Press releases

Deloitte and IEMA launch report to build green skills across the UK’s workforce

28 April 2022

Deloitte and IEMA, the professional body for environment and sustainability specialists, have today launched a new report outlining how organisations can accelerate the development of green skills across the UK workforce.

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, with the report highlighting that sustainability professionals are increasingly being involved in high-level discussions and long-term decision-making.

Despite this, understanding of green jobs and skills is currently low among the public. YouGov research commissioned for the report’s launch found 56% of British consumers say they have never heard of the term ‘green job’ while 64% don’t understand the term ‘green skills’ and 62% don’t understand the difference between green skills and green jobs.* Meanwhile, 65% say they don’t have access to green skills training through their employer.

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. What’s more, a new natural history GCSE has been announced this month, which will explore environmental and sustainability issues, among other topics. The report from Deloitte and IEMA, A blueprint for green workforce for green workforce transformation, provides practical steps, case studies and a toolkit for leaders, to inform their transition to the green economy.

Sarah Mukherjee MBE, CEO, IEMA, said: “It is absolutely crucial that we address the climate crisis now. We believe that every job must be greener to tackle our greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a Net Zero status by 2050. The latest IPCC report highlighted a small window of opportunity to act. As the majority of the workforce are in place already, we really must help organisations assess the readiness of their staff to participate in the ‘green economy’ and to identify the practical steps that can be taken to increase preparedness. I am delighted to be working with Deloitte to help businesses adapt and train their workforce in tackling climate change.”

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. With sustainability professionals in high demand, organisations that take steps today to invest in green skills across their workforce will be the first to transition to the green economy, creating new business opportunities and jobs in the process.”

Currently, the top five industries for professionals with green skills are environmental services, construction, higher education, renewables and environment and government administration. Meanwhile, between 2020 and 2021, the industries that experienced the highest growth in green skills specialists were luxury goods and jewelry, the internet, biotechnology, apparel and fashion and investment management.

According to a Deloitte survey of finance leaders last year, two-thirds of UK finance leaders expect significant or wholesale change in their own business model and operations over the next 10 years as a result of the move to Net Zero emissions. Meanwhile, Deloitte’s 2021 Millennial survey highlights that climate change is the leading concern among millennials and Gen Zs in the UK.

Deloitte recently announced expansion and investment in its global practice “Deloitte Sustainability & Climate”, assembling one of the largest global networks of sustainability experience including an investment of US$1 billion in client-related services, data-driven research, assets and capabilities. In addition, it has offered sustainability training opportunities to its workforce including a climate learning programme delivered to all 330,000 of its people worldwide. This training was spearheaded by Deloitte’s World Climate team, which drives the firm’s internal sustainability strategy and external climate impact collaborations, and which commissioned this report to build understanding of the need to increase green skills across the UK economy.

Anne-Marie Malley, managing partner for Consulting at Deloitte, said: “Sustainability can be an intimidating subject to get to grips with and so I have been so impressed by the number of our people who have volunteered for green skills training. It’s clear that across organisations, employees are ready and willing to take time out of their working day to learn about all aspects of sustainability. It’s now up to business leaders to ensure they have a plan in place to identify the green skills gaps within their organisations and that they have a roadmap to train a diverse team of sustainability professionals that will pioneer the UK’s transition to a green economy.”

Mukherjee, CEO, IEMA, concludes: “We know that around 80% of individuals who will be in the UK’s workforce in 2030 are already in work today. Education and support from government will be important in building a generation of sustainability skills employees. Organisations are facing a wave of pressure from investors, consumers and employees to meet the skills challenge and to build a workforce that will power the green economy for the long-term.”




Notes to editors

With practical steps for businesses to use, case studies and a toolkit for leaders to transform their workforce, Deloitte and IEMA’s report provides insights that will enable organisations to accelerate the transition to the green economy. ‘A blueprint for green skills workforce transformation’, addresses some of the obstacles faced by organisations as they look to upskill their employees and offers solutions for businesses to prepare for a greener future. Using data from the ONS, LinkedIn and interviews with public and private businesses, the report outlines the current state of green jobs and skills and how this could change in the future.

In this report, we define green jobs as those directly related to the sustainability sector, for example, working in offshore wind or solar energy. We use the term ‘green skills’ as an umbrella term to cover jobs not directly related to environmental or sustainability outcomes, but where a job will require certain knowledge based skills to tackle climate change within that role. It could be in HR, banking, the beauty industry or healthcare.

Research methodology

In November 2021 the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and Deloitte surveyed 178 senior sustainability professionals. Alongside this survey, 34 organisations were engaged through roundtables and interviews to explore the barriers experienced in, and potential enablers for the transition to green skills in the UK. Deloitte and IEMA hosted two roundtable events – one with private sector and one with public sector sustainability professionals. In addition, we conducted a series of interviews with sustainability leaders (e.g., Heads of Sustainability) and other senior sustainability professionals from a wide range of sectors such as energy, construction, retail, transport and health.

Deloitte also undertook analysis of LinkedIn and UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) data to examine trends in green skills uptake and green jobs demand in the UK market.

*Total sample size for the YouGov survey was 1,801 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th - 12th April 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About Deloitte

In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.For more information, please visit

About IEMA

IEMA is the professional body for those people working in environmental management, impact assessment and sustainability roles. IEMA’s growing membership of over 18,000 professionals work at the interface between organisations, the environment and society to create long-term value and minimise risks. They guide and lead the changes that will be required for a sustainable future and will play an important role in implementing the UK’s climate and environmental goals.

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