Green Jobs Barometer for the Channel Islands

Tracking the transition to a green economy.

About the Green Jobs Barometer

We hear more and more about the transition to a green economy. But is it really happening in the Channel Islands? If so, how fast compared to London and other parts of the UK? What does the transition mean in practice for employers and employees in the Channel Islands?

The PwC Green Jobs Barometer for the Channel Islands aims to answer these questions. The report tracks the impact of the green transition on job creation, the wider employment benefits, potential job losses and the carbon intensity of work. Drawing on a survey of a thousand Channel Islanders, the research also gauges workers’ perceptions of how the transition will affect their job prospects and working lives.

The results provide valuable insights into the Channel Islands’ preparedness for the transition, how this compares to regions of the UK and how businesses and governments can capitalise on the opportunities to create quality jobs and deliver a fair transition.

Guernsey map

Guernsey

Jersey map

Jersey

Taste of what’s to come

Digital transformation offers a foretaste of how the move to a greener economy could affect employment.

Career paths that didn’t exist 20 years ago have become commonplace, from robotics engineer to social media manager. Yet some businesses and workers have lost out – the closure of shops as ever more retail business moves online is a case in point.

Even in the jobs that have endured, there have been shifts in how employees engage, communicate and make decisions. These changes have had a profound impact on how people work and the skills they require.

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40:37

Virtual briefing

Launching the PwC Green Job Barometer for the Channel Islands in July 2022

Ready to respond

As we gear up for a comparable green transition, businesses and policymakers across our islands need a clear understanding of its implications and how to be on the front foot in response.

In this report, we’ve taken PwC’s Green Jobs Barometer for the UK as the starting point for a Channel Islands-focused version. The report defines what green jobs look like in the Channel Islands, before going on to gauge the potential for green job creation, both directly and as part of a ‘multiplier’ effect on employment across the supply chain. We’ve also estimated the potential scale of ‘sunset’ jobs at risk of being lost. The spotlight on jobs at risk will help businesses and governments move early to reskill affected workers and open up alternative career paths. Drawing on a survey of a thousand Channel Islanders, the research goes on to analyse workers’ perceptions of how the transition will affect their job prospects and working lives.

The Barometer pulls these insights into a composite index score out of 100, comprising five pillars of the green economy. By weighing up the gains and losses, the Barometer not only aims to strengthen readiness, but also make sure that the impact of the transition is balanced and fair.

Untapped potential

So, what do the results tell us? Overall, the Green Jobs Barometer scores for Jersey (45/100) and Guernsey (39/100) are broadly in line with the UK average (43/100). It’s therefore clear that the green transition is already gathering pace in both the Guernsey and Jersey economies.

However, when we consider that London, which is another knowledge-based financial services hub, has a score of 60/100, it is clear there is further progress that could be made in the islands.

How do the Channel Islands compare to UK regions?


How the Green Jobs Barometer is calculated

The Barometer is made up of five pillars:

Pillar one Pillar two Pillar three Pillar four Pillar five
Green job creation Wider benefits from green jobs Sunset jobs to disappear and jobs created Carbon intensity of jobs Green workplaces
The proportion of job advertisements that are green. The multiplier effect of new green jobs in creating additional employment. The distribution of jobs lost as a result of the green transition. Carbon dioxide emissions per employee. Workers’ views on how well their employers are helping their role and workplace to become green.

Source: PwC Green Jobs Barometer Research 2022


How the Channel Islands compare across the five Green Jobs Barometer pillars

Jersey: 45/100. Guernsey: 39/100. UK: 43/100

Source: PwC Green Jobs Barometer Research UK 2021 and PwC Channel Islands Green Jobs Barometer 2022

Sector spotlight

Energy generation and supply is one of the sectors that is set to be most directly affected by the green transition.

Technologies driving the energy revolution are at very different stages of deployment. For example, offshore wind and solar energy are generally considered to be well developed, while tidal and wave are some way off commercial adoption on a significant scale.

