10 Aug 2021 | 11:26 AM

Green Jobs are the future – Here's why
Decent Work and Economic Growth

In the 1900s, the Industrial Revolution led to the creation of motive power. Whether it was steam, internal combustion, or nuclear energy, the discovery of a new form of energy created an avalanche effect that accelerated the growth of employment opportunities and business potential. And a lot of money, of course. Engineering disciplines sprouted up and as a people, we learned more and more about what makes a machine tick.  

But soon scientists began to realize that the constant quenching of humanity’s thirst for energy was destroying the ecosystem.  

Cut to 2008. 

The United Nations, the International Labour Organization, the International Trade Union Confederation, and the International Employers Organization jointly launched the Green Jobs Initiative. This was the formal birth of the ‘green job’.  

So, what is a green job and how does it contrast to the energy-intensive employment opportunities common since the 1900s?  

A green job is where you get paid to give back to the environment. It rewards you for being energy-conscious, resource-conscious, and equitable. Whether you’re a programmer with a green AI company or a civil engineer with a green construction company, what you’re doing is essentially helping revive Mother Nature.  

Green jobs are in, and the numbers show us why. With over 30 million green jobs to come up within the next 20 years, businesses have rapidly started to pivot towards a more sustainable modus operandi. According to a 2019 study that surveyed 1,000 employees at large U.S. corporations, 70% of the respondents said they were willing to switch over to a greener company even if it included a pay cut. The study also included millennials; nearly 40% of them said they’d choose a company with a strong sustainability plan over one that didn’t.  

Some more findings -  

  • More than 30% said their productivity would have increased if the company was sustainable.
  • 30% of the responders said they left companies because their earlier bosses weren’t thinking of sustainable practices.
  • Nearly 60% said they’d reject job offers that weren’t socially and environmentally conscious.

The writing on the wall is clear—green is the new black.  

But this trend is going to affect the three pillars of the employment market viz., experienced job-seekers, managers and hirers in different ways. Experienced job-seekers who have up to a decade of professional experience may have to either re-skill themselves or pivot to a new, greener vertical. Managers may have to rethink policy and add sustainability to their daily agendas. Recruiters will have to massively change their selection criteria.  

Independently-run businesses will now have to ‘green’ their processes in order to remain competitive. And it will have to go beyond swapping plastic coffee cups for bio-degradable ones.  

The International Labour Organization estimates that climate change will affect over 72 million jobs globally, and the demand for green jobs will far outstrip supply.  

But does this mean you compulsorily have to go for a green degree?  

Not quite. You see, most green businesses do still follow processes that are industry standard. A good example is the electric vehicle industry. An electric is still an automobile; the basic physics governing motion don’t change. So, EVs will still need designers, builders and a gigantic production work force that only the auto industry has.   

You’d be surprised to know that working at a carbon-positive company (one that does not follow sustainable processes) will actually harm your current job in the future. According to a 2018 Internal Labour Organisation report, between 2000 and 2015, natural disasters caused or exacerbated by humanity resulted in a global loss of working-life years equivalent to 0.8 per cent of a year’s work.  

Climate change resulting from pollution will end up reducing the total number of working hours by 2.0 percent globally by 2030 and affecting above all workers in agriculture and in developing countries.  

The damage associated with unmitigated climate change will therefore undermine GDP growth, productivity, and working conditions. Local air, water, and soil pollution harm workers’ health, income, food, and fuel security— and productivity. This negative impact can be reduced by the adoption of specific policy measures, including occupational safety and health measures, social protection policies, and other actions designed to adapt to a changing environment. 

But, take our word for it. If you’re reading this, it means you will be affected by the sustainability revolution. And, we at SustainEverse, might be able to help.  

SustainEverse is an action-driven platform for anyone and everyone connected with sustainability. We function on the principle that everyone has the power to affect change. That’s why we’re offering never-before-seen insights and analytics that will help benefit everyone involved in sustainability.  

If you’re looking for guidance about green jobs, here’s how you can use SustainEverse -  

  1. Get opportunities to work in green companies  

Several green businesses and companies are already a part of SustainEverse. All you need to do is to sign up and connect with them.  

  1. Work at contract-based green assignments  

Contract-based assignments offer a much more flexible working culture. We’re going to be listing the most exciting ones on SustainEverse soon.  

  1. Connect with experts in the field of HR, recruiting, and green studies  

The whole reason behind the formation of SustainEverse was to bring players from all across the world together. There are millions of jobs out there. We’re listing them all.  

  1. Up-skill yourself with the global knowledge repository  

The global knowledge repository is a database of knowledge for all types of contributors. It has been curated by some of the most influential experts in sustainable education. 

  1. Access the latest, most-up-to-date teaching materials  

If you’re currently studying for a green degree or doing a science project, SustainEverse has all the resources you’ll ever need.  

  1. Read up case studies, reports, and insights by industry professionals  

SustainEverse members regularly contribute to the global pool of knowledge. As a member, you’ll be able to access them for free. 

  1. Participate in events hosted by Organizations and Networks worldwide. 

The best way to connect with industry leaders is through a common platform. As a SustainEverse member, you’ll get access to some of the most widely-reported industry conferences. Members also get free passes for SustainEverse-organised conferences.  

Disclaimer: This information represents the personal views and opinions of the author(s). It does not represent the views and opinions of UN GCNI, UNGC, SOCIOLADDER FOUNDATION, THE SUSTAINEVERSE PLATFORM, or any other third party including sponsors, strategic partners, or other users of SUSTAINEVSERSE. While UN GCNI and SOCIOLADDER  strive to make the information on the SUSTAINEVERSE Platform as timely and accurate as possible, they make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents. Any views or opinions expressed are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, community, organization,  company or individual. 

BY Adreesh Ghoshal