ESG and the Future Workforce | Whuff News

By Aparajita Datta, Gail Buttorff, Pablo Pinto and Ramanan Krishnamoorti

Young Texans who wish to have jobs in the energy industry are paying close attention to the future of energy results from a recent survey conducted by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs and UH Energy ensure that they have paid close attention. Not only are companies facing pressure from the government and investors to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, their future workforce is also asking.

The Affordable Care Act will spend $374 billion on decarbonization, clean energy, infrastructure, climate resilience, and energy equity and justice over the next decade. The government’s response to voters comes after how companies have tried to meet the demands of investors and stakeholders over the past few years. Today, more than 4,800 global companies representing approximately 100 billion dollars in assets are determined and committed to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment to include an environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach in investment practices.

In a survey of over 1000 UH students, we found that they believe the energy industry should prioritize ESG stewardship. ESG stewardship emerged as the most important attribute (47%) when considering an employment offer, even ahead of starting salary (31%) and vertical strength (21%).

Research has found that students pursuing a future career in the energy industry are twice as likely to choose to work for a renewable energy company known as an ESG leader and be willing to take a lower salary than to work for an oil drilling company. criticized for not meeting ESG standards[i]. Respondents considered ESG strategies in a range of efforts such as ethical standards in products, services, marketing, purchasing and providing services, minority representation, environmental management, and GHG reduction as important or very important in influencing their employment choices.

Conversely, the two factors that were least helpful in shaping their choices were the company’s recycling standards and policies, and the disclosure of the board’s oversight of ESG issues, targets and goals. While we found recycling to be a low priority issue, UH students’ opinion is consistent with their peers across the country. Some studies have found that younger generations feel uncertain among all age groups in knowing how to recycle or where to get advice on recycling, while most are skeptical about its effectiveness and impact.

The responses also showed that young employees care more about whether companies prioritize ESG goals, rather than how the company’s leadership tracks materiality and impact, and how they disclose this information to the public.

ESG standards for integrated business are becoming a table for companies to attract investment and young talents. At the same time, a lack of transparency in measurement, reporting and benchmarking that creates inconsistencies in the wider market and challenges credibility has undermined ESG reporting. However, our research shows that unlike recycling, students are not discouraged or cut off from ESG.

Students also believe that their peers are concerned as they are concerned about the state of the environment[ii]. As a result, university campuses are where students will appear to show their support for ESG-related issues and seek more information. For energy companies seeking to attract and retain young talent, it is important to reinforce the message that they share the same concerns and values ​​as students and their peers. Furthermore, how this information is communicated will be key to staff development.

The cost of energy, its reliability and energy security are kitchen-table issues. Discussions on these topics should avoid being presented as an unsolvable policy dilemma that redirects responsibility, or as debates. This is a revolutionary opportunity to simplify and demystify elite discourse that has obscured, confused and polluted the way we think about climate change and its model, energy production and use, and issues at the intersection of climate and energy, including ESG.

[i] Students were twice as willing to take a job opportunity with a renewable energy company known as an ESG leader for an annual salary of $75,000 than an oil drilling company criticized for not meeting ESG standards but offering a higher salary of $85,000. . An employment opportunity with a natural gas company that is recognized as an ESG leader and offers $85,000 is only slightly higher than a renewable energy company that is an ESG leader and offers an annual salary of $80,000.

[ii] 38.6% of students are very or extremely concerned about the state of the environment and 32.5% believe that other UH students are very or very concerned about the state of the environment, compared to 26.7% of their friends and 15.6% of their family. In contrast, the largest share believes that Texans (23%), in general, and whites in Texas (18%), respectively, do not care at all about the state of the environment.

Aparajita Data is a Research Fellow at UH Energy and a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science studying public policy and international relations. His research focuses on policy dissemination and response analysis to improve energy equity and justice in low-income communities in the US. Aparajita holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering at the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, India; and master’s degrees in energy management, and public policy from the University of Houston.

Gail Buttorff is an Assistant Professor of Instruction, Graduate School of Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Research Studies.

Pablo M. Pinto is Associate Professor and Director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, and editor of the journal Economics & Politics. Pinto is a Fellow of the UH Energy Faculty, a non-resident Scholar at the Latin America Initiative of the Baker Institute at Rice University, and a research scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. Pinto’s areas of expertise are international and comparative political economy, comparative politics, and quantitative methods. Pinto holds an MA from Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan, and a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego. He received a law degree from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina. Prior to joining the University of Houston in 2014, Pinto was a faculty member at Columbia University. He taught at the Escuela Nacional de Gobierno in his native Argentina, and at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, where he founded and directed the Department of Asia-Pacific Studies. He also served as Chief Consultant for Toyota Argentina.

Ramanan Krishnamoorthy is the Vice President for Energy and Innovation at the University of Houston. Prior to his current position, Krishnamoorti served as interim vice president for research and technology transfer for UH and the UH System. During his tenure at the university, he served as the chairman of the UH Cullen College of Engineering in the department of chemical engineering and biomolecular engineering, an engineering research assistant, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a joint appointment as a professor of petroleum engineering and a professor of chemistry. . Dr. Krishnamoorti received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Princeton University in 1994.

UH Energy is the University of Houston’s center for energy education, research and technology innovation, working to shape the future of energy and create new business trends in the energy industry.

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