What does "green employment" mean?

What does "green employment" mean?
Photo by Shane Rounce / Unsplash
What does "green employment" mean?
Photo by Shane Rounce / Unsplash

"Green jobs" and "green employment" are terms that get used pretty extensively to describe a range of work and jobs that may include any type of sustainability related focus. I have limited my use of those terms on ZeroHero.net because they seem somewhat generic. That said, I know the phrase "green jobs" does have meaning for many people.

You could say that ZeroHero.net is all about green jobs. The entire purpose of this site is to connect people to jobs and training that have a sustainability, renewable energy, or carbon reduction focus. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has defined green jobs using a customized set of criteria that includes:

  1. Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
  2. Jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.

Those are some pretty broad criteria by which to define green jobs and the BLS definition covers jobs that fall into 5 groups:

  1. Energy from renewable sources. Electricity, heat, or fuel generated from renewable sources. These energy sources include wind, biomass, geothermal, solar, ocean, hydropower, and landfill gas and municipal solid waste.
  2. Energy efficiency. Products and services that improve energy efficiency. Included in this group are energy-efficient equipment, appliances, buildings, and vehicles, as well as products and services that improve the energy efficiency of buildings and the efficiency of energy storage and distribution, such as Smart Grid technologies.
  3. Pollution reduction and removal, greenhouse gas reduction, and recycling and reuse. These are products and services that:
    • Reduce or eliminate the creation or release of pollutants or toxic compounds, or remove pollutants or hazardous waste from the environment.
    • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through methods other than renewable energy generation and energy efficiency, such as electricity generated from nuclear sources.
    • Reduce or eliminate the creation of waste materials; collect, reuse, remanufacture, recycle, or compost waste materials or wastewater.
  4. Natural resources conservation. Products and services that conserve natural resources. Included in this group are products and services related to organic agriculture and sustainable forestry; land management; soil, water, or wildlife conservation; and stormwater management.
  5. Environmental compliance, education and training, and public awareness. These are products and services that:
    • Enforce environmental regulations.
    • Provide education and training related to green technologies and practices.
    • Increase public awareness of environmental issues.

Finding the perfect green job requires you to be an active participant in the process. Start by understanding your skills and abilities so you are clear about the value you can bring to a new role and organization. The next step is to research jobs, companies, and industries that require those talents. You can learn a lot by reading job descriptions and researching companies online. Learning how others have made their way in the green job market is another important step.

As your search progresses it will be important to have conversations with real people who are working in the types of jobs that you are interested in pursuing. This is the best way to get your questions answered and make quick progress in your search.

What are your thoughts on green employment? What challenges are you having in finding your green dream job? Share with us in the comments below!

About the author
Scott Beckman

Zero Hero

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