What is a Green Occupation?
The trend in a more sustainable world economy continues to grow, creating more pressure in taking steps to reduce carbon footprint and protect ecosystems in all industries. The International Labor Organization defines green jobs as:
“… decent jobs that contribute to preserve or restore the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency”
Green occupations produce green outputs in two ways:
- Goods and services that help mitigate and improve climate crises with the use of green technologies and processes; or
- Company actions and steps contributing to the positive health of the environment through proper water and waste recycling.
The ILO’s WESO Report 2018 states that “the transition to a green economy will inevitably cause job losses in certain sectors as carbon- and resource-intensive industries are scaled down, but they will be more than offset by new job opportunities”. These opportunities have opened up in various industries – from corporate sectors to agriculture and fishing industry.
Examples of Green Jobs
The National Geographic published a variety of fast-growing green job movements in 2020:
1. Urban Growers
Urban farming aims to produce better ways in which we grow and consume food. Today there are different organizations that help in advancing urban agriculture like TUGI, with a mission to “empower youth to achieve urban sustainability though a gardening-based educational program” and UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Urban Growers’ Collaborative Project that seeks to “investigates the barriers and opportunities for collaboration among local urban growers to improve their viability and entry into new local markets, particularly markets that serve (or can serve) low-income urban residents.”
2. Water Quality Technicians
We rely on water quality technicians when it comes to assessing and examining water resources and assuring that the water is safe. Engineers in this section are tasked with finding and creating innovative solutions that help protect and control water quality.
3. Clean Car Engineers
Transportation is one of the biggest worldwide industries and also one of the biggest universal contributors to the greenhouse gas emissions. The US Department of Energy states that “the need for a safe, energy-efficient, operationally efficient, low emission, and flexible transportation system can be addressed by advancing technology throughout the transportation system” calling out a diverse set of minds to further improve the transportation sector, primarily catering to the needs of our environment.
See full list: 11 Fastest Growing Green Jobs
Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
“Economic growth should be a positive force for the whole planet.This is why we must make sure that financial progress creates decent and fulfilling jobs while not harming the environment.” – The United Nations
The 8th Sustainable Development Goal promotes job creation that is not only beneficial to our economy’s growth but also beneficial to all workers in various sectors. In line with this, the United Nations created key indicators and metrics that would serve as a guideline and track the progress of each target here.
What You Can Do
The UN urges us to take action by spreading awareness about the importance of creating job opportunities that not only protects its workers but also the environment. The initiatives and projects stated above serves as a great example of how we can take action in contributing to green jobs – be it by monetary support, volunteering, and program creation that helps expand sustainable work initiatives for all.