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Four in 10 Companies Prepping for Green Jobs

Businesses are going green and it’s not just about getting rid of the Styrofoam coffee cups in the break room. Forty percent of HR professionals say their organization is currently focused on creating green jobs or adding green duties to existing jobs, according to a poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Of the 40 percent of organizations currently planning for green jobs, 65 percent report they have stepped up efforts in the past 12 months while 34 percent have held steady their efforts. Compared to two years ago, 79 percent have boosted their focus on green job creation. Another five percent of businesses plan to add green jobs, reflecting a total of 45 percent actively engaged in green job creation.

To ready workers, 67 percent are or will provide on-the-job training while 31 percent are paying for employees to take skills courses and 28 percent are paying for employees to obtain related certificates or licenses. 

When asked what has taken place during the past 12 months to meet the demands for “greener” ways of working, 81 percent of HR professionals polled said new duties have been added to existing positions at their organization.  Nearly one quarter — 23 percent — reported the creation of completely new green jobs or the addition of green duties within newly created jobs.

“Green jobs are not a far off economic reality but a current business strategy being embraced by many companies, some with small steps and others with wide-scale plans,” said Mark Schmit, director of research at SHRM. “We are particularly encouraged by the efforts organizations are making in adding green duties to existing jobs.”

While the number of organizations able to create completely new green jobs is relatively low, HR professionals said adding green duties to existing job categories is practical and achievable.

Among the 55 percent of organizations not focusing on green jobs, the overwhelming majority — 75 percent — said no need or opportunity exists in their organization for green jobs while 17 percent cited the cost implication for creating green jobs. Only 16 percent noted a lack of support by management.