What are sustainability skills and why do they guarantee competitiveness for companies?

What are sustainability skills and why do they guarantee competitiveness for companies?

What are sustainability skills and why do they guarantee competitiveness for companies?

Satu Heikinheimo
Satu Heikinheimo
Satu Heikinheimo
What are sustainability skills and why do they guarantee competitiveness for companies?
You may have noticed that work is changing at a rapid pace, and what was relevant a year ago might already be considered passé today. Would you have guessed a few years ago how significant AI would become on corporate agendas, even though AI has been around for years? The same phenomenon is now happening with sustainability skills. EU regulations require sustainability reporting, and responsibility inevitably "trickles down" from the desks of sustainability directors to others when numbers are analysed and activities are reported.


In a rapidly changing global situation, climate change, market volatility, and consumer behaviour must be considered in business development and service development in entirely new ways. While some companies focus on sustainability reporting, others are already thinking about how to make sustainability profitable and successful, attracting investment and making the company an attractive employer for top talent.


So, how do you stay relevant in these challenging times? How do you create value for the business, customers, and stakeholders? And how do you get the best people to create responsible and successful business practices and keep them within the company? The answer is: sustainability skills. But what are they, and how do they relate to service and business development?


  1. Adopting sustainability skills becomes part of every job role


How can we develop sustainable service concepts and businesses if most people lack a basic understanding of sustainability? For example, you may be left behind if you cannot apply AI in your work. It is a tool for success and rapid information processing. This has already led to numerous new businesses and jobs. The same will happen with other sustainability skills. Like AI, sustainability skills are not "rocket science." Mere knowledge is not enough; there's plenty of that available. Now we are talking about the deeper ability to apply knowledge and transform it into value for your work and business. By new sustainability skills, I mean a basic understanding of different sustainability concepts, such as what sustainability means to you personally, what concepts like ESG, DEIB, and the Green Deal mean, and how you can create value for businesses through them. Sustainability skills are the ability to critically examine both your own and your company's actions. Critical thinking is emphasised, as well as the ability to innovate and create new business concepts.


If I ask you how sustainability is reflected in your work at the moment, what would you say?


Having been steeped in the core of digital service development in tech companies, I have witnessed how learning fosters growth, enthusiasm, and innovation within work communities. It removes the invisible barriers that the buzzword around sustainability has created. Investing in learning sustainability skills is essential.


  1. Sustainable service design is one of the sustainability skills


80% of the environmental impact of the products, services, and infrastructure around us is determined at the design stage. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone involved in development work in any way to know the basics of responsible and sustainable development, that is, service design.


Service design is the ability to develop new concepts and solutions that serve customers. Traditional service design has been about developing services and products solely from a consumer perspective. What the consumer wants and what they can be persuaded to buy has been the top priority. However, this has caused a massive amount of social, economic, and climate challenges. Purely consumer-centric service development will lead us deeper into the quagmire, distress, and climate crisis. Design has been a means of capitalism solely to promote growth.


In modern service development that considers sustainability, the long- and short-term impacts are recognised, and design is more holistic from the start, considering social, economic, and ecological aspects. The shift from traditional design and business development to a new, more sustainable approach is also a huge opportunity.


80% of the environmental impact of the products, services, and infrastructure around us is determined at the design stage.


Service design skills are self-cultivation, the ability to solve the most critical challenges of our time. Service design skills are problem-solving skills. I know service design is a profession, but so is a role of a sustainability director. I believe these titles will be history within ten years. What will become more important is that everyone can apply these skills. Ultimately, every job will be aimed at sustainability, at least ideally, if we really want to achieve our sustainability goals as a society, individuals, and companies.


  1. Ethically digital service development as part of sustainability


Air travel has typically been the villain, and flying is becoming less and less acceptable. However, we forget what happens on a larger scale in everyday life. How we consume, live, and exist also matters. ICT accounts for 4-10% of global energy consumption and 3-5% of CO2 emissions. These figures are rising.


By 2022, 5.3 billion people had access to the Internet, covering 66% of the world's population. User numbers are increasing annually, and this will be reflected in the growing number of digital services. Developing digital services is not yet part of sustainability strategies in many companies, nor is it yet part of integrating sustainability into practical levels. Every modern company has digital services, and therefore digital development must first become part of the sustainability strategy. Secondly, sustainability skills are the ability to apply and utilise current technology to develop sustainable services and to be alert and curious about new technologies and business logics. By sustainability skills in digital service development, I mean understanding the ecological, social, and economic impacts of services. We cannot create purely digital worlds just because customers want them; we need to critically examine long-term impacts. Digital lenses belong to everyone.


