EU Green Week 2017: Green jobs for a greener future

Organised by The European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment, EU Green Week carries out annually and aims to debate European environmental policy. This year from 29 May to 2 June 2017, policymakers, leading environmentalists and stakeholders will discuss green jobs as a way towards a greener future. During the event people from all over Europe and globe will talk about the role of EU environmental policies creating green jobs and contributing to economy.

It is obvious that nowadays reality creates a need for absolutely new skills and even professions. And at a time of global ecological problems, we can feel a need for green jobs. But what exactly is a green job? According to the United Nations Environment Program a green job is “work in agricultural, manufacturing, research and development, administrative, and service activities that contribute(s) substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality. Specifically, but not exclusively, this includes jobs that help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity; reduce energy, materials, and water consumption through high efficiency strategies; de-carbonize the economy; and minimize or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution”.

In what spheres are green jobs present? Since an industry addresses a diverse amount of issues, the employment conditions vary a lot. It can be an office or outside work, green workers may have an environmental, science or management background. The main idea is that all professions focus on a efficient use of natural resources.

For example, an urban grower can help the environment by minimizing the use of fertilizers, fossil fuels, and use of space. Growing food in a city and for the city, an urban grower can use roofs, for example. A clean car engineer works on remaking vehicles that consume less fuel, which reduces pollution, an aquatic biologist carry out monitoring and run tests in laboratories in order to conserve water resources, an ecotourism guide shows people sustainable ways of travelling in order to reduce their negative impact on nature, an energy manager designs energy programs that increase efficiency and reduce energy-related costs, a resource manager ensures that all government regulations are properly implemented and so making sure there will be resources left for future generations, a solar engineer and wind energy engineer design projects to use renewable sources of energy, an environmental public relations specialist ensures that private businesses and the general public are well informed about the importance of pollution prevention and control, etc.

You can become a green entrepreneur as well! Understanding the importance and benefits of increasing the number of green businesses, YEE developed the “Green Entrepreneurship” project in 2015. The aim of the project was to equip youth workers with skills in promotion, coordinating and supporting young entrepreneurs who wanted to create environmentally friendly start-ups. In addition, we wanted to explore ways and share ideas on how to encourage young people to develop their green start-up initiatives. Check more information about the project here.     

Check the website of the event, get inspired and discover which green jobs there are close to you!