Empowering Sustainable Growth: People Capability Strategies for Enabling India's Energy Sector Transformation in PSE Space

Article by Mr. Ashissh Kaul, Director – Knowledge & Advisory & Business Head -PSE, SHRM India, & Ms. Neetika Mittal, Senior Knowledge Advisor, SHRM India

Empowering Sustainable Growth: People Capability Strategies for Enabling India's Energy Sector Transformation in PSE Space

New Delhi: India's power and energy sector is at a pivotal juncture, undergoing a transformative shift towards sustainability and clean energy technologies. Rather than a mere a compliance exercise, stakeholders across the ecosystem, from customers to regulators to businesses, are increasingly prioritizing sustainability as a strategic business. To succeed in this changing landscape, organizations in the power and energy sector need to focus on building robust people capabilities that align with the goals of sustainability transformation.

The Complexity Angle
This sustainability transformation is poised to be multifaceted and complex, requiring organizations to address environmental, social, and economic aspects. While technological innovation and process efficiency play crucial roles in decarbonization efforts, the human element is equally essential. 

Opportunities
New Employment Avenues

By 2030, it is estimated that an additional 13 million people globally will be employed in clean energy and related sectors in the Advanced Pathway Scenario (APS), with this figure doubling in the Net Zero Emissions (NZE) scenario. 

While traditional fossil fuel sectors may experience decline, clean energy areas, including renewables and energy network industries, are projected to create millions of new jobs. Additionally, related sectors such as construction (retrofits and energy-efficient buildings) and manufacturing (efficient appliances and electric vehicles) will see increased employment opportunities.

Inclusive Growth
The energy sector transformation represents a unique opportunity to drive inclusive growth and improve livelihoods globally. By prioritizing employment, equity, and inclusion, and by implementing coordinated policies to manage transitions effectively, we can ensure that the benefits of clean energy are accessible to all, contributing to a more sustainable and prosperous future for generations to come.

Challenges 
Job Displacement

New jobs may not emerge in the same locations where traditional jobs are lost, thereby creating an imbalance.

Skills Gaps
Skill sets may not be directly transferable. Moreover, there is challenge of engaging employees in the transformation and harnessing their behaviour to accelerate progress towards meeting sustainability goals. 

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Here are four key strategies to enhance people capabilities for sustainability for organisations:

Linking People Practices, Driving Innovation and Growth Mindset: Organizations need to embed sustainability into their growth strategies for their employees. This can be through linking people processes and practices with sustainable practices aligned with organization’s sustainability goals.

Internal Awareness of Sustainability Transformation: Communication, information dissemination, and awareness is essential for creating a culture of co-creation and shared purpose. This can foster internal engagement, alignment and commitment to sustainability.

Invest in Sustainability Skills-Building: Have need to initiate internal Sustainability- Skill Audit for their employees to assess their skills gaps. This will further help to identify and invest in learning journeys, reskilling and upskilling strategies for long-term enablement. 

Strengthen Inclusive Growth: The new strategic direction provides opportunities to drive inclusion and engagement of diverse employee groups like women, young workforce etc. through capability building, leadership development programs and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Meeting the Social Mandate: By addressing social, financial, physical, and emotional well-being, organizations can improve employee productivity, health, and happiness as well.

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In conclusion, building robust people capabilities is essential for organizations in the energy sector to navigate the changing business landscape driven by sustainability. By placing humans at the center of their sustainability transformation journey and investing in their people, organizations can drive innovation, growth, and long-term value creation while contributing to a sustainable future.

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