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Why Should You Bring Green Skills into Your Business?

Alice Morgan - Last Update: 21 Apr 2022


What are green skills?

Why are green skills important for businesses?

What can businesses do to upskill current staff to become greener skilled?

How can green skills help a business to adapt?

How can businesses attract the right green-skilled workers?



Businesses around the world are realising the power they wield when it comes to going green.

Small businesses right up to huge conglomerates are focusing on their carbon footprint and their customers’ demands to become more environmentally-friendly.

LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Green Skills Report showed that in 2019, green workers were hired at a faster rate than non-green workers, proving the emphasis that companies are placing on building sustainable workplaces.

Bringing green skills into your business could help you to adapt your current processes to become more environmentally friendly, as well as establishing your company as a sustainable brand for your customers.

What are green skills?

Green skills bring together knowledge, abilities, and values to support a sustainable society.

They’re needed across all industries and will become increasingly important over the next few years.

Typical green skills include knowledge of pollution prevention, ecosystem management, and environmental protection. An employee with green skills will primarily focus on establishing sustainable processes in your business, but they’ll also possess other qualities that are essential across many sectors.

Creativity will be required as your team members find new ways of working, and they’ll also need the courage to pursue the most environmentally-friendly solutions, even if this goes against the grain.

In the science and technology fields, green skills can play a huge part in innovation and moving companies forward into new sustainable territories. A certain level of project management experience and communication expertise will help bring the green agenda to the fore, while leadership and management skills can help an employee who is focused on green issues have a high level of influence within the team.

Why are green skills important for businesses?

There will be an increased need for green skills in businesses over the next few years, as the climate emergency reaches its peak.

Some sectors will require employees with green skills to ensure they’re meeting legal requirements on carbon emissions or waste management; others will find that having green skills within their team will help them to find more efficient and effective ways of working, even without any legal obligations.

Each sector will benefit from green skills in different ways.

For instance, engineering and technical companies will find green skills invaluable when it comes to designing eco-friendly buildings, pursuing renewable energy, or taking part in research and development projects that champion energy-saving methods.

Architectural firms, in particular, will require green skills in-house to design buildings that comply with sustainable regulations, while car manufacturers employ engineers to manufacture low emission vehicles.

Utility companies will need environmental scientists on board to help them understand how they can protect ecosystems and wildlife while keeping their consumers' supply intact.

In the same vein, roles such as nuclear monitoring technicians will also be in high demand as the shift for renewable energy supplies switches to nuclear power.

Bringing people with green skills into the business might not only be required, it may also prove hugely beneficial.

What can businesses do to upskill current staff to become greener skilled?

Luckily, there are plenty of courses available to help upskill your team.

The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, or IEMA, provides training courses that focus specifically on sustainability and your business’ impact on the environment.

“As individuals and as a society, we’re all starting to have a baseline knowledge of sustainability,” says Rachael Gooding, sustainability consultant and associate trainer with TSW Training. “The IEMA courses are really good at letting you know what’s out there – they'll give you everything when it comes to sustainability. They’ll give you an overview of the key areas so you can direct your strategy and resources to what you believe would be best for your business.”

IEMA courses are available at TSW Training for members of staff at all levels – from those on the shop floor to specialists – and if you live in Wales, you could benefit from PLA funding to cover the cost.

How can green skills help a business to adapt?

Bringing green skills into your business could help you to adopt processes that minimise negative impacts on the environment. For instance, that could be bringing in new technology to bring down carbon emissions or introducing a closed-loop system where waste is reused, rather than thrown away.

A sustainability consultant can help you to identify areas in your business that can be adapted to suit a more environmentally-friendly way of working too. They could suggest lean production which can benefit your business by keeping costs down when it comes to manufacturing, while also reducing your carbon footprint.

How can businesses attract the right green-skilled workers?

Firstly, it’s a good idea to identify where you need green skills in your business, in order to attract the right people.

A skills gap analysis can help you find areas that require employees with specific green skills. It might be that this is a management position, changing the way your team works to become more sustainable, or it could be a Chief Sustainability Officer role that would oversee sustainability across the whole company.

Green skills can come in handy in entry-level positions, senior leadership positions, and everything in between. It’s important to make sure your whole team is on board with sustainability planning.

Once you know where you need green skilled workers to fit in, you can work on producing engaging job descriptions to attract them.

It’s important to be transparent about your vision for the future and where you want your strategy to take you so that potential new employees can see where your goals align with theirs.

No matter what seniority level your employee will be joining at, those with green skills will want to know they can play their part in driving your sustainability strategy forward and making a difference.

“Sustainability as a whole needs to be driven throughout the business,” says Rachael. “People need to be armed with these tools, and they need to have a baseline knowledge of legislation. Having this knowledge is imperative to a business.”

The right green skills training will give your team just that.