How does the green economy impact jobs?


Job Impact of the Green Economy - ECO Canada

Post by: Angie Knowles, ECO Canada

The title of this blog post is truly the question of the day – what is the effect of the green economy on jobs?

While this question holds pride of place in most discussions about green growth, it also carries a sense of urgency.

As a growing number of companies incorporate environmental principles into their business, the green transition is not something that will happen, but rather, something that is already happening now.

In response to this strong need for timely and accurate information on the green economy, a flurry of recent studies have looked at what green growth means for employment, investment activities and the emergence of new industries.

Much of this research makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the total employment numbers and economic contributions of green businesses.

However, too much of a focus on the overall number of jobs in the green economy leaves a lot of crucial detail out. For professionals trying to figure out their green career options, it’s great to look at this type of research and know that there are many green job opportunities out there.

The trouble is, where are these green jobs and how do you get to them?

ECO Canada’s newest upcoming report, The Green Jobs Map: Tracking Employment through Canada’s Green Economy, was designed with these important considerations in mind.

The study recognizes that in order for job-seekers to find gainful and meaningful employment in the green economy, they need a clear guide that lays out the details of work in Canada’s major green industries.

The soon-to-be-released Green Jobs Map explores the top sectors in the green economy that are hiring new workers, the types of competencies that employers value most and some of the most common job titles that green companies are looking to fill.

The full, national version of this report is available here, along with a supplementary report on the unique characteristics of jobs in Ontario’s green economy.

This regional report was developed in partnership with Evergreen, and includes new detail on the types of employers that have the most vacancies for green professionals in Ontario, as well as an analysis of how key aspects of green employment in this province compare to national trends.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at some of the most noteworthy, and in some cases, unexpected, highlights of The Green Jobs Map:

Top Sectors for Job Openings

Contrary to the popular assumption that the green economy is creating the greatest number of jobs in emerging sectors, The Green Jobs Map found that the bulk of new job vacancies were actually in two well-established areas: the Environmental Protection sector (38% of new green job postings) and the Resource Conservation sector (21% of job vacancies).

In-Demand Green Skills

Out of a pool of over 800 job listings, the same top green competencies were frequently mentioned.

To support the integration of environmental knowledge and expertise into new business areas, many employers were looking for green professionals who had competencies in Corporate Environmental Program Planning and Implementation (32% of job postings listed this competency), Environmental Business, Technology and Product Development (mentioned in 31% of job vacancies) and Natural Resources Planning and Management (28% of new jobs).

Required Experience and Education

High levels of education and experience are paramount for work in the Canadian green economy.

Only 2% of the green job postings that we analyzed mentioned a requirement for a high school diploma or less, while a hefty 78% of these jobs required a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Employers were also looking for significant levels of experience in job candidates, with 38% of job openings listing a requirement for 2 to 4 years of relevant work experience and an additional 44% of these jobs requiring 5 to 10 years of experience.

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