Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Green and White Collar Jobs

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David Levy at Climate Inc. has a post about “green and white collar jobs” in which he discusses firms and products in the IT sector that are poised to drive green job opportunities – another important dimension of IS for environmental sustainability in which innovation is critical (my emphasis in bold):

Some of the sectors, such as windows, insulation, and water treatment, are not exactly what comes to mind when we think about clean tech, more old-economy than high-tech solar. But the growth in green job opportunities will extend well beyond renewables into electronics, software, financial services, and education (see this comprehensive list of reports on green jobs in the US.). Organizations of every type will be seeking “green and white” collar professionals with appropriate expertise. In fact, two new studies on the green labor market argue that an important prerequisite for employees in the new economy is general education in sustainability concepts and climate in particular.

My research with Dr. David Terkla revealed that in the Boston region there are large numbers of software and electronics firms capable of providing the sensors and controls for power management and energy efficiency, for smart buildings or connecting renewables to the grid. Most of these companies don’t currently identify themselves with clean tech. A recentMarketwatch story pointed to energy services and controls, often part of much larger companies, as important beneficiaries of the clean energy economy. Honeywell’s Automation and Control Solutions division, for example, which accounts for 38% of revenue and 32% of operating profits, provides environmental controls for buildings.

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Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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