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  • Writer's pictureChrissa Pagitsas

Color of the Year 2024 is Green Skills

PANTONE Color of the Year 2024 Peach Fuzz

The color experts at Pantone chose Peach Fuzz as the 2024 Color of the Year. After the year we had in 2023, this peachy pink color exudes warmth and compassion, according to Pantone. It might do us all some good in our homes. But for business leaders, I believe the “color” for 2024 is Green Skills. This strategic theme must be embedded into 2024 business strategies and goals if businesses and society are to move the needle on the priorities that matter to us – thriving businesses, society, and planet.


The Conference of the Parties in Dubai (COP28) last December was the first global stocktake year since COP 21 in Paris in 2015. At session after session I attended at COP28, an important message was repeated: we are way off-track on limiting the increase in average global temperature to 1.5°C, a target set at COP21.

 

Unfortunately, I was not surprised to hear it. Report after report cited 2023 as the hottest year on record. Once infrequent weather phenomena – from super fogs to atmospheric rivers – entered our everyday conversations and were covered by traditional media outlets.

 

Even before those reports came out, we should have known we would be off track based on basic human behavior. When the targets set in Paris in 2015 were set, leaders may not have considered the speed it takes to build new skills and knowledge across billions of workers across the globe. Granted, we need to move fast, but there is a certain reality to the time it takes to build new training curricula on sustainability and climate and for siloed professionals to intersect business and sustainability plans and targets. Ultimately, those plans and targets must also map to each worker’s role, job responsibilities, and incentive structure.



In Dubai, I moderated a roundtable hosted by Ares Charitable Foundation and Goals House to unpack the opportunities and challenges around growing green jobs and green skills. We discussed key trends and quantitative findings. LinkedIn’s Global Green Skills Report 2023 finds that one in eight workers or 12.1% have green skills. That may sound pretty good, except when we start to look at the "lumpy" distribution of those skills across industries. In the finance industry, only one in 15 workers or 6.8% has at least one green skills while in the oil and gas industry, 21% do.

  

Jobs for the Future Green Skills Framework, Growing Quality Green Jobs Report
Jobs for the Future, Growing Quality Green Jobs Report

We need every worker in every seat to understand how their job responsibilities intersect with climate and sustainability goals. Jobs for the Future’s report Growing Quality Green Jobs provides a framework to consider how green skills could be added to existing jobs, from additive to blended and job-changing.

 

If we don’t begin to invest in green skills, we will see not only continued missed climate targets, but missed opportunities as business leaders to capture new markets and grow new customers. Hertz missed this opportunity when it failed to develop the green skills and knowledge of its customer-facing employees on electric vehicles. We will see false narratives such as “the green technology failed” rather than the real situation, “the company failed to invest in its workers’ green skills and knowledge.”

 

I’ll continue to expand on this theme of green skills in 2024 and welcome your thoughts on it. Is green skills the strategic theme for your organization in 2024? Share if it is - or the other priorities - in the comments below.


Is developing workers' green skills a priority for your organization in 2024?

  • Yes, it's a top priority for 2024.

  • Sort of. We're rolling out one sustainability training.

  • No, we have other things at the top of our list.

  • No, we hadn't considered it before.


 

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