Change and impact occur at different levels As a citizen, you can influence politics. As a consumer, you can influence companies with your wallet. As an employee, you can influence your workplace and organisation.


The aforementioned skills are growth accelerators as they bring out the innovation capabilities and expertise already present in companies when viewed through sustainability lenses. Learning and applying these skills create agency. By agency, I mean that when you think about your work and I ask you how your work relates to your sustainability strategy and how your work promotes the strategy's goals, you can answer in a second and not wonder what your strategy actually is.


Modern service development enables every job to eventually become a sustainability job. We can no longer afford to develop services solely consumer-first; instead, we need to delve deeper into humanity and create well-being. When people are well, our planet is well. Sustainability is about sensible being and doing, focusing on long-term choices, and seeing your role as part of the whole, not giving up your agency to others. On the contrary. Now is the era of agency, and the contributions of all sectors, experts, and people in general are needed. But we cannot expect everyone to learn these skills and their application by simply breathing air. Instead, learning must be invested in both individually and at the company level.


Satu Heikinheimo, Founder, Planet Diplomats

Satu@planetdiplomats.com

+358 40 758 7805

What are sustainability skills and why do they guarantee competitiveness for companies?
You may have noticed that work is changing at a rapid pace, and what was relevant a year ago might already be considered passé today. Would you have guessed a few years ago how significant AI would become on corporate agendas, even though AI has been around for years? The same phenomenon is now happening with sustainability skills. EU regulations require sustainability reporting, and responsibility inevitably "trickles down" from the desks of sustainability directors to others when numbers are analysed and activities are reported.


In a rapidly changing global situation, climate change, market volatility, and consumer behaviour must be considered in business development and service development in entirely new ways. While some companies focus on sustainability reporting, others are already thinking about how to make sustainability profitable and successful, attracting investment and making the company an attractive employer for top talent.


So, how do you stay relevant in these challenging times? How do you create value for the business, customers, and stakeholders? And how do you get the best people to create responsible and successful business practices and keep them within the company? The answer is: sustainability skills. But what are they, and how do they relate to service and business development?


  1. Adopting sustainability skills becomes part of every job role


How can we develop sustainable service concepts and businesses if most people lack a basic understanding of sustainability? For example, you may be left behind if you cannot apply AI in your work. It is a tool for success and rapid information processing. This has already led to numerous new businesses and jobs. The same will happen with other sustainability skills. Like AI, sustainability skills are not "rocket science." Mere knowledge is not enough; there's plenty of that available. Now we are talking about the deeper ability to apply knowledge and transform it into value for your work and business. By new sustainability skills, I mean a basic understanding of different sustainability concepts, such as what sustainability means to you personally, what concepts like ESG, DEIB, and the Green Deal mean, and how you can create value for businesses through them. Sustainability skills are the ability to critically examine both your own and your company's actions. Critical thinking is emphasised, as well as the ability to innovate and create new business concepts.


If I ask you how sustainability is reflected in your work at the moment, what would you say?


Having been steeped in the core of digital service development in tech companies, I have witnessed how learning fosters growth, enthusiasm, and innovation within work communities. It removes the invisible barriers that the buzzword around sustainability has created. Investing in learning sustainability skills is essential.


  1. Sustainable service design is one of the sustainability skills


80% of the environmental impact of the products, services, and infrastructure around us is determined at the design stage. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone involved in development work in any way to know the basics of responsible and sustainable development, that is, service design.


Service design is the ability to develop new concepts and solutions that serve customers. Traditional service design has been about developing services and products solely from a consumer perspective. What the consumer wants and what they can be persuaded to buy has been the top priority. However, this has caused a massive amount of social, economic, and climate challenges. Purely consumer-centric service development will lead us deeper into the quagmire, distress, and climate crisis. Design has been a means of capitalism solely to promote growth.


In modern service development that considers sustainability, the long- and short-term impacts are recognised, and design is more holistic from the start, considering social, economic, and ecological aspects. The shift from traditional design and business development to a new, more sustainable approach is also a huge opportunity.


