This Herman Trend Alert is the first in a series about jobs on the leading edge of technologies.
Thanks to former Vice President Al Gore raising our consciousness to the need for attention to carbon emissions, and more importantly business and industry’s desire to "do the right thing," there is a growing number of jobs attached to energy-saving, leading-edge technologies to complement the "green imperative" generated by the energy crisis.
According to a study by Management Information Services Inc., a Washington, D.C., research firm that has been tracking green jobs for two decades, the new industries of environmental management and protection have created 5.3 million jobs in the United States alone.
In the past, environmental jobs were mostly about regulatory compliance; now, they are supporting a wide variety of initiatives, including sustainability, water processing, and alternative energies. By 2010, "green employment" will reach 5.8 million jobs and by 2020, a whopping 6.9 million.
Moreover, sales in the green-industries — including energy suppliers and consumer-products makers — are expected to climb from $341 billion in 2010 to $496 billion in 2020. When industries grow like this, you can expect significant job creation.
Green initiatives are everywhere. According to Harry Epstein, Vice President for Innovation with the HAVI Solutions Group, the company that supplies quick-serve restaurants and convenience stores with everything except food, "Sustainability is top-of-mind for our customers." Epstein is constantly searching for improved materials and processes to help his clients be "greener," while improving the products and services delivered.
What more and more employers have discovered, particularly in light of the IBM Global Business Services Study on Corporate Social Responsibility, is that "being green" is cost-effective in all kinds of ways … not only does it make the organization more attractive to employees, but to customers as well.