Why is green upskilling the best thing you can do for your business and your employees?

Why is green upskilling the best thing you can do for your business and your employees?

Why is green upskilling the best thing you can do for your business and your employees?

Satu Heikinheimo
Satu Heikinheimo
Satu Heikinheimo
After speaking with numerous leaders and directors about making sustainability strategies truly effective, I've uncovered some fascinating insights I'd love to share with you. Here's what I've learned about why companies are struggling with sustainability and what they need to do to see real results.


The current focus is on compliance and reporting


While compliance and reporting are essential, they are only the starting point. Real innovation and growth stem from integrating sustainability into the daily work of every employee, not just from ticking boxes on a report. Reporting is needed but may I say it out loud... it's just one part of the green transition, a good one but a little bit dry.


Let's talk about fears and misconceptions related to sustainability


A significant barrier to sustainability is the fear of change and a lack of understanding of its true value. Many leaders view sustainability practices as a cost rather than an investment, which stifles progress at both corporate and governmental levels. Leaders find it difficult to integrate sustainability into their core business and high costs are associated with sustainability practices. Sustainability seems to be conceived as a cost more than a tool for gaining competitive edge in the market. Sustainability should be considered more like AI - it's a tool for growth but you need to know how to use it before you can master it.


Empowering action and agency


There’s a noticeable lack of agency among employees when it comes to sustainability. Many are hesitant to take small steps or suggest changes internally, fearing they lack the mandate. Think of sustainability like adopting a new technology—you need to see its value before you can fully embrace it. Right now, we need more inspiring stories and clear examples of how sustainability works in practice and why it’s crucial beyond just regulatory compliance.


Challenges in the sustainability journey


Companies are facing several hurdles. I've identified and listed the most relevant ones here:


  • Lack of guidelines and standards: clear directives for sustainable actions are often missing within companies. Who does what and what is actually expected in order to reach goals. Guidelines can exist but for specific business units, for example within DEIB.

  • Resistance to change: internal resistance can be significant and it usually stems for uncertainty and unclear guidelines. There's a lack of employee engagement in sustainability, instead it seems to be exclusively on the desks of management teams, sustainability directors and teams or on marketing management.

  • Measuring impact: many struggle to find the right measurements to quantify and report their sustainability efforts. How can there be measurements if it's not linked with every day work? The employees and teams, the doers, usually know best what can be changed and what can be measured to shift the boat to a more sustainable direction.

  • Employee engagement: engaging and training employees adequately remains a challenge. How can companies ever reach their targets if employees are not involved in the implementation part of the strategy?


Can we expect these issues to resolve themselves if we don’t know what actions to take? Absolutely not.


This is where the role of green upskilling takes place


Companies are taking initial steps by calculating CO2 emissions and creating sustainability strategies. Depending on the sustainability maturity of each company some are further on the road of green transformation and integrating circular economy in processes. However, translating these strategies into everyday actions is where many fall short. Success requires every employee to understand what sustainability means for their specific role. Without this, strategies risk becoming empty promises, leading to potential greenwashing. Green upskilling, as the term itself suggests, refers to the training of employees in green or sustainable skills and knowledge. It can also be understood as the education needed to understand the complexities of environmental social and governance factors which guide companies' sustainability strategies.


Let's talk about the inevitable benefits of green upskilling to your company


  1. Retention and engagement rises: employees are more likely to stay with a company that actively involves them in meaningful sustainability efforts. Think of it like "climate quitting"—if they don’t see real action, they are most likely to leave.

  2. Innovation and growth: just as AI opens new business opportunities, so does sustainability. It’s about understanding and leveraging sustainability to support growth strategies.

  3. Empowered employees: When employees are upskilled, they become more proactive and creative in finding sustainable solutions. This bottom-up approach leads to more viable and innovative practices.

  4. New revenue streams: Upskilling changes the mindset from traditional views to opportunity mapping, fostering agile and innovative roadmaps.

