Sustainability; upskilling for a green economy

Sustainability; upskilling for a green economy

In recent years, we have heard a global cry for action from environmentalists. Powerful countries have united to act under the Paris Climate Agreement. Greta Thunberg has become a household name. Fast fashion brands have been forced to adapt their ethics and marketing strategies. Offsetting our carbon footprints, veganism and the art of upcycling are common conversational footholds. Studies show that sustainability is a top priority for the younger generations now entering the workforce so it is crucial to embrace the topic even for the purpose of employee engagement.


So, how is the global workforce keeping up with this transition towards a green economy? To ensure that it is successful, we need to pay more attention to the role that human capital and skills play in delivering a successful sustainable change.


Adecco highlight that by neglecting skills development, “it is estimated that the global economy could shed as many as 71 million jobs in its move towards becoming circular. On the other hand, smart policies and investment in reskilling could reverse this prospect, so much so that the energy sector alone could produce a net growth of 18 million jobs.”


A successful transition strategy toward a green economy will need to consider that:


  • Almost 1.5 billion jobs worldwide depend on a stable climate, and that as much as 85% of all jobs in 2030 have not been invented yet


  • As we move away from fossil fuels, some sectors will be hit harder than others, particularly the energy and automotive industries


However, with these threats also comes opportunity. Employers and employees alike should be proactive and ready to adapt to the ever-changing global market.


As explored in the Adecco whitepaper, employers should adopt a proactive approach by:


  • mapping skills requirements, and get begin reskilling to be ahead of the curve;
  • invest in sustainable employment and skills and use it to their brand’s advantage in order to attract the right talent and retain the right skills for future success;
  • promote flexibility and leverage workforce expertise by putting the individual at the centre of the transformation.


In the meantime, individuals are encouraged to:


  • take ownership of their own skillset by continually seeking upskilling opportunities;
  • embrace career flexibility;
  • realise that lifelong learning is a prerequisite to improving one’s future employability

By investing in corporate training and leadership development in this area, all stakeholders can contribute to a transition into a green economy where nobody gets left behind.