There is no denying that the corporate world is undergoing a significant shift. In what LinkedIn is calling the great Green Reshuffle, urgent global action is catapulting the job market into a green transition. Multiple reports indicate that the current workforce prefers working in a sustainable and responsible work environment. International policies and enforced sustainability standards are also driving this change. To add to this, transparency and accountability on social media platforms have made corporates aware of the large-scale demand for realistic, sustainable action. As such, sustainability jobs have come to the forefront of most online platforms. It is not uncommon to see job postings like “sustainability policy advisor” or “sustainability specialist.”
But what does this mean for the job market?
What are top employers in sustainability looking for?
IN 2021, SEBI released a circular introducing the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR). Under this circular, it is now mandatory for the top 1000 companies in India to report the company performance on the ESG criteria from FY 2022-23.
This shift in regulatory policy has, naturally, created a gap between the current capabilities and the projected requirements within a company. This has caused an increase in the demand for candidates with green skills, both general and specialised. Now, sustainability jobs have opened up in a wide range of fields like corporate services, manufacturing, clean energy production, real estate, healthcare, education, design and so on.
The ambiguity of the sustainability job market
It is clear that there is no set definition for sustainability jobs. There are no tried-and-tested rules for the responsibilities, performance indicators, or even pay packages. While this confusion has widened the gap between demand and supply of personnel, it can also be played to our advantage. As LinkedIn’s Green Skills Report 2022 states, there is great potential for growth in sustainability jobs. The trends indicate that the demand for green talent is much higher than the supply. This means that:
- Candidates with green skills can negotiate a better package with higher job satisfaction.
- Companies can take the opportunity to skill up and train their current employees.
- Companies can define sustainability within their business models to realistically impact the local ecology and social communities.
These changes open up new possibilities for new candidates, current employees, and employers. The challenge lies in defining the skills needed for each position. Depending on the field and the designation, the meaning of a sustainability job will always be unique to the position offered. While degrees and diplomas in the field can aid in progress, the specificity of the green skills needed will also remain unique.
In this situation, is it not true that the responsibility of providing access to the suitable skill set lies heavily with the employer?
In the changing landscape of the corporate world, green jobs will soon serve a more central role in corporate decision making and leadership. Where these roles were traditionally placed under marketing and public relations, the shift towards impact-driven, responsible business models is already underway. The solution now remains in investing in upskilling the current and future workforce in the field of sustainability.