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The Green Economy

The National Center for O*NET Development, as part of its efforts to keep up with the changing world of work, investigated the impact of green economy activities and technologies on occupational requirements and the development of New and Emerging (N&E) occupations. Results of the research led to the identification of green economic sectors, green increased demand occupations, green enhanced skills occupations, and green new and emerging (N&E) occupations. These occupations are now reflected in the O*NET-SOC system.

For the National Center for O*NET Development's research on the green economy, read Greening of the World of Work: Implications for O*NET-SOC and New and Emerging Occupations (2009) and Greening of the World of Work: Revisiting Occupational Consequences (2011). In addition to these reports on the green economy, the National Center for O*NET Development maintains a Green Book of References that is updated quarterly. Most recently, green tasks have been delevolped for green enhanced skills and green new and emerging occupations; see the O*NET Green Task Development Project report.

Learn, discuss, and share promising practices in creating partnerships for Green Job Workforce Solutions and for leveraging Recovery Act Investments at the Green Jobs Community of Practice external site.

Major work activities of the green economy cover a broad spectrum. To efficiently and effectively determine the potential occupational implications of green technology, workplace activities were categorized under different green economy sectors:

Renewable Energy Generation
This sector covers activities related to developing and using energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. This sector also includes traditional, non-renewable sources of energy undergoing significant green technological changes (e.g., oil, coal, gas, and nuclear).
This sector covers activities related to increasing efficiency and/or reducing environmental impact of various modes of transportation including trucking, mass transit, and freight rail.
Energy Efficiency
This sector covers activities related to increasing energy efficiency (broadly defined), making energy demand response more effective, constructing "smart grids," and other energy efficient activities.
Green Construction
This sector covers activities related to constructing new green buildings, retrofitting residential and commercial buildings, and installing other green construction technology.
Energy Trading
This sector covers financial services related to buying and selling energy as an economic commodity, as well as carbon trading projects.
Energy and Carbon Capture and Storage
This sector covers activities related to capturing and storing energy and/or carbon emissions, as well as technologies related to power plants using the integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technique.
Research, Design, and Consulting Services
This sector encompasses "indirect jobs" to the green economy which includes activities such as energy consulting or research and other related business services.
Environment Protection
This sector covers activities related to environmental remediation, climate change adaptation, and ensuring or enhancing air quality.
Agriculture and Forestry
This sector covers activities related to using natural pesticides, efficient land management or farming, and aquaculture.
This sector covers activities related to industrial manufacturing of green technology as well as energy efficient manufacturing processes.
Recycling and Waste Reduction
This sector covers activities related to solid waste and wastewater management, treatment, and reduction, as well as processing recyclable materials.
Governmental and Regulatory Administration
This sector covers activities by public and private organizations associated with conservation and pollution prevention, regulation enforcement, and policy analysis and advocacy.