According to the LinkedIn Global Green Skills Report, the global demand for green talent is on the rise. The report also points to a gap between the demand and the supply. While the number of job postings requiring green skills grew at 8% annually over the past five years, the share of green talent has only grown 6% over that same period. The International Labor Organization (ILO) also estimates that 24 million jobs worldwide could be created by the green economy alone by 2030.
But why is the demand for green jobs so prevalent now? There are at least four major reasons:
- Environmental and social risks are on top of the agenda for corporations and investors.
- Increasing government regulations around climate change and the demand for transparency around environmental and social issues is growing.
- Sustainable investments are gaining momentum.
- Customers and employees are increasingly preferring purpose-driven businesses.
Nareit recently updated its REIT ESG Dashboard, which found that between 2017 and 2021, the number of companies with a full-time dedicated ESG staff position more than doubled. The 50 REITs with dedicated ESG staff account for 68% of the equity market cap of the top 100 REITs.
Many of those REITs without dedicated ESG staff implement ESG initiatives through sustainability committees as well as guidance from outside consultants.
Nareit’s Real Estate Sustainability Council (RESC), created in October 2016 to help guide Nareit's ESG efforts and priorities, currently consists of more than 100 Nareit corporate member sustainability thought leaders – representing more than 60 REITs from every sector. The membership of RESC has doubled in the past two years.
RESC has a mission to help shape and lead the REIT industry as it continues to address a variety of complex ESG issues. Most RESC members hold sustainability titles, however, operations, public relations and investment relations professionals are also RESC members. This council focuses on issues relating to ESG, shares CSR/ESG reports as they are published, and supports the career opportunities being created within the industry today as ESG becomes more and more interwoven with the strategic direction for REITs and publicly traded real estate.
Additionally for prospective ESG professionals, Nareit supports the career development of job seekers, students and professionals looking to make a shift into the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry with career resources and amplification of REIT ESG jobs on LinkedIn.
Nareit also provides ESG-relating education and training through its events and ongoing webinar series to support the career development of REIT industry professionals and prospective ESG professionals:
- Nareit REITworks Conference is an educational conference where industry professionals can learn about the latest developments in environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and good governance impacting the real estate sector. Attendees hear thought leaders discuss key topics related to accounting, financial reporting, sustainability, capital markets, disclosures, investor relations, DEI, human resources, and more.
- Nareit ESG JumpStart Workshop offers industry professionals the opportunity to learn from peers and subject matter experts who have successfully created or optimized an ESG program for a REIT or publicly traded real estate company. Attendees walk away with actionable strategies for developing an effective ESG program and sessions cover topics ranging from how to start reporting on ESG performance to best practices for developing and measuring the success of a DEI program.
- Nareit’s ESG Exchange webinar series virtually brings together ESG-focused investors and REIT industry professionals for discussions on enterprise-wide environmental stewardship, social responsibility and good governance topics impacting real estate. Past webinars have covered topics ranging from DEI and gender equity in the REIT industry to reporting and disclosures for social programs and initiatives. Sign up to be notified of upcoming ESG Exchange webinars.