  5. Authenticity and transparency: real, authentic sustainability efforts enhance brand reputation and build trust. Authenticity trumps greenwashing every time. Upskilling let's your people, your employee, your colleagues come up with solutions and then communicate and create authentic content. This is what resonates to both internally and externally.

  6. Stakeholder value: purpose-driven actions attract customers, investors, and policymakers, enhancing overall stakeholder value. It would be idiotic not to check this card.

  7. Leadership in sustainability: there’s ample room for forerunners. By investing in upskilling, you position your company as a leader in sustainability and enable the rise of key voices and future sustainability leaders in your company. How many at the moment would be interested in such a position if you asked? I bet quite many, especially if the support and mandate to act is there.

  8. Improved workplace culture: new standards and guidelines born from upskilling lead to a more motivated and engaged workforce, fostering creativity and reducing burnout. Better results, healthier colleagues and more collaboration. I'd love everyone to say yes to this!



Long-term advantages


Green upskilling not only provides a competitive advantage but also helps build resilient, sustainable business models. The long-term advantages are basically opportunities that are waiting to be revealed.


Key take aways


  1. Embed sustainability into daily operations for real innovation and growth, rather than just focusing on compliance. Move beyond reporting.

  2. Train employees to understand and drive sustainability, making them proactive and engaged in creating meaningful change.

  3. Treat sustainability as a growth tool to enhance brand reputation, attract stakeholders, and gain a competitive edge.


Satu Heikinheimo, Founder, Planet Diplomats

Satu@planetdiplomats.com

+358 40 758 7805

After speaking with numerous leaders and directors about making sustainability strategies truly effective, I've uncovered some fascinating insights I'd love to share with you. Here's what I've learned about why companies are struggling with sustainability and what they need to do to see real results.


The current focus is on compliance and reporting


While compliance and reporting are essential, they are only the starting point. Real innovation and growth stem from integrating sustainability into the daily work of every employee, not just from ticking boxes on a report. Reporting is needed but may I say it out loud... it's just one part of the green transition, a good one but a little bit dry.


Let's talk about fears and misconceptions related to sustainability


A significant barrier to sustainability is the fear of change and a lack of understanding of its true value. Many leaders view sustainability practices as a cost rather than an investment, which stifles progress at both corporate and governmental levels. Leaders find it difficult to integrate sustainability into their core business and high costs are associated with sustainability practices. Sustainability seems to be conceived as a cost more than a tool for gaining competitive edge in the market. Sustainability should be considered more like AI - it's a tool for growth but you need to know how to use it before you can master it.


Empowering action and agency


There’s a noticeable lack of agency among employees when it comes to sustainability. Many are hesitant to take small steps or suggest changes internally, fearing they lack the mandate. Think of sustainability like adopting a new technology—you need to see its value before you can fully embrace it. Right now, we need more inspiring stories and clear examples of how sustainability works in practice and why it’s crucial beyond just regulatory compliance.


Challenges in the sustainability journey


Companies are facing several hurdles. I've identified and listed the most relevant ones here:


  • Lack of guidelines and standards: clear directives for sustainable actions are often missing within companies. Who does what and what is actually expected in order to reach goals. Guidelines can exist but for specific business units, for example within DEIB.

  • Resistance to change: internal resistance can be significant and it usually stems for uncertainty and unclear guidelines. There's a lack of employee engagement in sustainability, instead it seems to be exclusively on the desks of management teams, sustainability directors and teams or on marketing management.

  • Measuring impact: many struggle to find the right measurements to quantify and report their sustainability efforts. How can there be measurements if it's not linked with every day work? The employees and teams, the doers, usually know best what can be changed and what can be measured to shift the boat to a more sustainable direction.

  • Employee engagement: engaging and training employees adequately remains a challenge. How can companies ever reach their targets if employees are not involved in the implementation part of the strategy?


Can we expect these issues to resolve themselves if we don’t know what actions to take? Absolutely not.


