Sustainability Training: Closing the Green Skills Gap

Training / March 22, 2024

By Mary Riddle

Sustainability training of a large group

The worldwide climate regulatory landscape is moving at an unprecedented speed, and organizations of all sizes are struggling to keep up. According to the 2023 Global Green Skills Report from LinkedIn, job postings requiring at least one green skill have grown by 15 percent, but globally, only one in eight workers are equipped with green skills to meet the rising demand. 

In fact, green jobs have been growing by eight percent per year for the past five years, but the number of workers listing green skills in their LinkedIn profiles has only grown by six percent per year.

According to the report, “Between 2022 and 2023 alone, the share of green talent in the workforce rose by a median of 12.3% across the 48 countries we examined, while the share of job postings requiring at least one green skill grew nearly twice as quickly — by a median of 22.4%.” 

There is a significant gap between the demand for green skills and the availability of qualified workers. This gap, known as the green skills gap, is a major challenge for businesses and the economy as a whole.

The green skills gap is growing during a time when companies are facing more pressure than ever to deliver on their sustainability pledges and communicate their progress through high-quality, compliance-ready reports in all of the jurisdictions in which they operate.

Companies urgently need workers who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to not only meet the informational needs of investors, customers, and the public, but also comply with regulations that are changing around the world. 

In this article, we will explore the green skills gap and discuss how sustainability training can bridge it.

Grow Your Sustainability Workforce from Within

To address the green skills gap, companies are increasingly turning toward their greatest assets — their people. A recent report from Microsoft found that 68 percent of sustainability leaders are hired from within their own company and 60 percent of sustainability employees are hired without having any prior sustainability experience.


60 percent of sustainability employees are hired without having any prior sustainability experience.

The report noted, “Employers mostly have tapped talented insiders with the core transformational and functional skill sets needed to create change in a company, even though they lacked formal training in sustainability. They then upskilled those individuals to accomplish critical sustainability work.”

Engaging current employees in sustainability training can help them consider these roles. This can help not only those who are new to the field but also everyone throughout the organization better understand the positive material impacts that tracking and reporting sustainability and ESG data has on the company’s future. 

Sustainability Training Helps Mitigate Risks and Leverage Opportunities

Customized sustainability training equips employees with skills that can lead to cost savings, efficiencies in productivity, and also enhance strategies for boosting energy efficiency and cutting waste. This training also empowers workers to identify and address climate and sustainability-related risks and opportunities at every level throughout the organization.

Corporate sustainability training can offer an overview of sustainability regulations and policies at local, national, and international levels. This knowledge helps companies avoid penalties and tariffs while navigating the evolving landscape of ESG compliance. Understanding their specific timeline for reporting compliance, especially for companies operating globally, has become crucial with new reporting requirements emerging worldwide, whether they be regulations that apply to companies operating in California or in the EU.

Familiarity with sustainability and climate-related regulatory mandates is essential not only for risk mitigation but also for leveraging strategic corporate-wide opportunities. Sustainable practices enhance both operational resilience and drive long-term value. Environmental literacy allows employees to make choices that reduce environmental impact across the organization. By providing sustainability training or ESG training, companies can develop the necessary skills internally to manage their resources more efficiently.

Identifying Training Resources

It is critical to find a training partner who specializes in sustainability training that includes the latest developments in corporate sustainability practices as well as global regulations.

How OBATA Can Help

At OBATA, we customize training programs to meet a company’s unique needs, considering factors such as industry, size, and sustainability objectives. Our programs are then tailored to the specific roles and responsibilities of the participating employees.

Our sustainability training experts assist companies in bridging the green skills gap through targeted sustainability training programs to help your company both comply with evolving climate regulations and drive value creation.

We can partner with your company to provide employees with the guidance and expertise they need to navigate the challenges of the ever-changing sustainability landscape.