Green business: What sustainable skills can serve as leverage for ecological transition?

Ecological transition,’ ‘sustainable skills,’ ‘CSR’: these are all topics at the heart of discussions in our time, gradually permeating companies aspiring to become sustainable. Much like the digital transition, which ‘required that computing be installed in all schools, the creation of a carbon-neutral planet will require sustainability science to spread across all sectors of the economy.’ This analogy, made by Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, highlights the holistic dimension of sustainable transition, encompassing all economic activities. This significant evolution promises to deeply transform the professional landscape, demanding specific and innovative skills to accompany this shift.

...the creation of a carbon-neutral planet will require that the science of sustainability spreads across all sectors of the economy.

Definition of the concept of sustainable skills

Sustainable skills encompass the set of competencies that facilitate the evolution of professions and strategies towards better consideration of social and environmental impacts.

This may require specific technical expertise in the use of environmentally friendly technologies, along with a thorough assessment of their overall impact. Alongside technical skills, relational and managerial competencies are also essential. These profiles should enable advising and promoting effective collaboration within multidisciplinary teams committed to sustainability.

Strong growth in green skills: a turning point for a sustainable future

Over the years, LinkedIn has established itself as a key observatory by annually sharing its Green Skills Report. This report highlights a significant trend: the increase in green skills listed in user profiles. These skills cover a wide range of fields, from climate and decarbonization to overall sustainability management, including technical skills related to renewable energy.

The challenge of the sustainable skills gap

Despite the progress made, a challenge persists: the lack of sustainable skills, a major concern for companies in the era of ecological and digital transition. According to the 2024 Sustainable Skills Barometer, published by EcoLearn and Talents For The Planet, 62% of companies acknowledge a lack of expertise to integrate sustainability into their business models, strategy, and governance.

Indeed, while demand for “green skills” increased on average by 9.2% per year between 2018 and 2023, the talent pool only grew by 5.4% per year over the same period. To give you an idea, globally, only one in eight people possesses one or more green skills.

Here’s an overview of the major market trends with five highly sought-after professions to contribute to the ecological transition:

  • RSE & CSRD Data Management
  • Measurement of Environmental Impacts
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Responsible Purchasing
  • Responsible Digitalization

For further insights, check out the presentation by Jonas GUYOT, Sustainability Director at LittleBig Connection, on LAKAA (a solution that helps companies deploy their CSR strategy) for a webinar on “What are the new skills needed for the transition?”

With our community of over 15,000 experts in sustainable transformation, both in France and internationally, we support business projects. So whether you’re looking to strengthen your sustainable skills or find innovative solutions, contact us today, and together, let’s create a more sustainable future!

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