This is where the role of green upskilling takes place


Companies are taking initial steps by calculating CO2 emissions and creating sustainability strategies. Depending on the sustainability maturity of each company some are further on the road of green transformation and integrating circular economy in processes. However, translating these strategies into everyday actions is where many fall short. Success requires every employee to understand what sustainability means for their specific role. Without this, strategies risk becoming empty promises, leading to potential greenwashing. Green upskilling, as the term itself suggests, refers to the training of employees in green or sustainable skills and knowledge. It can also be understood as the education needed to understand the complexities of environmental social and governance factors which guide companies' sustainability strategies.


Let's talk about the inevitable benefits of green upskilling to your company


  1. Retention and engagement rises: employees are more likely to stay with a company that actively involves them in meaningful sustainability efforts. Think of it like "climate quitting"—if they don’t see real action, they are most likely to leave.

  2. Innovation and growth: just as AI opens new business opportunities, so does sustainability. It’s about understanding and leveraging sustainability to support growth strategies.

  3. Empowered employees: When employees are upskilled, they become more proactive and creative in finding sustainable solutions. This bottom-up approach leads to more viable and innovative practices.

  4. New revenue streams: Upskilling changes the mindset from traditional views to opportunity mapping, fostering agile and innovative roadmaps.

  5. Authenticity and transparency: real, authentic sustainability efforts enhance brand reputation and build trust. Authenticity trumps greenwashing every time. Upskilling let's your people, your employee, your colleagues come up with solutions and then communicate and create authentic content. This is what resonates to both internally and externally.

  6. Stakeholder value: purpose-driven actions attract customers, investors, and policymakers, enhancing overall stakeholder value. It would be idiotic not to check this card.

  7. Leadership in sustainability: there’s ample room for forerunners. By investing in upskilling, you position your company as a leader in sustainability and enable the rise of key voices and future sustainability leaders in your company. How many at the moment would be interested in such a position if you asked? I bet quite many, especially if the support and mandate to act is there.

  8. Improved workplace culture: new standards and guidelines born from upskilling lead to a more motivated and engaged workforce, fostering creativity and reducing burnout. Better results, healthier colleagues and more collaboration. I'd love everyone to say yes to this!



Long-term advantages


Green upskilling not only provides a competitive advantage but also helps build resilient, sustainable business models. The long-term advantages are basically opportunities that are waiting to be revealed.


Key take aways


  1. Embed sustainability into daily operations for real innovation and growth, rather than just focusing on compliance. Move beyond reporting.

  2. Train employees to understand and drive sustainability, making them proactive and engaged in creating meaningful change.

  3. Treat sustainability as a growth tool to enhance brand reputation, attract stakeholders, and gain a competitive edge.


Satu Heikinheimo, Founder, Planet Diplomats

Satu@planetdiplomats.com

+358 40 758 7805

After speaking with numerous leaders and directors about making sustainability strategies truly effective, I've uncovered some fascinating insights I'd love to share with you. Here's what I've learned about why companies are struggling with sustainability and what they need to do to see real results.


The current focus is on compliance and reporting


While compliance and reporting are essential, they are only the starting point. Real innovation and growth stem from integrating sustainability into the daily work of every employee, not just from ticking boxes on a report. Reporting is needed but may I say it out loud... it's just one part of the green transition, a good one but a little bit dry.


Let's talk about fears and misconceptions related to sustainability


A significant barrier to sustainability is the fear of change and a lack of understanding of its true value. Many leaders view sustainability practices as a cost rather than an investment, which stifles progress at both corporate and governmental levels. Leaders find it difficult to integrate sustainability into their core business and high costs are associated with sustainability practices. Sustainability seems to be conceived as a cost more than a tool for gaining competitive edge in the market. Sustainability should be considered more like AI - it's a tool for growth but you need to know how to use it before you can master it.


