Preparing for the perfect storm: Skills for a sustainable economy

15th October 2014

Environment and sustainability skills will be essential to plan the adaptations needed to survive and stay competitive, helping businesses adapt manufacturing processes and service delivery to cope with supply volatility and to work towards a "circular economy", extracting the maximum value from materials and turning waste into resources. But many UK businesses say they are ill prepared for these growing challenges; they recognise the gravity of the threats, but lack the necessary skills to face them head on and turn them to their advantage. In this report we look at the scale of the problem and highlight some organisations and sustainability professionals who are in the vanguard of transforming business to come through the storm unscathed.

The research, incorporating more than 900 businesses, suggests that their ability to compete is being compromised by a lack of environment and sustainability skills, with 65% of companies claiming they hadn’t even carried out a strategic evaluation of the skills needed.

Only 25% of leaders are fully capable of addressing the sustainability agenda and in 72% of organisations, investment in environment and sustainability skills is less than for other disciplines, with 63% of businesses spending less than £100 per head on environmental training each year.

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