It is time to unlock the potential of green jobs and integrate them into our economy so that sustainability becomes a culture
Representative picture. Image courtesy: flickr
Green job is the new buzzword trending in global environmental issues. They are also referred to as green collar jobs, sustainability jobs, eco jobs or environmental jobs. Simply put, any work that reduces the impact of human economic activity on the environment or helps restore the environment is called a green job.
Green job is a very broad term that includes almost all areas of the economy. It’s any business or profession that produces goods or services that are good for the environment; for example green buildings or solar panels. This economic activity can be either in the ‘green sector’ such as the renewable energy sector or in regular economic sectors such as infrastructure, manufacturing or construction.
When there is doubt as to whether a particular job is green or not, long-term ecological footprints can be reduced through techniques such as from the cradle to the grave Analysis, Environmental Impact Assessment or Ecological Footprint Analysis can be applied to determine how green a product, service, area or activity actually is. A green job can be self-employment, small business, or an entrepreneurship with ecology in mind. It can be a business or a profession involving business, NGOs, government or education.
Since a green workplace is the environmental aspect of every economic activity, it is very far-reaching in its impacts and aspects. Sometimes the process adopted by a business entity may not be “green” and only the end product is “green”. In this case, it is a product-based Green Job instead of a process-based Green Job. The following examples outline different aspects of green jobs:
- They work in a ‘green sector’, producing goods or services that reduce environmental impact and are environmentally friendly. For example, you may be employed in a business unit that manufactures air purifiers or low-carbon industries. Other examples of this aspect are products and services such as zero pollution homes, solar and wind energy, etc.
- You work in a sector that develops and innovates environmentally friendly technologies. It includes a research-based approach in which the business unit deals with eco-technologies. For example, a company developing green hydrogen that can replace conventional energy sources.
- You work in a company that operates in the regular sector but has environmentally conscious practices. For example, they work in the construction industry, which recycles organic waste as material for construction activities. Other examples of this aspect are practices such as energy saving, water saving, waste reduction, reuse, recycling, etc.
- They use skills or services that are good for environmental protection. The focus here is on imparting skills and education. For example, you can give advice (green advice) on saving energy or the efficient use of resources. Other examples of this aspect are consumerism, environmental education, peace, green tourism, green schools, etc.
- You earn directly from a company or profession that protects the environment. For example, you earn by doing urban forests or organic farming. You have green skills and work as a professional in and like a solar engineer or an organic gardener, environmental health, biodiversity, local and natural food, green building, ecovillages, wildlife parks and nature, conservation, climate change, sustainable agriculture, green economy, green media , sustainable living, sustainable development, sustainable forestry, etc.
The main contours of green jobs at the individual, corporate, organizational, government and educational levels are 5Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Reclaim, Deny and Repurpose.
- To reduce the use of environmentally harmful goods and services. For example, the switch from pesticide-based agriculture to organic farming.
- reuse the products that help contain the pressure on natural resources. For example, the reuse of non-biodegradable waste such as used tiles in the construction of green buildings.
- recovery the things we lost to the environment. For example, the recovery of the lost area through reforestation and afforestation in the areas where the natural forests are depleted.
- Reject the products and services that cause environmental degradation. For example, the refusal to use products such as asbestos, which are dangerous for the environment, in business activities.
- conversion The way we live. For example, more activities like cycling, walking, public transport, non-motorized recreation, etc.
Benefits of green jobs
- It will lead to a sustainable and environmentally conscious society. It will protect and restore ecosystems at local, regional and global levels.
- The first requirement for any economy that wants to be a green economy is green jobs. It will lead to a green economy.
- This will indirectly lead to a reduction in costs, such as B. Effects on health, environment and exposure of vulnerable areas.
- It will lead to an improvement in energy and raw material efficiency. It will limit greenhouse gas emissions and minimize waste and pollution.
India and green jobs
India is about to make a major leap from a developing economy to a sustainable green economy. It has huge potential for green jobs.
The four main green sectors are: renewable sectors, waste management, green transport and urban forestry. With the development of the economy and the government’s emphasis on the green budget, these sectors will create tremendous opportunities in the green fields. In the 2022-23 budget, the government particularly emphasized the aspect of green jobs.
A study by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements estimates that three million jobs will be created in green sectors by 2030. According to data from TREE, green job growth in India rose to 67 percent from 1998 to 2007.
Another study concludes that 24 million jobs could be created by moving to a circular economy that includes activities such as (the 5Rs of sustainability) recycling, reuse and reuse, and ecosystem services such as soil, air and water purification. The Indian economy is developing its own natural renewable energy sources which will create huge demand for skilled and unskilled jobs.
Green jobs are the future. It is time to unlock the potential of green jobs and integrate them into our economy so that sustainability becomes a culture.
Geetanjali Mehra is an interior designer and prominent environmentalist. She has created more than 125 urban forests and is a pioneer in vertical gardens using plastic bottle waste. She also founded the world’s first free tree and plant hospital equipped with tree outpatient clinics. The views expressed are personal.