Empowering action and agency


There’s a noticeable lack of agency among employees when it comes to sustainability. Many are hesitant to take small steps or suggest changes internally, fearing they lack the mandate. Think of sustainability like adopting a new technology—you need to see its value before you can fully embrace it. Right now, we need more inspiring stories and clear examples of how sustainability works in practice and why it’s crucial beyond just regulatory compliance.


Challenges in the sustainability journey


Companies are facing several hurdles. I've identified and listed the most relevant ones here:


  • Lack of guidelines and standards: clear directives for sustainable actions are often missing within companies. Who does what and what is actually expected in order to reach goals. Guidelines can exist but for specific business units, for example within DEIB.

  • Resistance to change: internal resistance can be significant and it usually stems for uncertainty and unclear guidelines. There's a lack of employee engagement in sustainability, instead it seems to be exclusively on the desks of management teams, sustainability directors and teams or on marketing management.

  • Measuring impact: many struggle to find the right measurements to quantify and report their sustainability efforts. How can there be measurements if it's not linked with every day work? The employees and teams, the doers, usually know best what can be changed and what can be measured to shift the boat to a more sustainable direction.

  • Employee engagement: engaging and training employees adequately remains a challenge. How can companies ever reach their targets if employees are not involved in the implementation part of the strategy?


Can we expect these issues to resolve themselves if we don’t know what actions to take? Absolutely not.


This is where the role of green upskilling takes place


Companies are taking initial steps by calculating CO2 emissions and creating sustainability strategies. Depending on the sustainability maturity of each company some are further on the road of green transformation and integrating circular economy in processes. However, translating these strategies into everyday actions is where many fall short. Success requires every employee to understand what sustainability means for their specific role. Without this, strategies risk becoming empty promises, leading to potential greenwashing. Green upskilling, as the term itself suggests, refers to the training of employees in green or sustainable skills and knowledge. It can also be understood as the education needed to understand the complexities of environmental social and governance factors which guide companies' sustainability strategies.


Let's talk about the inevitable benefits of green upskilling to your company


  1. Retention and engagement rises: employees are more likely to stay with a company that actively involves them in meaningful sustainability efforts. Think of it like "climate quitting"—if they don’t see real action, they are most likely to leave.

  2. Innovation and growth: just as AI opens new business opportunities, so does sustainability. It’s about understanding and leveraging sustainability to support growth strategies.

  3. Empowered employees: When employees are upskilled, they become more proactive and creative in finding sustainable solutions. This bottom-up approach leads to more viable and innovative practices.

  4. New revenue streams: Upskilling changes the mindset from traditional views to opportunity mapping, fostering agile and innovative roadmaps.

  5. Authenticity and transparency: real, authentic sustainability efforts enhance brand reputation and build trust. Authenticity trumps greenwashing every time. Upskilling let's your people, your employee, your colleagues come up with solutions and then communicate and create authentic content. This is what resonates to both internally and externally.

  6. Stakeholder value: purpose-driven actions attract customers, investors, and policymakers, enhancing overall stakeholder value. It would be idiotic not to check this card.

  7. Leadership in sustainability: there’s ample room for forerunners. By investing in upskilling, you position your company as a leader in sustainability and enable the rise of key voices and future sustainability leaders in your company. How many at the moment would be interested in such a position if you asked? I bet quite many, especially if the support and mandate to act is there.

  8. Improved workplace culture: new standards and guidelines born from upskilling lead to a more motivated and engaged workforce, fostering creativity and reducing burnout. Better results, healthier colleagues and more collaboration. I'd love everyone to say yes to this!



Long-term advantages


Green upskilling not only provides a competitive advantage but also helps build resilient, sustainable business models. The long-term advantages are basically opportunities that are waiting to be revealed.


Key take aways


  1. Embed sustainability into daily operations for real innovation and growth, rather than just focusing on compliance. Move beyond reporting.

  2. Train employees to understand and drive sustainability, making them proactive and engaged in creating meaningful change.

  3. Treat sustainability as a growth tool to enhance brand reputation, attract stakeholders, and gain a competitive edge.


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.