Concept and statistical definition of green jobs
Concept and policy definition
Green jobs are decent jobs in any economic sector that: (i) reduce consumption of energy and raw materials; (ii) limit greenhouse gas emissions; (iii) minimize waste and pollution; and (iv) protect and restore ecosystems (UNEP, ILO, IOE, ITUC, 2008). Green jobs help reduce environmental impact, ultimately to levels that are sustainable.
Green jobs are a direct response to three current global major challenges – averting dangerous climate change and environmental degradation; delivering socially responsible development through decent work and reducing inequalities; and effectively eliminating poverty. Creating green jobs and adapting existing occupations are critical for promoting the transition to a green economy – a low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive society.
Statistical Definition (October 2013)
To help produce statistics on green jobs that will inform environmental, social and economic policies and labour market, it is necessary to define green jobs statistically. Information has to be provided independently about both the environmental and the decent work dimensions. The ILO therefore proposes to develop statistical standards that ease the production of datasets that include separate statistics on both employment in environmental activities and on decent work (ILO, 2013).
Green jobs are a subset of employment in the environmental sector that meets the requirements of decent work – adequate wages, safe conditions, workers’ rights, social dialogue and social protection. A job in any economic unit is statistically defined as ‘green’ if it is involved in the following:
- environmental protection activities, whose primary purpose is to prevent, reduce, eliminate pollution and other forms of degradation of the environment (prevention, reduction, elimination of air emissions, treatment and disposal of contaminated soil and groundwater, etc.); and
- resource management activities, whose primary purpose is to preserve and maintain the natural resources stock and safeguarding against depletion (reducing the withdrawals of natural resources, restoring natural resource stocks, etc.).
To assess employment within green jobs, the measurement of employment in the environmental sector should account for employment from an output perspective as well as from a process perspective: jobs are ‘green’ by products (services) or processes:
- jobs in the production of environmental outputs are employment in the production of environmental goods/services for consumption outside the production unit. To measure employment in production of environmental output, the environmental sector is defined as those establishments where all or at least some of the goods or services produced belong to the environmental goods and services domain and are designated for consumption outside the establishment; and
- jobs in environmental processes are employment in the production of environmental goods/services for consumption within the production unit. To measure employment in environmental processes, data about job‐related characteristics such as occupation, the specific tasks and duties undertaken in the jobs and the kind of processes or technologies used are required.