The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) has issued an urgent call to action for Government and businesses to fill the environment and sustainability skills gap.
The global economy is feeling the first gusts of a perfect storm of pressure caused by climate change, increasing resource scarcity, unprecedented consumption and a rapidly growing population. This is leading to businesses being forced to face higher and more volatile prices, and manage risks to the security of supply of essential materials, products and services.
IEMA’s call to action comes as David Cameron this week announced plans for a new skills college which, according to the BBC, aims to “enhance economic competitiveness in the ‘global race’”.
On 10 December IEMA launched its Skills for a Sustainable Economy Position Statement at a Parliamentary reception. Tim Blacon, CEO of IEMA, said: “IEMA research has found that only 13% of organisations are fully confident that they have the skills to successfully compete in a sustainable economy, the system which provides the only viable future for business. This skills gap is limiting businesses’ and organisations’ ability to capitalise on the significant economic opportunities offered by more sustainable actions. We have issued our four-point action plan to help businesses and government fill this skills gap.”
IEMA’s Skills for a Sustainable Economy Position Statement, developed in collaboration with Members, calls for the following actions:
- Sustainability to be placed at the heart of business strategy
- Sustainability skills at the centre of all organisations
- Mainstreaming sustainability skills through training delivered by education and training providers
- Embedding sustainability across the economy through a collaborative action, energised through Government commitment to a sustainability skills strategy
IEMA’s “Preparing for the Perfect Storm: Skills for a Sustainable Economy” campaign on this issue is now building momentum with growing numbers of high-profile individuals and organisations, including Jaguar Land Rover, Joan Walley MP, BAE Systems and EDF Energy.
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