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Green Jobs: Tracking Growth for UK Sustainability Professionals

The UK is a hotspot for “green jobs” with London ranking 6th globally for its concentration of sustainability professionals, according to new data from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. Overall, the UK saw a 12% increase in the number of sustainability professionals last year, higher than the global average of 7.5%, as the impact of climate change becomes a priority for businesses around the world and spurs careers in sustainability.

  • The number of sustainability professionals in the UK increased by 12% last year, more than the global average of 7.5%
  • Demand for “green jobs” also rose as UK sustainability job postings increased by nearly a third
  • Europe has seen a 13% year-on-year increase in the number of sustainability professionals
  • The top 10 industries that are leading the way for green job opportunities in Europe

Demand for green jobs also rose as the UK saw a 32% increase in job postings on LinkedIn for sustainability roles last year before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

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As consumers, businesses and investors become more conscious about the impact of climate change, LinkedIn analyzed the number of sustainability-related job postings on its platform and members with sustainability in their job titles to understand the impact on green jobs.

European cities leading the green jobs surge

Europe has seen a 13% year-on-year increase in the number of sustainability professionals. The top 10 cities with the highest concentration of sustainability professionals are:

  1. Stockholm (Sweden)
  2. Helsinki (Finland)
  3. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  4. Zurich (Switzerland)
  5. Vancouver (Canada)
  6. London (UK)
  7. Milan (Italy)
  8. Auckland (New Zealand)
  9. Melbourne (Australia)
  10. Washington (United States)

Josh Graff, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, says:

Climate change remains a defining issue of our time and while COVID-19 is all-encompassing at this moment, it’s reassuring to see that the UK is well placed to lead on sustainability with the world-class talent to take us forward. As the UK increases its focus on lowering emissions and with an ambition to hit climate neutrality by 2050, we have seen a rise in the number of people pursuing green careers. With the breadth of sustainability roles and skills available, it’s encouraging to see an increasing number of businesses and professionals looking to make a positive difference to people, society, and the planet.

Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer at Unilever, says:

The challenges the world faces like inequality and climate are increasingly visible across the world. A career in sustainability gives you the opportunity to tackle these issues by making business a force for good. Having a clear purpose is a key motivator for many which is one of the reasons Unilever is the number 1 employer of choice in 51 countries amongst students.

Fastest growing job titles, skills, and industries for sustainability jobseekers

To understand the evolution of the sustainability profession and to pinpoint the key opportunities for job seekers interested in this sector, LinkedIn also analyzed the fastest-growing skills and industries for dedicated sustainability roles.

The fastest rising core skill among sustainability professionals globally is Data Analysis, with year-over-year growth of 18%. Other sustainability-specific skills that have shown strong growth include Circular Economy, Corporate Sustainability, and Environmental Monitoring.

The top 10 industries that are leading the way for green job opportunities in Europe are:

  1.  Environmental Services
  2.  Renewables & Environment
  3.  Architecture & Planning
  4.  Civil Engineering
  5.  Utilities
  6.  International Affairs
  7.  Farming
  8.  Think Tanks
  9.  Public Safety
  10.  Research

LinkedIn used data from its 675 million members to identify trends in the jobs market in light of heightened awareness and business action towards climate change and sustainability. Looking at relevant job postings and members with sustainability in their job titles allowed LinkedIn to paint a picture of the state of the sustainability profession.

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