A Guide to the BC Economy and Labour Market
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  The green economy  

In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest in the environment, and with more attention being paid to initiatives such as recycling or reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions, it's hardly surprising that some industries with strong ties to the environment are among the fastest-growing in the province. For example, employment in waste management & remediation has more than tripled since 1990.

We don't often think of the waste management industry as a green industry, but in many ways, it is a key player in the emerging "green" economy. Waste management and remediation includes hauling and disposing of garbage, but companies in this industry are also involved in the collection of items for recycling and in the remediation and clean-up of contaminated buildings, mines sites, soil or ground water.

At the moment, there is not a lot of information available about the size of the green economy. As is the case for tourism and high tech, "green" activities are found in many different industries. One definition of green jobs includes workers in "agriculture, manufacturing, research and development, administrative and service activities that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality."3

This would include waste management, as well as manufacturing activities such as using recycled compost to make fertilizer, building energy-efficient hybrid cars, and recycling tin cans, plastic bags and used paper into new products.

Development of alternative energy sources such as wind power could also be considered part of the green economy. Environmental consulting and testing and research into developing more environmentally-friendly industrial processes would also be included.

Although good sources of information on the size and growth of this sector are not yet available, it is likely that industries with ties to the green economy will continue to see relatively strong growth in the future as more attention continues to be focuses on environmental issues.

A Guide to the BC Economy and Labour MarketA Guide to the BC Economy and Labour Market