Green Week – the EU’s biggest annual event on environment policy from 29 May to 2 June – will throw the spotlight on the skills gaps and potential job opportunities in the emerging circular economy.
Today, green employment – up by 20% since 2000 to reach 4.2m jobs in 2014, with a total turnover of around EUR 700bn – is permeating more sectors than ever.
In addition to exploring how to facilitate green job creation, Green Week will showcase many concrete success stories from water resource management, energy efficient construction, renewable energy, eco-tourism and environment-sound urban planning.
Green Week highlights success stories, such as former mining company Umicore that now sources precious metals from old smartphones, dead batteries and industrial scrap. It can retrieve most of the gold contained in circuit boards and transform it into 99.9 % pure solid gold bars. Umicore is planning to add to its already 10 000-strong work force of technicians, operators, chemists, administrative staff and scientists.
Through specially-themed days, Green Week will include a major policy conference in Brussels as well as online debates, twitter chats and events across Europe to showcase emerging green jobs. The programme and some key highlights are as follows:
Monday saw the official opening event in Malta and focused on jobs in the countryside. It explored how EU policy is aiming to stimulate the creation of green jobs in nature restoration, farming, and eco-tourism.
Tuesday puts the spotlight on the water sector. Is EU environmental policy encouraging innovation in the water sector making sure water is preserved as a precious resource in the circular economy? It will also be day one of the Green Jobs Summit with the Green LIFE Awards ceremony in Brussels.
Wednesday: Working for a greener future: examines how, as part of the circular economy, companies and SMEs can expand their markets and create new jobs while transforming existing ones. EU funds are helping to provide training that closes the skills gaps in this transition.
Thursday: Green blue jobs for oceans: looks at jobs in marine and coastal protection and restoration, aquaculture, tourism and ocean energy. Thursday features a high-level event on ‘skills needs in an evolving maritime green economy’.
Friday: Green jobs in your cities: Sustainable urban development ensures cities become more liveable while stimulating innovation and creating green jobs. Green Week closes with the European Green Capital and European Green Leaf awards ceremony in this year’s European Green Capital Essen.
Green Week – from 29 May to 2 June 2017 – is organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment. This key event in the environment policy calendar attracts policy-makers, leading environmentalists, stakeholders and other interested parties from across Europe and the globe.