The Leadership Agenda

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The green skills imperative for heavy emitters

Employees at energy and resources companies understand the need for climate action. The challenge is helping them build the skills to create change.

Leadership teams at energy, utilities and resources (EUR) companies don’t need to drag their employees along on the decarbonisation journey—they need to follow employees’ lead. 

In PwC’s 2023 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey, 44% of EUR employees said that their employer has a responsibility to address climate change; that’s seven percentage points more than all respondents. The figure is even higher (49%) for employees of energy companies. EUR workers were also more likely to say that green skills are important (48% versus 39%). The share of energy company employees who said so: 52%.

Those findings should be heartening to management teams at EUR companies, most of which have set large-scale ambitions for sustainability. To hit those targets, they need a fully engaged, and appropriately skilled, workforce. Three moves can help achieve that goal: 

  1. Partner with outside organisations. Given the importance of these skills—and the fact that they lie outside the traditional areas of expertise for many EUR companies—leadership teams shouldn’t try to build them all internally. Rather, they can partner with academia, research institutions, governments and other entities that already have deep sustainability expertise.
  2. Tailor learning and development programmes to fit employee preferences. Like all other training, development programmes for green skills have a better chance of succeeding if the content is accessible. Learning programmes should be in bite-sized components and offered in a wide range of formats and media—and able to be consumed anytime and anywhere. Moreover, lessons should also be built into the work day, rather than being walled off into a separate training process.
  3. Rethink performance management. Build green metrics into the job requirements, evaluation criteria and incentives for employees, to make sure you’re assessing and rewarding the right behaviour.

Employees at EUR companies are sending management a clear signal. Leading companies will answer it—and build the green skills needed to meet their long-term climate ambitions. 

Explore the full findings of PwC’s 2023 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey of 54,000 workers worldwide.

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Contact us

James Wilson

James Wilson

Energy, Utilities & Resources, Partner, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 2 694 6800

Jeroen Van Hoof

Jeroen Van Hoof

Global Energy, Utilities and Resources Leader, Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31-88-7921328

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