Earth Day 2024: Bringing Your Whole Self to Sustainability

April 22, 2024 | What's Hot | 5 min read

This year, as we embrace the theme "Planet vs. Plastics," Earth Day reminds us of the considerable impact individual actions can have. Since first observing this holiday on April 22, 1970, the call for sustainable business practices has only grown. However, this challenge should not be shouldered by individuals alone; progress requires a concerted effort from sustainability-minded organizations worldwide.

At Skillsoft, sustainability is a mission we take seriously. In our recently released Learning for Good Impact report, we set a benchmark for measuring our global greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1, 2, and partial 3) and will set science-based targets to demonstrate our emission-reduction strategy and impact. To maintain transparency and accountability, we also submitted reports to, EcoVadis, and the United Nations Global Compact.

We understand that prioritizing sustainability and social impact efforts requires emphasizing the critical role of education. A recent PwC CEO survey revealed that 67% of respondents are upskilling and reskilling their workforce to address climate change. Initiatives like green skilling are essential, equipping individuals and organizations with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate and lead in future sustainability roles.

As we release our third annual Lean Into Learning: Earth Day report, it’s crucial to renew our resolve to focus on sustainability through education. This year’s report confirms that learners are eager for training in sustainability, reflecting the growing need for a workforce well-versed in green skills, social impact, and corporate sustainability practices.

The Next Phase of the Sustainability Journey

According to our latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Work report, 55% of respondents indicated that CSR budgets have increased for a second consecutive year, with training and education emerging as the top area of investment (41%). A majority of respondents (60%) also said that organizations should take a greater stand on social and political issues.

As more organizations invest in sustainability, CSR, and ESG initiatives, we observed a significant year-over-year increase in learning hours focused on sustainability topics and courses (91%). Consequently, there was a 25% increase in badges earned in sustainability topics and courses as more learners achieved and celebrated milestones across important sustainability areas such as risk management and inclusivity.

This year, the top industries, listed below, focused on sustainability – including consulting and marketing – provide insights into an evolving market where both individuals and businesses see the value of integrating environmental considerations into their strategies and communications for long-term success.

This is especially true given how important sustainability and “doing good” is for the general population.

Subscribe to the Skillsoft Blog

We will email when we make a new post in your interest area.

Select which topics to subscribe to:

Bringing Your Whole Self to Sustainability

This year’s top courses cover a broad spectrum, from sustainability strategy and ethical leadership to inclusivity, showcasing that there is no correct way to learn, lead, and think about sustainability in today’s workplace.

We must ensure that the skills we develop are versatile enough to meet the diverse demands of tomorrow. This includes power skills like creative and systems thinking, which are critically important for learners and leaders to possess.

Similarly, an examination of the most popular digital badges earned through Skillsoft reveals a parallel trend. Learners are interested in badge topics that emphasize holistic, strategic, and ethical thinking. These badges indicate a practical desire among leaders to integrate sustainability into their day-to-day work.

Learners continue to show strong interest in sustainability and climate topics, with Skillsoft recording a 61% year-over-year increase in sustainability-related searches, including terms like “sustainability, “climate change,” “renewables,” and “environmental awareness”. As highlighted in our previous Earth Day reports, “sustainability” remains the most searched term, witnessing a 70% year-over-year increase. All other mentioned topics have also seen increases compared to previous years.

What Comes Next

The sustainability journey doesn't end once a course is complete, or an earned badge is posted on social. We must continue the work to ensure that others have the opportunity to join us. How we do this will vary by organization, by country, and by industry, but it must always include business leaders and their employees committing to continuous learning and investment in sustainability to maintain momentum in this critical area.

To ensure CSR and ESG efforts continue effectively, leaders must:

  • Diversify training offerings to cover a broad spectrum of sustainability topics, including power skills like communication and creative thinking. This not only enriches the learning experience, but also equips employees to tackle a variety of environmental and societal challenges.
  • Commit to long-term sustainability plans with clear milestones, as highlighted by 35% of respondents to our CSR at Work report, who believe that such planning leads to more significant impact and change. These plans create a structured framework for continuous progress.
  • Integrate sustainability learning into day-to-day work, making it a core aspect of every role, not just an add-on. This approach helps employees see the real-world impact of their learning, reinforcing the relevance and importance of their skills.
  • Encourage cross-departmental collaboration to dismantle silos and foster a unified approach to sustainability goals. This includes leaders initiating sustainability efforts to garner employee buy-in. Collaborative teams can share best practices and innovate solutions beyond what is possible in isolated groups.
  • Regularly refresh and update training content to keep pace with evolving sustainability practices and innovations. Staying current ensures that the workforce remains prepared to meet future challenges with flexibility and agility.

We are proud of the work we’ve done so far, and we recognize there remains a long journey ahead. Be sure to read more about Skillsoft’s ESG mission in our latest ESG Impact report here.


The Lean Into Learning: Earth Day 2024 Report highlights data from thousands of Skillsoft customers and millions of Skillsoft learners worldwide. We looked at the learning consumption of sustainability-related courses available on the Skillsoft learning platform from March 2023 to February 2024.