Moreover, this isn’t just about renewable energy generation and distribution, but also the installation of infrastructure, ranging from solar panels to battery charging points for electric vehicles. The impact is reflected in the fact that the energy sector currently accounts for the most newly advertised green jobs in the Channel Islands.

The Channel Islands have a head start in the transition thanks to the supply of low carbon electricity from France (see Pillar four – carbon intensity of employment). But we still need to move further to reach our islands’ net zero targets.

In principle, the islands’ are well placed to generate clean renewable energy from tidal, wave, wind and solar. It could be possible to power the islands and sell the excess to the UK or France. However, the implications for capital investment, the necessary energy market structures and the costs for consumers need careful consideration prior to moving ahead.

The main economic benefits of renewable energy are energy security, export earnings and possible spin-off opportunities in research and testing. A renewable energy sector would also create some permanent jobs in operations, maintenance, and monitoring.

Further opportunities include the decarbonisation of the transport sector, installation of energy efficiency measures, and investment in grid and interconnector infrastructure.

In the UK as a whole, PwC estimates that an additional £40 billion a year in infrastructure investment will be needed over the next decade to deliver a net zero economy, doubling current levels.

As our Green Jobs Barometer highlights, the demand for new infrastructure could be a boon for construction companies in the Channel Islands. But to meet rising demand in a sector already suffering chronic skills shortages calls for a big step-up in investment in apprenticeships and skills development. It’s also going to require broader approaches to recruitment and retention. This could include attracting more women into construction and providing incentives to encourage skilled trades people to work longer before retirement.

The other big priority is the greening of construction itself. The sector is being reshaped by changes in building regulations and energy performance certificates. Developers also need to meet more exacting demands on sustainability from commercial tenants and real estate investors. The resulting priorities include making sure that the design and construction of buildings and infrastructure minimise the impact on the environment in areas such as the responsible sourcing of materials. It also means considering the lifecycle impact of the construction including factors such as energy efficiency and end-of-life reuse of materials.

An important step forward is the industry push for the application of building information management locally. The modelling makes it easier for architects and builders to assess and reduce the energy usage and waste from a building while it’s being designed.

It is essential that major construction and infrastructure projects in the Channel Islands are as green as possible.

The financial services sector is a major local employer in both Guernsey and Jersey. The industry also has a sizable impact on employment in other sectors of the economy, through the demand it creates for services ranging from IT to hospitality and retail.

As leading international financial centres, both Jersey and Guernsey have key roles to play in directing capital flows to fund the green transition globally. Both islands have therefore set out ambitious sustainable finance industry strategies and are members of the UN Financial Centres for Sustainability network. The majority of assets are managed, administered or sponsored by signatories to the Principles of Responsible Investment.

The green transition is set to have a major impact on the financial services industry in the Channel Islands. Key developments include:

  • Investor and asset owner pressure is increasingly driving action on net zero portfolio transition and other ESG factors through the supply chain.

  • Changing regulatory expectations, both locally and in other jurisdictions such as the EU and UK, are driving increased disclosure requirements for climate risk management and wider environmental and social impacts arising from investment portfolios.

  • The ability to attract assets to the islands and compete for service provider contracts increasingly requires local entities to  have a clear ESG strategy.

  • For the front-runners in the industry there are opportunities to secure new mandates, and develop new ESG-orientated products and services.

  • There is a clear intersection with digital transformation, with several companies building and offering new ESG technology solutions for the industry, and growing sustainable finance innovation clusters on the islands.

From an employment perspective, we’re already seeing increased demand for new roles both as corporate sustainability managers and for specialist ESG strategy, investment, data integration, measurement and assurance expertise. But the far greater impact will be how the green transition reshapes the priorities, performance criteria and ways of working within the wider existing workforce. We expect to see significant greening of job roles throughout the sector, hand in hand with the shift in jobs roles we’re already seeing as a result of technology automation. Sustainability considerations will increasingly be built into functions such as client onboarding, governance, risk management, valuations, accounting and reporting throughout the industry.

