A new milestone towards an international statistical definition of green jobs

At the 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) held from 2 to 11 October in Geneva, Switzerland, labour statisticians discussed and adopted new guidelines for the statistical definition of employment in the environmental sector.

News | 17 October 2013
The guidelines define the environmental sector as consisting of all economic units producing, designing and manufacturing goods and services for the purposes of environmental protection and resource management. Importantly, the guidelines draw a distinction between employment in the production of environmental goods and services for consumption by other economic units (i.e. employment in production of environmental outputs) and for consumption by the economic unit in which the activity is performed (i.e. employment in environmental processes). Green jobs are specifically referred to as a subset of employment in the environmental sector, meeting the requirements of decent work, including adequate wages, safe conditions, workers’ rights, social dialogue and social protection.

Delegates highlighted the importance of developing statistical standards and methods for the relatively new concept of green jobs. With an increasing number of countries embarking on green economy strategies there is a need for harmonized methodologies and statistics on green jobs for the planning, designing and monitoring such transitions. Delegates agreed that statistical definitions and measurement methods are at an initial phase and intensive testing and piloting are required to accumulate country experiences based on the guidelines. A call was made to further research on methodologies for estimating employment in the environmental sector.

It is expected that the guidelines endorsed by the labour statistician community will prompt follow-up at national level. This will allow for the accumulation of experiences and enable to further improvement the set guidelines.