While most sectors struggle with a worsening economic situation and a challenging job market, the growing demand for environmental sustainability skills (or green skills), particularly in HSE roles, is a promising opportunity. With the UK government planning to transform the economy to achieve net zero by 2050, and HSE professionals desiring more flexibility and greater fulfillment from their roles, it leaves employers with a win-win scenario. Developing and mentoring your workforce while your business benefits from the growth opportunity within the green economy has never been more crucial. The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) can support you to do exactly that.
Green skills in the current workforce
A recent report A blueprint for green workforce transformation, published by Deloitte and IEMA, predicts a major shift in the increased need for green skills in non-specialist roles, and the requirement for every team member to have a level of green knowledge and ability to be effective in the future economy.
Some organisations interviewed are planning to deploy strategies to fulfill this development opportunity, but the majority are early on in their thinking. In many organisations green skills are located in silos, with sustainability functions responsible for ensuring that other parts of the organisation act sustainably in accordance with policy and legislation. Other contributors pointed to the core workforce responsible for day-to-day operations as a key area requiring transformation.
While all professionals need to develop knowledge and skills on sustainability to effectively make the best decisions, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. A recent survey by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) found that only 45% of respondents have acquired (or are acquiring) the knowledge, skills and expertise needed to thrive with the help of their employer. With job responsibilities shifting due to advances in sustainability, equality, diversity, and inclusion; workforce development is not keeping up.
Unlocking the future of the green economy
According to Deloitte and IEMA, taking advantage of the growth areas in the green economy requires courageous leadership that takes calculated risks, and being an early adopter in the green economy can mean taking a leap of faith. The report also states that “Organisations that embed environmental sustainability into their corporate vision, strategy and objectives will be better placed to deliver enterprise-wide business transformation”.
A green economy will create green jobs within new and emerging sectors, while those working in existing sectors will have to gain the requisite green skills to take advantage of sustainable business opportunities.
Professionals in the HSE space can be a driving force behind the change that is needed. By taking a lead on developing the relevant green skills, you can show all areas of the business how to benefit.
Want to know more about the opportunities? Watch our video on how sustainability is good business and how you can start your journey.
Retaining your staff through green skills development
Acquiring green skills and knowledge is rewarding and can address an employee’s desire to develop and remain relevant. It doesn’t take years or cost the earth. Taking one small step to start the journey is often the best way.
IEMA’s Environmental Sustainability Skills for the Workforce is a one-day course that provides HSE professionals with a practical introduction to environmental sustainability, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge, understanding and motivation to make a positive difference within their organisation.
Environmental Sustainability Skills for Managers is a two-day course that supports managers and supervisors in understanding the strategic and operational implications environmental sustainability has on them, their team, and their department. It is ideal for rapidly upskilling your team and those who oversee operational objectives.
Start your transformation to sustainability today by embedding green skills training into HSE professional roles, and throughout the organisation. This is an opportunity not to be missed and you could be seen as a leader in this space.
We are the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
We are the global professional body for individuals and organisations working, studying or interested in the environment and sustainability.
IEMA is committed to supporting, encouraging and improving the sustainability confidence and performance of all professionals by providing resources and tools, research and knowledge sharing along with high-quality formal training and qualifications.
We believe that together we can change perceptions and attitudes about the relevance and vital importance of sustainability as a progressive force for good.