Freight and passenger transport are the largest source of carbon emissions in the Channel Islands overall.

The carbon intensity of transport stems from the continued dominance of petrol and diesel vehicles. A just transition means that businesses and workers need fair and affordable access to alternatives. But a growing number of fleets are switching to cleaner electric engines. The job switch/job creation opportunities include charging point infrastructure and electric vehicle maintenance and repair. Opportunities will need to be created in further improving cycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and in the provision of enhanced public transport alternatives for commuters. Further opportunities are opening up in areas ranging from mobility-as-a-service businesses to e-bikes for cargo.

Further emissions cuts could come from more efficient logistics systems – reducing the number of hours travelling with empty loads, for example. This would create opportunities in IT and software development and application.

The greenest workplaces

When we asked workers about the environmentally friendliness of their jobs across eight sustainability outcomes (waste, emissions, pollution, biodiversity harm, resource use, water use, recycling and energy consumption), professional, scientific and technical services sectors came out on top.

When asked about communications, education, and training on green practices, professional, scientific and technical services joined the IT, finance and insurance, and public administration sectors in gaining high scores.

Employees working in professional services are the most likely to say that improving the environment is a primary objective of their job.

In a tight labour market, making the most of this sustainability potential can provide a valuable boost to recruitment and retention.

The way forward

The clear takeaway from the Green Jobs Barometer is that the Channel Islands need to move further and faster to make the most of the opportunities and manage the risks of green transition.

From understanding the impact on organisations to proactively developing the necessary skills and capitalising on the opportunities, now is the time to turn purpose and ambition into action. If we don’t, we won’t have the time to respond effectively and could therefore lose out to the economies we compete with for business and investment. Taking action now will also enable businesses to stay ahead of the rapidly developing regulatory agenda in this area.

How governments can make a difference

  • Lead by example
  • Improve labour market insights and monitoring of green jobs
  • Factor carbon intensity of employment into decision making about the future economy
  • Foster a business environment that supports green sectors and harnesses green job creation
  • Create incentives (or regulations) for greener workplaces
  • Promote greener ways of working and commuting
  • Drive skills initiatives to develop green skills within both the existing and future workforce

How businesses and industry bodies can make a difference

  • Move now to green your business before mandatory requirements come into effect
  • Develop a clear green strategy and communicate this to stakeholders and employees
  • Accelerate training and incentives for greener ways of working (and travelling)
  • Take a strategic view on how different services, jobs and skills will need to pivot in the green economy, and what this means for your operational business model
  • Create career pathways towards green jobs and roles
  • Deliver training to staff to support business change and adopt new greener ways of working
  • Accelerate industry collaboration and partnership with government

Giving your business the edge

Examples of green job roles and associated skills

The following chart provides examples of the skills needed by different workers so they can move into green employment.

Medium to high skilled occupations

Analytics

To interpret change and the measures required

Project management

To coordinate economic, social and ecological objectives


Innovation

To respond to green challenges

Marketing

To promote green products and services

Consulting mindset

To advise on green solutions and green technology

The right incentives

To secure workforce buy-in and drive change

Across all jobs

Environmental awareness

Willingness to learn about sustainable development 

Agility

To apply the new technology and processes needed to ‘green’ their jobs 

Teamwork

To tackle organisation-wide environmental footprint

Resilience

To respond to and execute change

Communication

To promote change

Entrepreneurship

To seize low carbon and environmental opportunities

Next steps

If you would like to discuss any of the issues in this report or find out how we can help your organisation harness the opportunities and manage the risks associated with the green transition, please get in touch.

Contact us

Alison Cambray

Alison Cambray

Director, PwC Channel Islands

Tel: +44 7700 838337

Sarah Hollingsworth

Sarah Hollingsworth

Manager, Advisory, PwC Channel Islands

Tel: +44 7911 720707

James Linder

James Linder

Manager, Advisory, PwC Channel Islands

Tel: +44 7797 735561

Leyla Yildirim

Leyla Yildirim

Director, PwC Channel Islands

Tel: +44 7781 161874

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