As sustainable best practices become integrated in the culture of your business, attracting quality employees with experience in driving environmentally responsible policy can be a problem. One way to ensure that future candidates are ready to take on the additional role of sustainability is by offering sustainability internships to young professionals interested in combining environmental awareness with corporate experience.

Aramark, a leader in the foodservice industry and provider of uniform and career apparel to various industries, is doing just that, and reaping the profits of mixing learning, with working. Take a look!

About the Environmental Sustainability Internship Program

According to a statement made by Aramark in a press release, the company has been recognized as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and takes its commitment to responsibly address issues that matters to its clients, customers, employees and communities very seriously. One of the ways the company chose to build on this commitment was to partner with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in order to launch the Environmental Sustainability Internship Program.

The program, which runs for between 6-9 months, offers hands-on job experience to interns taken on board to help implement environmental solutions for ARAMARK clients throughout the US and the UK. In 2011, the company hired 17 young professionals as part of the program, and according to Green Biz, has increased that number to 27 interns two years later. According to the Aramark website, once accepted into the program, interns are to focus on specific sustainability initiatives while keeping in mind both fiscal responsibility and models of operational excellence.

The goal of the program is to provide young professionals with corporate experience and create an awareness of the role sustainability can play in all types of jobs. Positions offered can be full or part-time. More information about eligibility and the application process can be found online.

A win-win for businesses and participants in the program

From the looks of things, it certainly seems as if the interns are earning their keep, helping companies like Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas save $12,000 by recommending a switch to reusable cups, and saving 400,000 gallons of water a year by upgrading bathroom fixtures at Asiloar Conference Ground in Monterey, California. The program, which clearly leads to improvements in the bottom line, is also proving attractive to professionals looking for an entrance into the industry. To date, 8 interns have been hired on following their internships at Aramark client locations.

In reference to the success of the program, Jamie Patten, Senior Vice President of Marketing at SCA says: “Sustainability is not just good for the environment, it’s also good for business and essential to our future. The fact that many of the first-year ARAMARK interns have already been hired into full time jobs with the company and other corporations is indicative of the program’s genuine value and the important need these interns are fulfilling.”

Questions or comments about sustainable internships? Does your company offer sustainable internships? We’d love to hear from you!

image credit: VancouverInternship