Microsoft President Wants More Training for Workers To Fight Climate Change

Earth Microsoft

Microsoft President Wants More Training for Workers To Fight Climate Change (

Posted by msmash on Wednesday November 02, 2022 @09:45AM from the moving-forward dept.

Microsoft President Brad Smith is calling for companies, schools and governments to dramatically increase training workers for new and redesigned roles tackling the climate crisis. From a report: The software giant, which has pledged to remove more carbon than it emits by 2030, says the lack of skills in areas like carbon accounting, green procurement and supply chain management is a threat to the kind of progress needed to arrest global warming. The company, along with the Boston Consulting Group, studied 15 companies they said were leading the pack in sustainability innovation to produce a report on what's needed. Microsoft plans to develop and share more training resources through its LinkedIn business, work with United Nations and International Monetary Fund groups and NGOs, as well as convening a conference of corporate chief sustainability officers to share best practices.

As you see it, what is the challenge? Brad Smith: Roughly 3,900 companies around the world have signed up for climate pledges. But what we're finding as a leading technology provider to these companies, is that we all now need to figure out how to turn these pledges into progress. That's easier said than done. It takes a real revolution in different business processes and in the use of digital technology as core components. But foundationally, it all relies on building a more skilled workforce.

How do we we know we have a shortfall in these types of skills? LinkedIn did a study a year ago -- what it showed was that the number of jobs in the economy that require sustainability skills is growing by 8% a year but the number of people in the workforce that have these skills is growing by only 6% a year. So we're seeing a gap, and in fact, we're seeing a widening of this gap. When we entered the digital era, we needed to bring computer science into schools and we needed to bring digital fluency into the workplace. When we've reviewed the data, employers around the world really invested more in employee training between 1980 and 2000. Computers entered the workforce -- people needed to be trained how to use them. But we saw employer investments in employee training really declining after the year 2000 and have been stagnating ever since. We're going to need to reinvest in employee training.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.