We’ve heard of blue-collar jobs and white-collar jobs. What about green jobs? Find out more in this article.
According to the United Nations Environment Program, green jobs are jobs that contribute to the preservation and restoration of the environment. Green jobs aim to improve energy and raw materials efficiency, manage greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste and pollution, protect ecosystems and slow down the effects of climate change. These jobs can be found across traditional and emerging industries such as manufacturing, construction, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Here are some of the fastest growing industries offering green jobs:
The electric vehicle market has grown a lot in the past few years as more people are aware of the detrimental effects of carbon emissions to the environment. The market has evolved from hybrid vehicles to the more sustainable electric vehicles. Tesla, Inc, is an automotive and energy company making waves around the world with their fully electric cars. This emerging industry has created a demand for jobs such as automotive engineers, system integrators, vehicle manufacturers, engine manufactures and component providers who specialise in electric vehicles.
The awareness on the 3R initiative (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) is higher than it has ever been before. We can see recycling bins in places such as housing areas, shopping malls and schools. Retail outlets, supermarkets and restaurants are also reducing the use of plastic by encouraging customers to bring their own bags, reusable containers and straws. In Malaysia, we are also encouraged to separate our waste in to recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Therefore, there are many job opportunities in the solid waste management industry. Recycled items such as plastic, paper and glass need to collected, sorted and processed to become raw materials to make new products.
The interest in renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, water and biofuel from plants have soared in recent years. Engineers are highly sought after in this area, especially mechanical engineers and electrical engineers. They are responsible for designing hydroelectric dams, solar cells, wind turbines and electricity systems. Research and development positions are also needed to find new ways to harness and distribute these sources. For example, converting plants into ethanol, sun into hot water and landfill gas into fuel. Other important jobs in the renewable energy are farmers and solar panel installers.
Individuals who work in water conservation aim to protect existing and future water supplies by making sure water sources are not exploited or mismanaged. Civil engineers play a big part in water conservation by building dams and designing sewer systems. In addition, environmental engineers are also needed to find environmentally friendly methods of purifying polluted bodies of water and creating industrial water treatment facilities.
Other than the industries mentioned, important green jobs also lie within the education industry. Teachers and lecturers are needed to educate young individuals on topics such as the environment, sustainability and climate change. In addition, green jobs also cover positions at non-government organisations that aim to raise awareness on environmental issues and the steps we can take to ensure the planet is habitable for generations to come.