US Bureau of Labor Statistics Publishes Definition of Green Jobs

[Federal Register: September 21, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 182)]
[Page 57506-57514]

Final BLS definition of green jobs. BLS has developed this definition of green jobs for use in data collection in two planned surveys.

Green jobs are either:

  • A. Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
  • B. Jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.
The BLS approach to identifying each type of green job for measurement purposes is described in more detail below. The planned BLS surveys may identify and count some jobs in both surveys.
  • A. Jobs in businesses that produce goods and provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. These goods and services are sold to customers, and include research and development, installation, and maintenance services. This definition will be used in the BLS survey of establishments in industries that produce green goods and services. Green goods and services fall into one or more of five groups:
    1. 1. Energy from renewable sources. Electricity, heat, or fuel generated from renewable sources. These energy sources include wind, biomass, geothermal, solar, ocean, hydropower, landfill gas, and municipal solid waste.
    2. 2. Energy efficiency. Products and services that improve energy efficiency. Included in this group are energy-efficient equipment, appliances, buildings, and vehicles, as well as products and services that improve the energy efficiency of buildings and the efficiency of energy storage and distribution, such as Smart Grid technologies.
    3. 3. Pollution reduction and removal, greenhouse gas reduction, and recycling and reuse. These are products and services that:
      • Reduce or eliminate the creation or release of pollutants or toxic compounds, or remove pollutants or hazardous waste from the environment.
      • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through methods other than renewable energy generation and energy efficiency, such as electricity generated from nuclear sources.
      • Reduce or eliminate the creation of waste materials; collect, reuse, remanufacture, recycle, or compost waste materials or wastewater.
    4. 4. Natural resources conservation. Products and services that conserve natural resources. Included in this group are products and services related to organic agriculture and sustainable forestry; land management; soil, water, or wildlife conservation; and stormwater management.
    5. 5. Environmental compliance, education and training, and public awareness. These are products and services that:
      • Enforce environmental regulations.
      • Provide education and training related to green technologies and practices.
      • Increase public awareness of environmental issues.
  • B. Jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. These workers research, develop, maintain, or use technologies and practices to lessen the environmental impact of their establishment, or train the establishment's workers or contractors in these technologies and practices. This definition will be used in the BLS survey of establishments across all industries to identify jobs related to green technologies and practices used within the establishment. These technologies and practices fall into one or more of four groups:
    1. 1. Energy from renewable sources. Generating electricity, heat, or fuel from renewable sources primarily for use within the establishment. These energy sources include wind, biomass, geothermal, solar, ocean, hydropower, landfill gas, and municipal solid waste.
    2. 2. Energy efficiency. Using technologies and practices to improve energy efficiency within the establishment. Included in this group is cogeneration (combined heat and power).
    3. 3. Pollution reduction and removal, greenhouse gas reduction, and recycling and reuse. Using technologies and practices within the establishment to:
      • Reduce or eliminate the creation or release of pollutants or toxic compounds, or remove pollutants or hazardous waste from the environment.
      • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through methods other than renewable energy generation and energy efficiency.
      • Reduce or eliminate the creation of waste materials; collect, reuse, remanufacture, recycle, or compost waste materials or wastewater.
    4. 4. Natural resources conservation. Using technologies and practices within the establishment to conserve natural resources. Included in this group are technologies and practices related to organic agriculture and sustainable forestry; land management; soil, water, or wildlife conservation; and stormwater management.

Read the entire federal document. September 22, 2010.

See also our forum: what is a green job?