Becoming Green-Skill-Adjacent

  As the world braces for the verdict of COP 28, we think about how the push for green skills is coming from multiple quarters today. What does this mean for an individual looking to align their career to this new agenda?

In response to the context being set by the UN Conference of Parties (COP) currently underway in the UAE (30 November 2023 to 12 December 2023), we would like to begin a conversation on the growing need for green expertise in workplaces today. What does green expertise entail? Has there been a big shift in the way green skills are being perceived by the industry?

A recent article in The Economic Times definitely suggests so. The article cites an IBM-Morning Consult Survey, which states that 80% of Indian businesses are looking to hire people with experience in sustainability in 2024. LinkedIn agrees. Their Global Green Skills Report 2023 reveals that around the world only 1 in 8 workers has one or more green skills. Between February 2022 and February 2023, there has been a 15% rise in postings that require at least one green skill on LinkedIn. The most telling statistic of all is that the median LinkedIn hiring rate for workers with at least one green skill was 29% higher than the average workforce!

So what exactly are green skills? According to LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report 2022, skills that promote the environmental sustainability of economic activities are green skills. It all depends on whether the work that you do impacts the circular economy in a significant manner. There are jobs that are quite clearly “green” in their very description such as Hydroelectric Engineer, Solar Consultant or Wind Turbine Consultant.

However, as this Forbes article suggests, “all careers can be green” depending on the way you look at it. Jobs that are critical in our fight against climate change such as the role of supply chain professionals, Compliance Managers, Regulatory Affairs Consultants and Facilities Managers, among others, are quickly emerging as careers that are leading the charge when it comes to climate change. Such careers require candidates to have some perspective if not tangible skills when it comes to carbon accounting, environmental risk assessments, regulatory frameworks, etc. These are the people making tough decisions to help companies meet their emission targets.

Then there are careers that offer a more supportive role. LinkedIn has very helpfully broken all this down into four categories: green jobs, greening jobs, greening potential jobs and non-green jobs depending on how much “green” knowledge a candidate can be expected to have. Most jobs fall into the first three categories and in truth, each and every one of us is doing whatever we can to address the issue of climate change through the work that we do. So if you are wondering if you can somehow tap into the right resource that will allow you to leverage this shift in perspective, maybe you should pause and think about how you are already developing a body of work that showcases your adoption of a more sustainable way of doing things.