When it comes to sustainability, upskilling is no longer a nice-to-have – but necessary if companies want to reach net-zero goals and attract and retain the best talent.
This is especially true when it comes to attracting young talent, who not only expect employers to provide training and education to help them stay up-to-date with the changing skillsets, but to put sustainability concerns front and centre.
According to Deloitte Global’s 2023 Gen Z and Millennials survey, US Millennials (60%) and Gen Z (55%) express concern about climate change and 58% of Millennials urge employers to take concrete action on climate change.
Many Gen-Z and Millennials expect their employers to empower them with training and support not only for making sustainable decisions in their personal lives but also for developing the skills required to transition to a low-carbon economy.
And progressive companies are recognising this – and adapting.
Foremost among these, Deloitte was one of the first big companies to roll out a climate learning programme for employees.
Recognising that to “address climate change, we need to understand it”, former global CEO Punit Renjen launched a climate learning programme for all 457,000 employees.
The firm pumped US$1 billion in a sustainability and climate practice to expand and elevate its robust bench of L&D capabilities in critical in-demand skills, such as sustainability literacy and green skills.
And employees have responded, with the organisation’s on-demand internal learning offering focused on sustainability, climate, and equity knowledge now the number one bookmarked resource.
Deloitte Continues to Evolve Sustainability and Climate Upskilling
Not satisfied with simply standing still, Deloitte recognises learning to be ever-evolving, and continues to roll out and adapt L&D offerings to stay ahead of market demands, equipping employees with the knowledge and skills needed to help clints with their ESG practices.
“As the economy continues to transition to a low-carbon future, there are an increasing number of our clients who are seeking to create new advantages,” says Steve Goldbach, leading of sustainability climate and equity at Deloitte US.
Acknowledging the rapidly evolving market and science that encompasses effective sustainability, climate and equity problem-solving, Deloitte is taking its learning and development to the next level.
Looking to advance and accelerate these skills among its more than 150,000 professionals in the US, Deloitte US has announced expanded collaborations with renowned academic institutions to develop and roll out a differentiated, integrated learning programme.
Leveraging expertise from MIT Sloan School of Management, NYU Stern Executive Education, the Center for Sustainable Business and Arizona State University, the programme will upskill Deloitte professionals so they can help guide clients in identifying and engineering solutions to support what’s good for their business, people and the planet.
“We are investing in this industry-leading learning program so that our professionals can integrate our core capabilities with innovative thinking about sustainability,” says Goldbach. “This is a key component of meeting our aspiration to be our clients’ first choice on sustainability."
Why Academic Collaborations are Essential in Employee Upskilling
As the demand for sustainability literacy intensifies, Deloitte believes academic relationships are essential in enriching its L&D capabilities.
Anthony Stephan, Chief Learning Officer at Deloitte US argues academic collaborations are key to accelerating the “agility and innovation of learning and development to rapidly upskill and reskill our people with capabilities needed to more effectively address many of today’s most pressing issues”.
Such collaborations not only provide expert knowledge and research, but also contribute diverse perspectives and critical insights, according to Deloitte.
For example, NYU Stern Executive Education and Center for Sustainable Business 'Sustainability Simplified' live virtual speaker series provides an opportunity to dig into the science behind the climate crisis and the equity topics helping to shape the market today.
While MIT Sloan’s live virtual 'Sustainability Accelerator' programme is designed to equip senior business leaders with a common language and knowledge of important sustainability related concepts, and all program participants are eligible to receive a certificate of completion from MIT Sloan Executive Education.
Finally, Deloitte’s newest and most comprehensive program in collaboration with ASU, “Sustainability Certified: Foundations for Business,” will offer an Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Certificate to participants who complete self-paced, modular courses.