Last reviewed 16 May 2022

A report outlining how organisations can accelerate the development of green skills across the UK has been published by Deloitte and IEMA, the professional body for environment and sustainability specialists.

A Blueprint for Green Workforce Transformation, which can be found here, highlights that 80% of the people who will make up the workforce of 2030 are already in employment today.

According to research conducted by Deloitte and IEMA, 75% of senior sustainability professionals think that all jobs will require “green” or sustainability skills by 2050.

While, currently, understanding of green jobs and skills is low among the public, Deloitte believes that awareness is likely to grow sharply in the coming years, as the UK Government has outlined its intention to drive the creation of two million green jobs by 2030.

Furthermore, a new natural history GCSE has been announced this month which will explore environmental and sustainability issues, among other topics.

Currently, the top five industries for professionals with green skills are environmental services, construction, higher education, renewables and environment, and government administration.

Between 2020 and 2021, the industries that experienced the highest growth in green skills specialists were luxury goods and jewellery, the internet, biotechnology, apparel and fashion and investment management.

Matt Guest, lead partner for Deloitte’s Net Zero consulting practice, said: “Every worker, team and organisation has a part to play in mitigating climate change, repairing environmental damage and ensuring that the UK’s Net Zero ambitions are met. Leaders must act now to understand the green skills that will be needed across their entire organisation, build a strategy for how to upskill their teams in sustainability and ensure they have investment lined-up to deliver change.”

The report provides practical steps, case studies and a toolkit for leaders, to inform this necessary transition to the green economy.

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

To ensure the most benefit, organisations must foster a culture of sustainability beyond an updated policy or annual awareness day. To do this, sustainable practices should be engrained into daily activities and regularly communicated to workforces and stakeholders.

Recognition of a genuine sustainable culture can help with the recruitment and retention of staff, and assist in creating a feeling of investment, care and conscience.