What’s a “green job”, and what’s a green PM?


We came across an interesting series of postings, tweets, and links, totally by serendipity, but it led to some good questions and reinforced our belief in the word greenality.

Below, in italics, you will see a United States BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) definition of “green jobs”.  Below this post, you will find the detailed description.  But start with the basic one:

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.

There were two immediate discoveries when we did some detective work here.

First, when we followed up and went to the actual US Government sites, we noticed that the supporting text constantly  and repeatedly stumbled looking for a word to describe greenality.  They used “greenness” in most of those cases.  Greenness?  Really?  Our word – greenality -fits the bill.  We will send it along to the author of the document and continue to push for its use.  Remember, greenality means: the degree to which an organization has environmental (green) factors that affect its projects during the entire project life cycle and beyond”.

Second, the two-part definition the BLS uses mimics what we say about the spectrum of green in projects.  There are some projects – such as the creation of a new biofuel facility – in which the project’s outcome is, by definition, green in its purpose.  There are some, however, like a new version of game software, for which the green element is not so obvious.  Like us, the BLS seems to be asserting that “making their establishment’s production processes” (or in our view, their projects) – :more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources”.

This BLS definition is new, but it is reassuring to see that it reflects our thoughts and what we continue to convey to PMs and their organizations via this site and our book.

Here are some references from which we drew this information.




What do you think?  Never mind the US Government for a moment, how would you define a green job?  How would you define a green PM?  We’ve very interested in hearing from you on this topic.

Continue reading “What’s a “green job”, and what’s a green PM?”

Green economy picture gets a little rosier

green roseOne of the most prevalent themes in our soon-to-be-released book, and really what inspired the cover art for the book, is that project managers stand to benefit from the “green wave”, and that although it’s the right thing to do – altruistically – it’s also the right thing to do from a business perspective.
That said, we provide this update from GreenBiz which shows a much rosier picture of the ‘green economy’.

Here’s an extract (note the embedded link directly to the survey data):

“There’s good news this week on the green business front: Budgets and hiring in corporate environmental departments are on the rise. Those are core findings of the twice-annual “Green and the Economy” survey conducted by our GreenBiz Intelligence unit. While the overall economy still seems shaky, corporate environmental and sustainability departments seem to be on much more solid ground.

One big finding of our mid-year 2010 survey is that “the economic downturn is no longer driving most large companies’ environmental strategy,” as my colleague, John Davies, vice president of GreenBiz Intelligence, writes this week. That means environmental initiatives are being driven more on the basis of strategic business decisions, as they should be. Chief among them, Davies found, is that “the economic downturn has taken a backseat to growing customer requirements as the principal driver of corporate environmental strategy.”

Hiring is up, too. Large companies, in particular, are increasing headcounts for environmental and sustainability roles. In early 2009, 27 percent of large companies reported hiring freezes and only 8 percent planned to increase headcount for environmental departments. Today, only 11 percent report hiring freezes and more than 28 percent plan to increase headcount, a major swing.”

You’ll see more from us soon on this topic as we provide some references to Pamela Gordon’s excellent book on this topic, Lean and Green.