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What are green jobs and why should HR be in the know about them?

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Sustainability is fast becoming a main focus on the agendas of many organisations. We are seeing it across all industries and job roles.

In 2019, UK businesses were said to have contributed 17% of the greenhouse gas emissions for the year.

In November 2020, 16 ministers across different departments (business, energy etc.) created the ‘Green jobs taskforce’. This taskforce was essentially put in place to support a transition to a low carbon economy and aligns with the governments commitment to increase the number of green roles across the UK from just under 400k, to 2 million, in the next 8 years.

Heard of Green Jobs? They’re generally known as roles that directly contribute to minimising the effects of climate change.

For the UK to meet its emission targets, every role needs to have some involvement in the fight against climate change. Believe it or not, there will be a way for every position to have its input.

So, green roles must be introduced to businesses. For this to come about, there will either need to be upskilling of current roles (development of existing employees) or the creation and integration of new roles entirely. And do this, HR will have its own role to play – and a big one at that.

And this, is Green HR.

HR has a crucial part to play in the introduction and integration of green jobs into workplaces. They are the department of people who will communicate with and bring all stakeholders together to internally promote commitment to decarbonisation company wide and ensure sustainability sits within policies, procedures etc.

A small overview...


  • Create and manage effective green role advertisements. Listing certain attributes might help to attract individuals with knowledge and know-how on sustainable practice.

  • Reduce the environmental impact of the hiring process by promoting digital.

Learning & Development

  • Introduce and monitor a sustainable induction and performance process.

  • Build training programmes around relevant environmental issues and sustainability as a whole.

Performance management

  • Align targets and goals to sustainable practices and reward with pay and other non-monetary benefits to encourage individuals to commit to a sustainable way of working.


  • Encouraging those in senior positions to promote and talk sustainability and ensure there is accountability throughout all levels of business.

Legalities to consider*

  • Restructuring to accommodate new roles (job creation vs job loss?)

  • Updating of T&C of business

  • New tech, markets, regulations

  • Employee retention, engagement, and diversity during the transition


*Information sourced from the CIPD’s Sustainability Guide.


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