LinkedIn advocates transition of global workforce into green economy

By Cristina Turcu Lugmayer

LinkedIn advocates transition of global workforce into green economy

LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network, has pleaded for the transition of the global workforce into a green economy in order to counter the threats of climate change. In a historic remodeling of the future of work, LinkedIn has issued the 2022 Global Green Skills Report, unveiling data on green skills and jobs from around the world to provide policy-makers, governments, and business leaders with the actionable insights needed to secure this transition.

The report highlights how and where the transition to green economies occurs, where gaps are emerging and what decision-makers, companies and individuals can do to help to withstand the climate crisis. It is issued at a time when the global economy and the world are undergoing a Great Reshuffle – a historic shift of the way people work, where they work and why they work.

“The scale of change required to achieve a green economy and meet ambitious EU and global climate change targets means we need to think about sustainable skills in all jobs and all sectors,” said Sue Duke, Head of Global Public Policy at LinkedIn.

The key takeaways from the report are:

  • Growth of green talent: The share of green talent increased from 9.6% in 2015 to 13.3% in 2021, with a cumulative growth rate of 38.5%.
  • Demand outstrips supply: Globally, the number of job postings requiring green skills has grown by about 8% annually since 2015, while the share of green talent has grown by about 6% annually over the same period.
  • Renewables industry in the U.S.: Over the past five years, the number of jobs in the renewable energy and environmental sectors in the U.S. has increased by 237% in stark contrast to the 19% increase of jobs in the oil and gas industry. LinkedIn predicts that at this rate, by 2023 the renewable energy and environmental sectors will outnumber oil and gas jobs on its platform.
  • European automotive industry: It was found that the share of green talent has increased by 11.3% annually over the past five years, demonstrating one of the highest growth rates of green talent across all manufacturing sectors.
  • Fashion industry: Sustainable fashion was the fastest growing green skill in the world with an average growth rate of 90.6% between 2016 and 2020. In the EU, the share of green talent in apparel and fashion grew by 5.8% annually between 2015 and 2021, surpassing North America’s 4.4%.
  • Transferable skills: Traditional fashion professions such as fashion designers, stylists and merchandisers are increasingly requiring sustainable fashion skills. Workers specializing in sustainable fashion are also active in many other industries, for example in media and communications, arts, design, corporate services, manufacturing, non-profit organizations, software and IT services.
  • Greening jobs: The fastest expanding greening jobs were Compliance Manager (19%), Facilities Manager (11%) and Technical Sales Representative (8%).
  • Growing green roles: The fastest evolving green roles were Sustainability Manager (30%), Wind Turbine Technician (24%) and Solar Consultant (23%).
  • Global average: The average job in the U.S., UK and Australia requires two to three times more green skills than the global average.
  • Green Millennials: The amount of green talent has increased across all age groups, but the fastest is among Millennials, with global growth of 13% year-on-year between 2015 and 2021.
  • Green gender gap: Globally, in 2021, for every 100 men there were 62 women considered to be green talent, a number that has remained unchanged since 2015.


The Great Reshuffle is an opportunity to address the most urgent challenge faced by humanity – climate change. We are called upon to support the green transition and establish jobs, companies and policies that enable it.

The green economy needs to grow more quickly. In 2021, less than 1% of hires were for green jobs and half were for jobs that did not require green skills at all.

There is also a demand and supply challenge. Currently, the supply of people having green skills almost matches the demand for green jobs. However, projections show that demand will exceed supply in five years, meaning that the workforce is in dire need of a boost in environmental skills.

Green jobs levels

LinkedIn analyzed over 15,000 jobs on its platform and divided these into four categories based on their intensity of green skills:

  • Green jobs are those that cannot be performed without extensive knowledge of green skills, e.g., Solar Technician.
  • Greening jobs are the ones that could be performed without green skills but usually require at least some, e.g., Civil Engineer.
  • Greening potential jobs are those that could be performed without green skills but usually require at least one, e.g., Data Analyst.
  • Non-green jobs currently do not require any green skills, e.g., Nurse.

Source: LinkedIn

The Global Public Policy Department at LinkedIn considers that not enough workers are being hired into green jobs, although hiring for green jobs in the global workforce is growing faster than any other category. Together, green and greening jobs accounted for only 10% of hiring in 2021.

Trends vary across regions and sectors, but the insights are the same: moving towards a green economy at this pace will require workers to upgrade their green skills and reach out to green, greening and greening potential jobs.

The current transition pace into green and greening jobs is too slow. For every 10,000 workers leaving a non-green job, only one moves to a green job. Greening the economy requires more employees to transition to green and greening jobs.

While workers are transitioning into green and greening jobs more than those leaving them, the total number of workers shifting into these jobs is still very low. Today, almost all green job openings are taken by people coming from green jobs or sectors. Transitions from greening and greening potential into green jobs seem promising but still far below that which is needed to make a significant contribution to a greener economy.

Make it a fair transition

The green transition gives us the chance to not only provide a sustainable outlook for the planet, but also a fair and resilient future for workers. The LinkedIn Report found that inequalities exist not only between country-income levels, but also along gender, education and demographics.

Country-income levels are correlated to a greening rate. The share of green talent grew cumulatively in higher-income countries while it remained smaller in low-income countries.

The gender gap of 62 women for every 100 men considered to be green talent has not closed since 2015 although green talent is growing at the same pace among men and women. Men are also transitioning into greener jobs more quickly than women. Despite these global trends, half of those countries surveyed showed some reduction in the gender gap, as female green talent is growing faster than male talent.

The education gap is also not closing. Green talent is growing faster among members educated to a Bachelor’s degree or higher rather than among members with a high-school diploma. However, some European countries such as Iceland, Slovakia, Estonia, Norway and Croatia show an opposite trend as do China and Peru.

The demographic gap is closing. There is an increase in green talent across all age groups in almost every country, but the biggest growth worldwide is among the younger generations.

Time for action

The report concludes that the time for action is now and comes with recommendations for immediate and impactful action:

  • Policymakers should commit to and champion green skills and equip the workforce for the green transition by connecting environmental skills to jobs and broader green economy policies. They are called upon to balance development and supply with demand and set the path for marketplace transformation.
  • Business leaders should invest in upskilling and reskilling the current and future green talent through investment in training, courses and local programs and fund entrepreneurial options that will help people to identify green business opportunities and increase the intensity of green skills in their sectors.
  • The global workforce should develop green skills to drive change and compete for better jobs, consider a career that allows to regularly upgrade skills, establish their role in the green transition and improve the chances of future employability.