Since 2016, the Asia Pacific region has shown a 30% growth in hiring for green jobs. But the number is much less impressive compared to Europe (41%) and the US (70%). At the same time, there has been little or even negative growth in hiring for jobs that are in the process of green transformation, or that could become more green.
Part of the reason, according to the LinkedIn Global Green Skills Report 2022, may be the pandemic: a great many green initiatives, ranging from investment in renewable energy to greening of construction and manufacturing to even research into environmental technology, slowed down or were put on hold due to the talent crunch and the economic impact.
At the same time, government backing and the support of large corporations may not be making the intended impact. The report identifies five APAC countries that drive the greening of industries and jobs: India and China for their population and collective share of global GDP, and Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia for their income. In Australia, for example, political back-and-forth over climate change has left green policies hanging, while in China and India, the transition to sustainability and the accompanying growth in green hiring has so far been concentrated in only a handful of industries.
The report shows that the fastest-growing green job in each of these five countries is the same: sustainability manager. That role is generally responsible for assessing the environmental impact of a project, function, or even the entire organisation, and overseeing the implementation of sustainability strategies. It's in even higher demand than the technical skills more often associated with sustainability and green development, suggesting that what organisations need the most is direction and clarity around their sustainability approach. This may in turn have affected the pace of green hiring.
Meanwhile, the fastest-growing greening jobs - jobs that are not quite green yet but in the process - tend to be associated with a highly specific skill set and also with the top considerations in that particular economy. In India, for example, companies are trying to hire regulatory affairs consultants and process safety engineers; in China, private equity specialists; in Australia, power systems engineers.
That said, the report also shows that globally, the availability of talent has not kept up with the demand: since 2016, job postings requiring green skills have increased by 8% while resumes with those skills have increased by 6% worldwide. The shortfall of skills may actually be of greater concern than the slowing of green hiring, simply because green skills are put to use in what Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn, described in the report's foreword as "jobs that aren’t traditionally thought of as green — such as fleet managers, data scientists or health workers."