediation, brownfield redevelopment, site development, and sustainability projects.
If you’re currently pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Civil, Biological Systems Engineering, or Geological Engineering, this job is an excellent opportunity to get familiar with construction observation and documentation, sample collection, and surveying.
Sustainability Internship — Apparel Industry
Interns in these jobs will be to audit the company’s current state and then map out its impact related to sourcing of raw materials, consumption, waste, processing, the finished products, shipping, and finally the end of the product’s life cycle.
You’ll be tasked with raising overall sustainability awareness within the company and guide environmental and social initiatives that align with the brand. Excellent written and verbal communication is a must for this job.
Production and Sourcing Sustainability Intern — Retail
Interning in the retail industry that values sustainability gives you an opportunity to learn more about B Corp certification and Better to Give programs.
As a part of the Product Development team, you’ll collect, evaluate, and document manufacturer information for social and environmental compliance and conduct Quality Control of product listings to ensure they are ready for the customers. To qualify for the job, you need a Bachelor’s degree and the ability to multi-task and work independently.
Greening Internships — Travel & Tourism
Your job will be to research environmental policies, programs, and initiatives of passenger and cargo airlines, vendors, and customers. You’ll engage with employees at all levels to gather ideas on how the company can be more environmentally friendly.
You’ll also be in charge of implementing green initiatives. Along with the cover letter, you need a display of creativity and proof of current enrollment in a college or trade school.
Environmental Field Intern — Transportation & Logistics
As a summer intern, you’ll assist technicians with hazardous waste cleanup, site remediation, equipment decontamination, and handling of hazardous materials.
To apply you need to be a Sophomore or Junior enrolled in a 4-year program like Science, Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Civil Engineering, or a related field.
Employers in all niches are increasingly looking for young professionals who can help them reach their green business goals.
But when it comes to sustainability, specialists are worth more than generalists. The more expertise and specific experience you put in your resume, the better your job outlook.
When your future career is at stake, you don’t want to take any chances. Launch our Green Jobs Board now and start looking for new sustainability intern jobs while still in college.
Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen’s readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.