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Growing demand for sustainability professionals 2020–2023


Updated on Mar 29, 2024
Published on Mar 29, 2024

Over the last couple of years, the topic of sustainability has been highly discussed due to increased corporate and public interest in social and environmental issues. The recent pandemic has drawn more consumers and companies to the importance of climate action. 

The demand for sustainable products has increased by over 70% since 2016, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Companies are also striving to meet ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) requirements as these have become one of the key factors that investors are evaluating for potential investments. Besides that, the 2023 Global Green Skills Report showed that green skills are sought after, as the specialists with at least one green skill are 29% more likely to get hired.

With these changes, businesses are now thinking more about implementing sustainable practices, and they need professionals to guide and lead ESG initiatives. 

A sustainability professional is a specialist working at large or small companies, responsible for designing strategies that help align the company’s practices with relevant sustainability efforts. They help implement programs that allow companies to save resources, improve the environment, and attract more ESG-focused investors. Hiring such specialists brings many corporate benefits, which are getting more recognized by companies in various industries.

Sustainability specialists hiring trends for 2020-2023

By analyzing the current job market and the number of sustainable job postings, we found several interesting changes highlighting the growing sustainability trend in hiring. 

Growing demand for sustainability professionals 2020-2023

First is the overall demand increase for sustainability professions. The number of job postings that include the “sustainability” keyword in the job title has increased by 1574% since 2020—from 500 in 2020 to 8371 in 2023—over 16 times!

Next, we analyzed the number of open roles in sustainability by specific industries. Companies working in the following areas are actively looking for talent with the matching skills to drive and manage sustainable initiatives efficiently. 

Industries looking for sustainability professionals

The top three industries hiring sustainability professionals are Staffing and Recruiting (2970 job postings), Consulting (2122 job postings), and Software Development (1104 job postings). Just these three industries create about 6196 new job opportunities for specialists with a particular skillset suitable for leading ESG initiatives. 

Top industries hiring sustainability specialists over the years

Finally, the top five industries with growing interest in sustainability include HR, Electronics, Recruiting, Financial, and Environmental Services. These industries have shown the highest increase in open roles for sustainability specialists. 

Growth of job listings related to sustainability positions


Overall, the topics of sustainability and ESG are getting more recognition from various industries. They’re now looking for sustainability professionals who can effectively work on the company’s sustainability efforts.

Implementing ESG practices allows companies of any size to gain competitive advantages over their business rivals. Successful ESG initiatives can improve a company's market position and brand recognition, which also results in more interest from ESG investors.