80% of the environmental impact of the products, services, and infrastructure around us is determined at the design stage.


Service design skills are self-cultivation, the ability to solve the most critical challenges of our time. Service design skills are problem-solving skills. I know service design is a profession, but so is a role of a sustainability director. I believe these titles will be history within ten years. What will become more important is that everyone can apply these skills. Ultimately, every job will be aimed at sustainability, at least ideally, if we really want to achieve our sustainability goals as a society, individuals, and companies.


  1. Ethically digital service development as part of sustainability


Air travel has typically been the villain, and flying is becoming less and less acceptable. However, we forget what happens on a larger scale in everyday life. How we consume, live, and exist also matters. ICT accounts for 4-10% of global energy consumption and 3-5% of CO2 emissions. These figures are rising.


By 2022, 5.3 billion people had access to the Internet, covering 66% of the world's population. User numbers are increasing annually, and this will be reflected in the growing number of digital services. Developing digital services is not yet part of sustainability strategies in many companies, nor is it yet part of integrating sustainability into practical levels. Every modern company has digital services, and therefore digital development must first become part of the sustainability strategy. Secondly, sustainability skills are the ability to apply and utilise current technology to develop sustainable services and to be alert and curious about new technologies and business logics. By sustainability skills in digital service development, I mean understanding the ecological, social, and economic impacts of services. We cannot create purely digital worlds just because customers want them; we need to critically examine long-term impacts. Digital lenses belong to everyone.


Change and impact occur at different levels As a citizen, you can influence politics. As a consumer, you can influence companies with your wallet. As an employee, you can influence your workplace and organisation.


The aforementioned skills are growth accelerators as they bring out the innovation capabilities and expertise already present in companies when viewed through sustainability lenses. Learning and applying these skills create agency. By agency, I mean that when you think about your work and I ask you how your work relates to your sustainability strategy and how your work promotes the strategy's goals, you can answer in a second and not wonder what your strategy actually is.


Modern service development enables every job to eventually become a sustainability job. We can no longer afford to develop services solely consumer-first; instead, we need to delve deeper into humanity and create well-being. When people are well, our planet is well. Sustainability is about sensible being and doing, focusing on long-term choices, and seeing your role as part of the whole, not giving up your agency to others. On the contrary. Now is the era of agency, and the contributions of all sectors, experts, and people in general are needed. But we cannot expect everyone to learn these skills and their application by simply breathing air. Instead, learning must be invested in both individually and at the company level.


Satu Heikinheimo, Founder, Planet Diplomats

Satu@planetdiplomats.com

+358 40 758 7805

What are sustainability skills and why do they guarantee competitiveness for companies?
You may have noticed that work is changing at a rapid pace, and what was relevant a year ago might already be considered passé today. Would you have guessed a few years ago how significant AI would become on corporate agendas, even though AI has been around for years? The same phenomenon is now happening with sustainability skills. EU regulations require sustainability reporting, and responsibility inevitably "trickles down" from the desks of sustainability directors to others when numbers are analysed and activities are reported.


In a rapidly changing global situation, climate change, market volatility, and consumer behaviour must be considered in business development and service development in entirely new ways. While some companies focus on sustainability reporting, others are already thinking about how to make sustainability profitable and successful, attracting investment and making the company an attractive employer for top talent.


So, how do you stay relevant in these challenging times? How do you create value for the business, customers, and stakeholders? And how do you get the best people to create responsible and successful business practices and keep them within the company? The answer is: sustainability skills. But what are they, and how do they relate to service and business development?


  1. Adopting sustainability skills becomes part of every job role


How can we develop sustainable service concepts and businesses if most people lack a basic understanding of sustainability? For example, you may be left behind if you cannot apply AI in your work. It is a tool for success and rapid information processing. This has already led to numerous new businesses and jobs. The same will happen with other sustainability skills. Like AI, sustainability skills are not "rocket science." Mere knowledge is not enough; there's plenty of that available. Now we are talking about the deeper ability to apply knowledge and transform it into value for your work and business. By new sustainability skills, I mean a basic understanding of different sustainability concepts, such as what sustainability means to you personally, what concepts like ESG, DEIB, and the Green Deal mean, and how you can create value for businesses through them. Sustainability skills are the ability to critically examine both your own and your company's actions. Critical thinking is emphasised, as well as the ability to innovate and create new business concepts.


