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Trend Alert: 6 Jobs that are Turning Green

Sustainability is taking an increasingly important place in conversations, and for a significant reason: if collectively we do not make a social, cultural, and economic change that allows us to reduce the impact on the environment, our survival may be at stake.

The need to transition to low-emission economies is already bringing about changes in legislation, the way we move and consume, and more slowly but surely, in the world of work.

According to a LinkedIn report, between 2022 and 2023, the demand for jobs requiring at least 1 green skill grew by 20% (Green Skills Report 2023 - LinkedIn).

Green Skills vs. Greening Skills

As industries and governments transition towards sustainable practices, two types of increasingly crucial skills have emerged: 'greening skills' and 'green skills.'

Greening skills refer to the capabilities and knowledge necessary to transform existing jobs towards sustainability. These skills adapt and evolve traditional roles to meet the demands of an increasingly circular and regenerative socio-economic model. For example, a construction worker learning sustainable building practices or a marketing professional specializing in promoting sustainable products.

In contrast, green skills are specifically required for roles within the environmental sector. These specialized skills are designed for jobs that focus directly on environmental protection and sustainability. For instance, a solar panel technician, an electric turbine technician, or a wildlife conservation biologist are roles that require green skills. These roles are built around a core of environmental awareness and expertise.

6 Jobs Already Experiencing a Transition

In public administration, the shift towards greening skills is clearly visible in roles that traditionally didn't focus on environmental aspects. For example, policy analysts and legislators are increasingly required to understand and integrate sustainability considerations into new laws and regulations. This might include experience in environmental law, sustainable urban planning, and climate policies.

Beyond public administration, other non-technical roles are also incorporating greening skills. Here are 6 examples you might not have thought of:

  • Human Resources: HR professionals are expected to develop and implement sustainable HR practices. This includes creating environmentally friendly workplace policies, promoting a culture of sustainability within the organization, and overseeing green employee training programs, not to mention hiring policies that include sustainability criteria and impact reporting.

  • Marketing and Communication: Marketing teams are adapting to promote sustainable products and services holistically, moving brands away from the much-criticized "greenwashing." Necessary skills include understanding eco-friendly markets, green branding, and effectively communicating a company's sustainability efforts to consumers and stakeholders.

  • Financial and Investment Analysts: These professionals are increasingly focusing on sustainable finance. This includes understanding and applying green investment principles, like evaluating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions and portfolio management with a sustainability focus.

  • Facilities Management: Facility managers are incorporating green practices in building management. This involves ensuring energy efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable resource use in office spaces or manufacturing facilities. The spread of LEED-certified constructions is an example of the rise of sustainable architecture and design.

  • Supply Chain and Procurement Managers: In the context of supply chain management, there is a growing emphasis on sustainable procurement practices driven by changes in legislation and requirements, especially in countries of the global north. This requires skills in sourcing sustainable materials, reducing the carbon footprint in logistics, and ensuring ethical and sustainable supply chains.

  • Event Planners: Those in event management now have the task of organizing sustainable events, which requires knowledge of sustainable suppliers, reducing energy consumption, eco-friendly decoration and activities, managing the impact to minimize noise and waste during events, and promoting sustainable practices in all aspects of event planning.

The Role of the Private Sector

The transformation demonstrated by these non-technical roles, historically not linked to the world of sustainability, is a perfect example of how the transition process towards a 'green economy' requires a holistic approach to combat the climate and ecological crisis and promote sustainability. This applies not only to specialized roles but across the entire spectrum of the workforce.

In this sense, the role of companies will be crucial in investing to 'green' their internal talent, by focusing on the learning and development of their human capital to drive change from within and navigate the transition in the increasing demand for knowledge in the coming years.


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