Green jobs are here today and more are coming in the future. A new survey of human resources professionals reveals that more companies today are preparing for the green jobs revolution by either creating new green jobs or adding green duties to existing positions. According to the survey, 40 percent of the respondents said their companies are beginning to look at green jobs and how they fit into their business model.
The report findings were published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the largest HR association in the world. To help refine their survey, SHRM has defined green jobs as positions that reduce pollution or waste, reduce energy use, reduce the use of limited natural resources, protect wildlife or ecosystems, or a position that focuses on lowering carbon emissions or develops an alternative energy strategy.
The SHRM survey shows that 40 percent of the respondents are focusing on green jobs while 5 percent are considering it. Although 55 percent of those surveyed said their businesses aren’t focused on green jobs specifically, 79 percent said their company’s interest in green jobs has increased over the past two years.
A question asked of those 55 percent who work in a company that is not focusing on green jobs provides some insight into their answers. When asked why they weren’t looking more at green jobs, 75 percent of respondents said there was no need or that the opportunity did not exist for green jobs at their organizations. Despite the popular thought that green jobs are too expensive to implement and support, only 17 percent of respondents said cost was a prohibiting factor in their organization’s green jobs expansion.
The survey also examined the types of jobs that are seeing growth, with office and administrative support occupations seeing the most eco-related growth according to HR professionals. The main green role of these positions is to support the company's attempts to reduce its environmental impact.
You may not consider an administrative assistant to be a green job, but an assistant's role in creating a more sustainable workplace is important. Traditionally a green job is defined as a position in a clean energy-related field, something that has direct and positive environmental benefit. However, SHRM’s expanded definition of a green job is certainly something to ponder.