What is a 'Green collar'

A green collar worker is an employee of the environmental sector who focuses on sustainability and conservation. This can range from renewable energy and energy efficiency, to policy, design, education and technological development.

BREAKING DOWN 'Green collar'

Green collar workers help satisfy the demand for green development. Environmental policies are making more companies change their business plans and hiring practices to include people who have skills in environmental, energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. 

History of Green Economy

Talks about developing a green economy aren't new. One of the first significant moments when it was discussed was in a study published in the 1970s that examined economic and population growth with a finite resource supply. But sustainability and a green economy has become a big part of the global agenda, thanks, in part, to the scientific studies about how the economic model needs to change in the wake of climate change and environmental damage. 

Justifications for a Green Economy

Many companies are making changes to their corporate culture and image to include the environment and social responsibility, partly because of the impact that can have on the health of the communities they serve. Simply, the more socially aware a company is, the bigger a relationship it can have with its community. Some of these changes include reducing carbon footprints, raising the importance and value of natural resources and hiring green collar workers.

Those who favor a green economy believe that it leads to the greater well-being of humans and to greater social equity, and can give a much-needed boost to the global economy. Adopting a more green-friendly approach also leads to the reduction in environmental risks and increased efficiency — companies can find alternative energy sources and cut down the need for and consumption of natural resources. 

Some believe that a push toward developing sustainable energy sources could help create millions of jobs, thereby helping strengthen the global economy, especially by increasing labor conditions in developing economies. 

Green Collar Jobs

Some green collar jobs include environmental consultants, renewable energy engineers and installers, recycling managers, environmental lawyers and educators, and green building architects. The common theme is responsible use of natural resources. (For related reading, see: 9 Green Careers With High Pay.)

Many of these positions are blue collar jobs with an environmental focus. For instance, there may be green collar positions available in the manufacturing and construction industries, or in maintenance and repair. In these cases, workers will normally be equipped with additional technical skills and job training that have an environmental focus. Some examples include insulation installers and waste management and recycling workers.

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