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The Green Revolution at Work: New ManpowerGroup Study Reveals “Urgent Need” for Sustainable Workforce

The lack of green talent and skills cited as a major barrier for companies to achieve their net zero goals.

The demand for green jobs and skills continues to accelerate rapidly, with 70% of employers globally reporting they are currently recruiting or planning to actively recruit for these roles1, according to ManpowerGroup’s latest Global Insights report, “The Greening World of Work 2023 Outlook.” The new research is part of ManpowerGroup’s “People First Green Transition” initiative.

“The green transition is rooted in having a skilled workforce. That’s why, ahead of Climate Week, we are calling for companies to prioritize their people as they double down on their green goals,” said Ruth Harper, ManpowerGroup Chief Sustainability Officer. “Our new data reveals many roles, from logistics to fashion, will be impacted by the greening of jobs. There is an urgent need for employers to rethink how they hire, train, retain, and engage green talent to gain a competitive edge. The time for action is now.”

Key findings include:

  • Future Job Landscape: 55% of business leaders surveyed predict investments in green business transformation and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) will surpass technology and other megatrends as the primary job creators in the next five years. The transition is expected to create up to 30 million new green jobs globally by 20302.

  • Green Job Surge: Across a spectrum of industries, there is significant interest to recruit green talent within Manufacturing & Production (36%) and Operations & Logistics (31%). However, this interest also extends to domains like IT & Data (30%), Sales & Marketing (27%), Engineering (26%), Administration & Office Support (25%), and Human Resources (25%)3.

  • Skills Gap and Innovation: Despite this wave of demand, 94% of companies acknowledge a lack of talent needed to meet their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals4. Addressing this challenge, the report underscores the importance of substantial investments in training and development to upskill the workforce for the green economy.

  • Consumer-Driven Shift: The report highlights that within the last year, 49% of global consumers opted to pay a premium for sustainable products5. Notably, it’s the Gen Z demographic that takes the lead in demonstrating a strong preference for sustainability, with 75% of Gen Z individuals saying when it comes to making purchases, prioritizing sustainability outweighs brand considerations6.

  • Governmental Momentum: Government incentives, such as the European Union’s €225 billion Green Deal Industrial Plan7 and the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act providing $369 billion for clean energy8, are galvanizing businesses to adopt net zero commitments. As a result, the research reveals 58% of Fortune 500 CEOs have now set ambitious net zero emissions targets, a significant increase from 36% in 20219.

ManpowerGroup will also be presenting its findings next week, September 17-24, during Climate Week NYC. This annual event takes place in partnership with the United Nations General Assembly and is run in coordination with the United Nations and the City of New York.