Green jobs aren’t limited to the United States; the green jobs movement is gaining steam around the world. Over the past few weeks I’ve seen several articles about green jobs in foreign countries. Here are just a few of the highlights.
An article that appears on The Economic Times website discusses the green jobs boom that may happen in India in the coming years.
In India alone, headhunters estimate about one million green jobs will open up over the next two years alone. “Earlier, the manufacturing sector used to hire health, safety and environment officers to ensure adequate protection. Now such positions are opening up across sectors, and some companies are even hiring chief sustainability officers,” says E Balaji, director and president, Ma Foi Randstad.
This mimics the green jobs growth seen here in the United States. Green jobs are going beyond the clean energy sector as businesses, both large and small, realize the importance of stating and tracking sustainability goals. This focus on sustainability across all sectors is leading to new sustainability departments being built from scratch.
A green jobs project in Vancouver, British Columbia is benefiting low-income at-risk women and benefiting African children at the same time. Mission Possible employs women to gather soaps and lotions that is discarded from area hotels and then repackages them to donate to charities around the world.
“The Downtown Eastside charity will collect the discarded amenities from participating hotels, at a nominal fee of $1 per room per month, said Brian Postlewait, executive director of the Mission Possible. The soaps and bottles will then be newly sanitized and repackaged, ready to be sent to homeless shelters locally and worldwide.
“Over 3.5 million deaths occur every year from respiratory infections and digestive infections in children under five,” Postlewait said. “These deaths are preventable - up to 60 per cent just with proper hand washing.”
This does stretch the definition of green job as this has nothing to do with the clean energy industry. However, the work performed by these women reduces the amount of waste sent to area landfills and has both a positive environmental and social benefit.
Unfortunately all international green jobs news isn’t good news for American workers. While Michigan is suffering from a weak economy and the federal government is trying to help rebuild the state as a leader in a burgeoning green economy, some companies are outsourcing their green jobs. This post by Joseph B. White for The Wall Street Journal blog examines Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) outsourcing of solar cell manufacturing jobs.
“ECD said it will move final assembly of some of its existing solar cell products out of an Auburn Hills, Mich. plant to Tijuana, Mexico. The decision means 140 of ECD’s Michigan workers will be out of a job this fall, the company says. About 750 ECD jobs will remain in Michigan, it says.”