Green jobs are jobs that reduce energy, materials and water consumption, de-carbonize the economy, minimize generation of all forms of waste and pollution, but at the same time increase the wellbeing of people and social equality. In defining the green jobs, two approaches can be distinguished:
- output-oriented approach, according to which green jobs are those associated with the production of green goods and services;
- process-oriented approach, according to which green jobs can be identified via the employee with relevant knowledge and skills, whose work contributes to reduced environmental impact of enterprise or institution.
In Estonia, there is still no statistics or methodology to distinguish green goods and services, hence this project used the process-oriented approach.
The report concludes that many current jobs will have to turn “green”. But in order to accomplish that, the green knowledge and skills need to be integrated into the programs of universities.
Today the environmental topics are covered by a distinct course and not related to the speciality of the program, there is no integration with other topics. The focus should be systematic environmental impact assessment that covers the whole life cycle in manufacturing, but also in administration. University graduates should have a knowledge about green procurement, increasing energy efficiency and reduced waste generation. In addition, it is recommended that the skills of lecturers should be improved, scientific research and collaboration regarding green skills should be improved and special follow-up schooling for today’s workforce should be developed.
In a broader context, all jobs should contribute to green economy, as energy and resource efficiency, reduced pollution and waste generation and the general human impact on natural environment should be part of everyday activity.