By Nina Hendy
The shift to Net Zero has been dubbed the next industrial transformation by many, creating new opportunities for innovation and growth for Australian companies willing to take the plunge.
Increasing our uptake of renewables would also spur a jobs bonanza, opening up mass hiring in areas including wind and solar engineering as new turbines and other infrastructure are constructed, according to human resources firm, Randstad.
The opportunity is immense. In fact, if Australia achieved 50 per cent renewable power generation by 2030, the net gain in implementation would be 28,000 jobs, research by the Climate Council reveals.
Brave new world
The nation’s steady transition to renewables is driving a shift toward new jobs, and the need to reskill significant numbers of workers in traditional industries is increasingly evident.
Traditionally, heavy emitting industries such as energy, mining and utilities have had to understand and measure their environmental impact to meet regulatory requirements. However, the expectation for companies to do better in this space is quickly expanding across industries, explains PwC partner, Carolyn Cosgrove.
She’s passionate about elevating the quality of public reporting in Australia, working with clients to consider the needs of all stakeholders in both their financial and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting to ensure consistent and accurate reporting.
“There’s an expectation from investors, employees, consumers and wider stakeholder groups that companies have a solid understanding of their environmental and societal impacts, and that information about their current performance and future ambitions is publicly available,” says Cosgrove.
For those clients who are just beginning their ESG journey, questions arise about where and how to begin developing a strategy, with smaller companies often lacking the skillset internally.
“The establishment of the International Sustainability Standards Board has been a significant milestone, and Australian companies should be aware of the global shift towards consistent, comparable and reliable ESG information and start preparing for the likely future reporting impacts locally,” Cosgrove explains.
The key, she says, is to develop a strategy and plan that is embedded in a company’s core strategy and with accountability for its delivery, established at all levels of the organisation – at the same time aligning good understanding of the likely future reporting requirements.
Indeed, the share of green talent in the workforce increased from 9.6 per cent in 2015, to 13.3 per cent so far in 2022, representing a growth rate of 38.5 per cent, according to LinkedIn’s most recent Global Green Skills Report.
The report highlights the global upheaval as the future of work is reimagined.
Business leaders are reimagining their entire working models, cultures and company values. Meanwhile, employees are rethinking what they do, where they do it and what it means, it reveals.
This reshuffle provides an opportunity to redirect human talent to arguably the most urgent challenge facing humanity – the green transition. And green jobs extend beyond building solar panels. It’s the sustainable fashion manufacturer, the fleet manager and the sales manager.
However, the report also points out we’ve got a long way to go, with a marked lack of green skills and jobs which is slowing the rate at which we can green the economy.
Fast-growing green jobs in Australia include sustainability manager, environmental health and safety specialist and solar consultant, among others.
Others are less specialised and found in a variety of sectors, including roles that range from compliance manager, facilities manager and technical sales representative, according to the report.
The opportunities for workers looking for a career shift are immense, with all industries requiring talent that understands how to be part of the transition.
Forging a ‘green’ career gives Sabina Bertuzzi a real sense of corporate purpose.
She works in Social Impact at PwC Australia and is involved in the Green Team, an internal people network focused on driving behavioural change to support PwC’s net zero commitment.
Bertuzzi graduates from her Masters of Sustainability next month, which has opened her eyes to a range of green jobs as corporations reach for their own sustainability goals.
“The course changed my perspective on what I wanted to do in my career. I saw a much bigger opportunity opening up for me,” she says.
It’s very different from the career path she started out on: cybersecurity consulting.
“I love the advocacy and people engagement element of my role at PwC, and working collectively in a Green Team with like-minded and passionate people,” she says.
Ultimately, Bertuzzi is driven by the desire to make the world a better place. She’s all too aware that a greener future is within her generations’ hands.
“I want to spend my career trying to build a world that has social inclusion and environmental stewardship at the centre. That’s the coolest part of sustainability,” Bertuzzi says.
While she doesn’t have it all mapped out, she knows she’s on the right path. “There’s a beautiful intersection between climate justice and social justice, which is a really different way of looking at society’s sustainability problems.”
For more information on PwC’s Green Team and sustainability work, click here.
Source: Thanks smh.com