As the country is trying to breathe life back into the economy and as global warming and other biological hazards continue, the number of green jobs or professions is growing fast. There is no short answer to define what makes a green professional. As of yet, it is only a generally accepted idea or concept. But, the revolution of understanding these concepts more and more important as we move towards alternative energy, innovation, and long-term green economic growth.
Green Building Incentives
In an effort to spur economic growth and create alternative energies, governments around the world with help from green professionals, have implemented incentives including tax cuts to individuals and businesses that make investments in the energy sector. As individuals and businesses take this advantage, the demand for products and specialists are increasing. It is becoming ever more important to be able to define these jobs for the sake of workforce development and training. An accepted standard like LEED will make sure that certificate programs provide accurate training that matches the skills needed for the job. Also, accepted environmental standards will help filter out phony business and industry that are considered "greenwashing" their eco impact.
Classification of Green
The classification of these green jobs and businesses is just as difficult and important. Most people agree that a green business is one that produces environmentally friendly products and services. However, no one knows or agrees just how far up that chain we should go. It needs to be clear what percentage of a job or business has to be environmentally friendly in order to be classified as so, and if that job or business produces anything directly or indirectly environmentally unfriendly, should they still be considered green. For example, if an individual or business produces steel for windmills, but then turns around and also produces steel for automobiles, should they still be considered green.
Should a business be labeled “Green” if they employ some environmentally friendly practices? Is simply using environmental appliances and lighting enough? The answer is not entirely. The total scope of a project from start to finish needs to be considered.
Green classifications like the LEED rating system have been developed to provide the total groundwork for a project to be considered sustainable. Global standards are important and, like LEED, need development and acceptance throughout the industry. The LEED rating system has achieved just that and has emerged as a leader in the sustainable construction industry.
The establishment of a legitimate and clearly defined green industry will benefit the economy as a whole as well as people in other occupations. Bankers, accountants, lawyers, etc. will provide supporting services to projects. This raises another question; whether the providers of these supporting services should be considered green. If so, this would mean that they will qualify even if they have an indirect impact on environmental quality. Another question to consider is whether all employees of green businesses should be considered; sales, administrative, receptionist, etc. In order to maintain environment standards it is recommended that all employees should be encouraged or required to become accredited.