A study commissioned by Global Action Plan (GAP), an organisation dedicated to changing people’s behaviour to help the environment, asked leading businesses including Sainsbury’s, Bosch and Siemens where they envisioned new green careers emerging.
The results were surprising according to GAP founding partner Trewin Restorick: “Mention the term ‘green job’ to people and it is likely they will think about organic farmers or climate change officers… [but there] will be green jobs growing in sectors people never expected – from call centre advisers providing guidance on household energy efficiency measures, to retail staff who will help consumers make the most sustainable choices.”
Estimates based on Department of Energy & Climate Change research predict that by 2020 the number of green jobs will increase to 1.4m – up from 1m today – with the green economy expected to roughly halve the UK’s trade deficit in 2014/15, according to CBI figures.
Here are the 10 future careers that GAP expects to emerge as a result of the growth of green economy:
- Green engineers – domestic engineers will not only repair your broken appliances but also give your house a ‘wattage test’ to tell you how much energy your appliances are using and how to use them more effectively
- Water footprinting manager – who can calculate how much water a business is using and suggest more water-efficient ways to produce goods and services
- Virtual health support workers – will talk patients through using equipment to monitor their health themselves at home, reducing the burden on the health service, and cutting the amount of time patients spend travelling into hospitals and will speed up the recovery process.
- Retail energy specialists – who will be able to provide with customers with informed advice on which appliances are the most energy and water efficient.
- Living roof/wall gardeners – who will be required to help these green spaces thrive – which can cut local air pollution, better insulate buildings and increase biodiversity.
- Green call-centre advisers – ‘green experts’ able to provide guidance to households over the phone how they can use their appliances more efficiently to save energy, water and money.
- Smart travel co-ordinators – who can implement new technology systems to cut travel time and congestion, enabling people to plan their journeys better, cut traffic jams and to optimise journeys.
- Traceability managers – scandals such as horsemeat highlight how concerns will grow amongst consumers about whether the goods they buy have been produced ethically and have been properly labelled. Traceability managers will be employed by companies to check the source for the products they sell.
- Clean car mechanics – there will be a whole new generation of cars from hybrids through to electric and skilled mechanics will be required to service and repair them.
- Landfill miners – resource costs will rise as demand grows, meaning stuff we have thrown away in the past will increase in value and will be ‘mined’ from old landfill sites.
A spokesman for GAP said: “For businesses it’s also about the bottom line. Taking a green approach makes sense, especially as energy costs rise.”
We at Allen & York, can add to this list by suggesting that we will see a growth in Green Procurement, Energy in Buildings and Facilities Management, as well as growth in Energy from Waste and Waste Management.