If I ask you how sustainability is reflected in your work at the moment, what would you say?


Having been steeped in the core of digital service development in tech companies, I have witnessed how learning fosters growth, enthusiasm, and innovation within work communities. It removes the invisible barriers that the buzzword around sustainability has created. Investing in learning sustainability skills is essential.


  1. Sustainable service design is one of the sustainability skills


80% of the environmental impact of the products, services, and infrastructure around us is determined at the design stage. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone involved in development work in any way to know the basics of responsible and sustainable development, that is, service design.


Service design is the ability to develop new concepts and solutions that serve customers. Traditional service design has been about developing services and products solely from a consumer perspective. What the consumer wants and what they can be persuaded to buy has been the top priority. However, this has caused a massive amount of social, economic, and climate challenges. Purely consumer-centric service development will lead us deeper into the quagmire, distress, and climate crisis. Design has been a means of capitalism solely to promote growth.


In modern service development that considers sustainability, the long- and short-term impacts are recognised, and design is more holistic from the start, considering social, economic, and ecological aspects. The shift from traditional design and business development to a new, more sustainable approach is also a huge opportunity.


80% of the environmental impact of the products, services, and infrastructure around us is determined at the design stage.


Service design skills are self-cultivation, the ability to solve the most critical challenges of our time. Service design skills are problem-solving skills. I know service design is a profession, but so is a role of a sustainability director. I believe these titles will be history within ten years. What will become more important is that everyone can apply these skills. Ultimately, every job will be aimed at sustainability, at least ideally, if we really want to achieve our sustainability goals as a society, individuals, and companies.


  1. Ethically digital service development as part of sustainability


Air travel has typically been the villain, and flying is becoming less and less acceptable. However, we forget what happens on a larger scale in everyday life. How we consume, live, and exist also matters. ICT accounts for 4-10% of global energy consumption and 3-5% of CO2 emissions. These figures are rising.


By 2022, 5.3 billion people had access to the Internet, covering 66% of the world's population. User numbers are increasing annually, and this will be reflected in the growing number of digital services. Developing digital services is not yet part of sustainability strategies in many companies, nor is it yet part of integrating sustainability into practical levels. Every modern company has digital services, and therefore digital development must first become part of the sustainability strategy. Secondly, sustainability skills are the ability to apply and utilise current technology to develop sustainable services and to be alert and curious about new technologies and business logics. By sustainability skills in digital service development, I mean understanding the ecological, social, and economic impacts of services. We cannot create purely digital worlds just because customers want them; we need to critically examine long-term impacts. Digital lenses belong to everyone.


Change and impact occur at different levels As a citizen, you can influence politics. As a consumer, you can influence companies with your wallet. As an employee, you can influence your workplace and organisation.


The aforementioned skills are growth accelerators as they bring out the innovation capabilities and expertise already present in companies when viewed through sustainability lenses. Learning and applying these skills create agency. By agency, I mean that when you think about your work and I ask you how your work relates to your sustainability strategy and how your work promotes the strategy's goals, you can answer in a second and not wonder what your strategy actually is.


Modern service development enables every job to eventually become a sustainability job. We can no longer afford to develop services solely consumer-first; instead, we need to delve deeper into humanity and create well-being. When people are well, our planet is well. Sustainability is about sensible being and doing, focusing on long-term choices, and seeing your role as part of the whole, not giving up your agency to others. On the contrary. Now is the era of agency, and the contributions of all sectors, experts, and people in general are needed. But we cannot expect everyone to learn these skills and their application by simply breathing air. Instead, learning must be invested in both individually and at the company level.


Satu Heikinheimo, Founder, Planet Diplomats

Satu@planetdiplomats.com

+358 40 758 7805

Let's make a positive impact together

‭info@planetdiplomats.com

+358 40 758 7805‬

This website has been built with low-carbon

principles and produces 0.19g of CO₂ for each visit.

Planet Diplomats © 2023.

Let's make a positive impact together

‭info@planetdiplomats.com

+358 40 758 7805‬

This website has been built with

low-carbon principles and produces 0.19g of CO₂ for each visit.

Planet Diplomats © 2023.

Let's make a positive impact together

‭info@planetdiplomats.com

+358 40 758 7805‬

This website has been built with low-carbon

principles and produces 0.19g of CO₂ for each visit.

Planet Diplomats © 2023.