Making Environmental Friendliness & Sustainability a part of Business

The Green Economy is about living, working and pursuing growth while taking care of our environment, and using the limited resources available as efficiently and sustainably as possible. In Singapore, the Singapore Green Plan 2030 is a nation-wide concerted effort to build sustainability as a way of work, play, and life, and contributes to international efforts under the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

As industries embark on green efforts, we observed three ways in which jobs and skills are impacted by the efforts taken to adopt green technologies and processes.

  1. Enterprises are restructuring and creating new business functions as they shift activities and skills demand from “brown” activities (environmentally harmful business activites) into green/cleaner ones 

  2. New green jobs and skills are created as a result of new green regulations, and/or new green technologies and practices

  3. Existing jobs are changing to take on new green practices and processes, resulting in the need for green skills

Today, there is a wide range of green skills across many industries. Some skills are more horizontal in nature and hence transferable across multiple industries, such as environment & social governance (or ESG), carbon footprint management, and sustainability management. Others are more specialised to specific sectors, such as green facilities management skills for the built environment sector. Other skills, like waste treatment management, are growing in importance as many existing jobs are starting to incorporate “green” responsibilities.

Chart 1 below shows the top 10 clusters of skills ranked based on the number of job roles that requires these skills:

  1. The first group of skills most common across job roles are the horizontal/transferable skills, such as green process design-related skills (such as skills for green manufacturing design and implementation), ESG skills, carbon footprint management skills, environmental management-related skills, and sustainability management skills. These are required by the most number of job roles today. 

  2. The second group of skills most common across job roles are the skills needed to green existing functions, such as design for manufacturing & assembly and design for maintainability skills. Today, these skills are relevant for job roles across the built environment, environmental services, landscape, energy & power, food manufacturing, and biopharmaceuticals manufacturing

  3. The third group of skills are specialised green skills required for green functions, such as green building strategy implementation and green facilities management, energy management and audit, and solar PV systems design. There are relatively fewer job roles requiring these specialised green skills as they tend to be quite sector- and job role-specific.  

Chart 1: Top 20 Required Skills Clusters in the Green Economy

20 required skills green economy

Source: SkillsFuture Singapore

Click here to explore courses for the Green Economy.

Two important sectors in the Green Economy are Agritech and Built Environment.


AgriTech is the production of food using advanced technology, such as Internet-of-things (IoT), data analytics, and robotics. Singapore’s AgriTech sector mainly comprises of:

  1. AgriTech/AquaTech farms: These tech-enabled farms use technology to increase yield and efficiency. They leverage data, automation technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor vital parameters 24/7, collect real-time data on feeding habits, plant health, and water conditions to monitor growth, and optimise environmental conditions to minimise production disruptions.

  2. Alternative protein production: Alternative proteins is about sourcing alternatives to meat protein, such as insect or plant-based protein, and also lab-grown meat.

This sector has grown in importance with Singapore’s increasing food security and sustainability priorities, especially with Covid-19 affecting imports. As part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the “30-by-30 target” by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) aims to produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs locally by 2030. AgriTech/AquaTech allows farm yield to be much higher than conventional farming methods, and reduce the amount of manual labour and physical space needed to achieve the same amount of production.

The AgriTech sector in Singapore is relatively new, and job roles can cut across the whole value chain, from agri-inputs stage to production, processing, and ultimately go-to-market. With the sector becoming more manufacturing-like, we are starting to see more tech-based roles such as.

Examples of Jobs in the Agritech sector

  1. Aqua-culturist/Agri-culturists]/Agronomists

  2. Feed Nutritionists

  3. Farm Managers

  4. Environment Engineers/Technologists

  5. Automation Engineers

Top Required Skills in Agritech

  1. Agriculture / Aquaculture Science

  2. Environmental Awareness

  3. Sustainable Farming

  4. Sustainability Management

  5. Engineering

  6. Financial Management

  7. Data Analysis

  8. Risk Management

  9. Manufacturing

  10. Analytical Skills

Top Emerging Skills in Agritech

  1. Operations Management

  2. Programming (eg. Python)

  3. Digital Marketing

  4. E-commerce

  5. Social Media Marketing

  6. Insurance

  7. Aquaculture Management

  8. Financial Management

  9. Strategic Partnerships

  10. Portfolio Management

Source: SkillsFuture Singapore, LinkedIn Talent Insights

Click here to explore courses for the Agritech sector.

Built Environment

The Built Environment comprises both visible structures, such as buildings, and infrastructure, such as pipes and cabling that enable the connectivity and conveniences of modern life. Singapore is a highly urbanised island state, with buildings accounting for over 20% of Singapore’s emissions. Remaking the city to meet the challenges of climate change is, therefore, an important aspect of the sector’s transformation. Green buildings are an important part of our climate change mitigation strategy. They are designed, constructed and operated as eco-friendly and sustainably as possible.

Other “green” functions and skills required by the Built Environment sector include design for maintainability practices to integrate operations and maintenance considerations into project planning and design, adopting green / smart facilities management elements during the buildings’ operations, and building in sustainability aspects in the architecture, design and environment, through biophilic and space design.

The Built Environment sector is also increasingly adopting advanced technologies through digitalisation to integrate work processes and connect stakeholders throughout entire building lifecycles. Developers, consultants, builders and facility managers form the backbone of the sector that allows us to thrive within a safe, smart, sustainable and inclusive built environment.

Top 5 Jobs in-demand by Built Environment Employers

  1. Assistant Civil and Structural Engineer/ Mechanical Engineer

  2. Lead/ Specialist/ Assistant Specialist (Digital Delivery)

  3. Quantity Surveyor/ Senior Quantity Surveyor

  4. Quality Assurance Manager/ Engineer

  5. Sustainability Manager

Top Required Skills in Built Environment

  1. Integrated Digital Delivery Application

  2. Continuous Improvement

  3. Technology Application

  4. Data Analysis/Analytics

  5. Quality System Management

  6. Project Risk Management

  7. System Installation And Commissioning Management

  8. Critical Thinking

  9. Safety Management Framework

  10. Project Management

Top Emerging Skills in Built Environment

  1. Building Information Modelling Application

  2. Design for Manufacturing and Assembly

  3. Stakeholder Management

  4. Technology Application

  5. Green Building/Facilities

  6. Design for Maintainability

  7. Automation Application

  8. Computational Design

  9. Smart Facilities

  10. Engineering Management Of Change

Source: SkillsFuture Singapore, JobTech 

Click here to explore courses for the Built Environment sector.

Posted on 18/10/21