Transforming your organisation for the green economy The green skills and green jobs your workforce need to succeed.
The UK of 2050 will look radically different from today. We anticipate a world where carbon emissions are captured and reused, and homes have moved to low-carbon heating. AI-driven farming will produce more from less land; food 'waste' will be transformed into valuable medicine, while in our cities low-energy travel will be the norm. But reaching this point requires changes from every industry. As jobs become greener we'll all need to acquire green skills, many of them outside the specialised sustainability areas you might expect. Marketing, HR, IT and Finance are all set to become greener. It's a big challenge, and there's no quick fix. But the momentum is building. The transition to a sustainable workforce is already underway. Green skills will soon be business-as-usual; part of every job every day, much as digital has become. The next decade presents us with unprecedented opportunities, and the sooner we develop these new skills the better. We can do it by working together now. Download the report
Green skills, green jobs. What's the difference? In the transition to a green economy, i.e., one that is circular and more sustainable, our definition of what it means to be green will inevitably evolve. Currently, 'green skills' is the term used to cover the technical skills, knowledge, behaviours and capabilities required to tackle environmental challenges, and unlock the opportunities for growth they present. 'Green jobs' covers the specialist roles focused on specific domains or initiatives, dedicated to improving environmental outcomes — whether that's for a single organisation or the entire UK economy. Either way, it's not an issue we can kick into the long, green grass. 80% of the people who will make up the workforce of 2030 are already in employment today. And if we're going to build their capabilities for the future, now is the time to act. Our new report, A blueprint for green workforce transformation, looks at the drive to build a greener workforce across the UK economy.The report, developed in collaboration with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), is packed with valuable insights and case studies to mobilise organisations for the green economy.
Report key findings Job searches for green skills are seeing double digit growth. With the fastest growing demand in sectors like luxury goods and internet technology, many organisations have already recognised the competitive advantages of adopting environmentally-positive business models. Sustainability professionals increasingly influence business model decisions. Green skills are becoming more important, with a trend towards elevating sustainability professionals to executive positions. This suggests the emergence of both highly specialist sustainability roles to solve technical problems, and generalist sustainability roles that work across organisations to ensure an aligned approach. The next decade will see an emerging green workforce that understands how sustainability creates value. As environmental sustainability becomes the norm, they will need the skills to take advantage of this change. The blend of green skills adoption, coupled with an environmentally-sustainable workforce culture, will inspire new business models and strategies that deliver for people, planet and profit. A one-size-fits-all approach to workforce transformation won’t be enough. Individuals and job families within an organisation will require a tailored combination of skills and behaviours to improve their performance in the green economy. The application of green skills in their daily roles will be key to value realisation, with varied approaches depending on the emissions-intensiveness of the industry. Realigned incentives will persuade current workers to develop green skills. Since much of the workforce has been trained to generate economic value without much regard to its impact on the planet, embedding a green culture will need strategies to break established habits. Through incentives and role modelling, an organisation can send clear signals on how it intends to operate and which behaviours it values. The shift to a green economy will create jobs within new and emerging sectors. The hydrogen sector has the potential to create 100,000 jobs by 2050. Carbon capture and storage is a nascent green sector, highlighted as vital by the IPCC. But building it will require significant technical skills currently in limited supply. Consequently, project management skills from the oil and gas industry, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and engineering expertise will all become of increasing value. For the full report findings download A blueprint for green workforce transformation.

Please use a modern browser to access the Green maturity quiz

Green maturity quiz To help consider how ready your organisation is to be part of the green economy, please take the interactive quiz. It’ll only take a few minutes.
An organisation's ability to address 'green' challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and waste and pollution, may influence the skills and jobs it requires. The breadth of green skills needed will depend on the steps already taken towards environmental sustainability and the scale of impact and ambition that an organisation sets. The following questions will help you to gauge your organisation's propensity to tackle a number of green challenges. Pick the options that apply to your organisation.
Enabling functions such as HR, IT, finance, management and procurement play a key role in green skills activation. Their ability to create value from green skills within their distinct roles will depend on the way they operate and their ability to influence and enhance the capability of other teams across the organisation. The following questions will help you to consider the green capabilities embedded in some of your organisation's enabling functions. Pick the options that apply to your organisation.
Please get in touch if you want to find out more about how we can help you in your green transition.
Get in touch
Download the toolkit Get the toolkit
Please complete all the questions in the interactive quiz to get a summary of your results.
Green maturity quiz result
UNDERSTANDING Your answers suggest that your organisation is in the 'understanding' stage.
Your organisation has started to put the foundations in place to deliver on its overall sustainability ambitions. Increased awareness of the environmental sustainability challenges faced has driven early thinking on how green skills can unlock value for the organisation. As a clearer understanding emerges of how the organisation intends to address environmental challenges relevant to them, the focus may shift towards the development of strategies, policies and roadmaps towards realising these ambitions.
DEVELOPING Your answers suggest that your organisation is in the 'developing' stage.
Your organisation understands the environmental challenges relevant to them and has developed strategies and roadmaps that clearly articulate how they intend to address them. Sustainability is considered in core business processes and measurement frameworks are being developed to track performance. Your people understand that environmental sustainability is a key priority, but only specialist/dedicated teams use their green skills to drive sustainability across the organisation. As ambitions are set at the organisational level, enabling functions/teams (e.g. HR, Finance, IT) start to align and develop their plans in support of the organisational vision.
PERFORMING Your answers suggest that your organisation is in the 'performing' stage.
Your organisation has developed clear strategies and roadmaps that show their environmental sustainability ambitions and are performing in line with set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Your people recognise the value that environmental sustainability has for the organisation and are working on dedicated initiatives and programmes that help to realise these benefits. There is a drive towards embedding green skills across enabling functions through tailored training courses to bolster green capabilities.
LEADING Your answers suggest that your organisation is in the 'leading' stage.
Your organisation is meeting and exceeding on its environmental sustainability ambitions and is known as a catalyst for positive sustainable change. There's a recognition that everyone across the organisation requires a level of green skills and a green mindset in order to unlock more effective ways of working, new business models or unique competitive advantage. Environmental sustainability is fully embedded in every organisational process, governance and culture. As a next step, your organisation may be looking at ways to inspire and support other organisations with their green transformation.
Addressing green challenges and opportunities Green enabling capabilities
RELATED CONTENT Work toward net zero Read our global report which offers an in-depth economic look at the human impact of climate change, identifies vulnerable geographies, industries and who within the Green Collar workforce is most at risk, and provides policy solutions for business leaders charged with enhancing social, environmental and economic resilience. Contacts