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Are jobs going green?

By Persephone Kennedy

The last few decades have witnessed two big tech movements: one towards protecting the environment, and the other towards improving the industrial ‘bottom line’. It's easy to think of Environmentalism and Industry 4.0 as totally different things – but innovations and emerging technologies are now presenting opportunities to bring both trends together.

Corporate Social Responsibility is something that more and more candidates are taking into consideration when choosing which companies to apply to – it can be described somewhat as a talent magnet. From reducing pollution and natural resource consumption to upholding ethical standards, CSR encompasses both social and environmental responsibilities. That means taking care of people and the planet, along with doing business.

It’s likely to have inescapable presence in the future of work. As sustainability becomes an increasingly important issue, candidates are gravitating towards companies that prioritize both environmental responsibility and value-driven cultures - particularly amongst younger Millennial and Gen Z workers

There's undoubtedly a rising number of jobs focused on green initiatives. In fact, green jobs (those directly contributing to tackling climate change) are among the fastest growing worldwide. The World Economic Forum predicted a net shift of 10.3 million clean energy jobs by 2030, with heavy emphasis on energy efficiency and power generation. Policies like the European Green Deal are fuelling job growth, from roles focussed on reducing building energy consumption to the manufacturing and construction phases of solar power generation.  

If we want to save the planet, the need for qualified professionals to fill new commercial and technical vacancies (from VPs of Sustainability to Sustainability Consultants) is set to increase. It's no easy task, and upskilling in green skills will be key to supply the demand. 

And it's no wonder that companies with an environmental sustainability focus are attracting and retaining individuals. Given that the current market remains firmly candidate-driven, developing technology with an exciting sustainability focus is one way of providing a competitive edge for securing top candidates, as well as drawing the next wave of talent.


 
Why go green?

For one, individuals are seeking a role with a purpose now more than ever. Prioritising sustainability objectives is evidence of a strong moral and ethical compass and enables employees to be proud of the organisation they work for. Employees care about whether the wider company mission reflects their personal values; as the climate crisis is gaining more and more limelight, so is the role of organisations in addressing the harmful effects of human activity. Thus, green objectives such as targeting technology to prevent and mitigate negative environmental impacts, fostering a culture of innovation, and providing opportunities for learning and growth are proving to be golden.

Sphera is a prime example of how to infiltrate green objectives throughout company branding and culture – not just in their own organisation, but for their clients too. From oil & gas to discrete manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, their Environmental, Social and Governance Management Solutions (and accompanying consultancy services) are enhancing knowledge of safety and sustainability whilst simultaneously promoting revenue and enhancing brand reputation. This has earned them considerable recognition, including two 2023 Environment + Energy Leader awards for SpheraCloud Operational ESG and SpheraCloud Environmental Accounting.

Aligning business and environmental goals doesn’t just benefit branding. By prioritising environmental resiliency for both policy and products, companies can become more efficient, more profitable, and more sustainable for the long term. Take IQGeo. As providers of geospatial technology, their own carbon neutral status is helping them support software, telecoms and utility professionals in decarbonizing supply chains and achieving net-zero initiatives. 


 
Sustainability in action…

Like Sphera and IQGeo, several technology and software companies at the cutting-edge of Industry 4.0 are prioritising both business and sustainability performance, and it’s paying off.

Already pioneers in shaping the Industrial Internet-of-Things (IoT), what sets Worldsensing’s suite of sensors apart is their focus on monitoring ecosystems and detecting environment changes, which allows organisations across mining, construction, rail and structural health to identify sources of adverse effects. For over a decade, they've drawn candidate interest by promoting projects to advance sustainable solutions; their 2021 Green Edge project is currently pursuing greater efficiency for edge computing platforms.

When it comes to blending business and sustainability performance into one solution, OLI Systems are setting the standard. Their process simulation and optimisation software enables clients across the chemical industries to optimise their processes to save energy, reduce costs and improve efficiency. They are now looking to expand their portfolio to protect valuable environmental resources, such as Lithium, Co2, Hydrogen and Water. 


 
Looking forward

As technology for Industry 4.0 and Environmentalism starts to overlap, there’s no telling how far emerging technologies will progress. We need some seriously talented individuals to enable this transition to work. The question is, do we have enough skilled people to make it happen? According to the World Economic Forum, only 13% of current workers hold the green skills organisations need and want.

But one thing is certain: sustainability will be remain a keen objective for years to come, and those companies making it a priority are likely to reap both short and long-term rewards.

Interested in hearing about more trends in the industry? Download our Digital Transformation Recruitment Trends Report.

If you work within the sustainable technology space and are considering a move in the coming months, or simply want to discuss what trends we are seeing in the market in more detail, get in touch with me at persephone.kennedy@fmctalent.com or +44 (0) 1275 867 0461.

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