The transition to the green economy will require a large shift in the roles and skills of workers across the globe. That means growing demand and opportunities for those with green skills, as well as upskilling many workers with those same skills.
What are green skills? They are abilities or knowledge a worker can use to prevent, monitor or clean up pollution, and optimize stewardship and conservation of the natural resources that companies use to produce goods and services. We included not only skills that people in traditional green jobs have, but also skills that people in non-green jobs use to do their jobs in a greener way (think sustainable fashion or sustainable investment).
We identified about 800 'core' green skills and more than 300 green-related skills across 12 categories.
LinkedIn’s team met with experts, reviewed studies and hand-reviewed thousands of skills. We identified about 800 "core" green skills and more than 300 green-related skills across 12 categories including pollution prevention, waste prevention, renewable energy and sustainability.
Tackling climate change requires green skills
Green skills are already deployed across the economy today. The prevalence of, and demand for, these skills will grow as government and private sector commitments require economic activities to be carried out more efficiently, with greater health benefits and with less pollution and fewer emissions.
Many green skills reported by our members have seen double-digit and triple-digit growth over the last three years. The fastest-growing green skills are in ecosystem management, environmental policy and sustainable procurement. Ecosystem management skills focus on the costs of climate-induced natural disasters and extreme events, from hurricanes to fires.
The fast growth in environmental policy skills, especially related to health and safety, indicates a strong global focus on the impacts of environmental degradation on our well-being.
The near triple-digit growth in sustainable procurement skills reflects new corporate behavior. Suppliers are fielding more questions about their products and services from global industry leaders, such as Microsoft, that are taking action to reduce their environmental footprint throughout their supply chain.
Many of these skills are highly specialized and are primarily concentrated among traditional green careers, such as environmental scientists, sustainability managers and wildlife biologists.
But we found an increasing trend of green skills among professionals in roles that are not traditionally considered "green." For example:
- In pollution prevention, knowledge of sustainable fashion is increasingly popular among salespeople, designers and stylists.
- In environmental finance, sustainable investment is increasingly being reported by portfolio managers and investment analysts.
- Across all categories, project managers, program managers and business development specialists are upskilling in the circular economy.
Looking forward, this growth could create an enormous impact across industries, and opportunities for upskilling as the green economy accelerates.
So, we’ll investigate these jobs further — and the green skills they will require — in upcoming posts.