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Green IT officer: a must have position in China

David Bicknell | No Comments
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There has been a lot of blog comment about this article in the Economist, which suggests that there are growing numbers of Chinese graduates aspiring to join China's massive bureaucracy.

As the article says, the pay isn't great, but is offset by job security and good welfare benefits. The competition, however, is fierce. This year there were 16,000 jobs on offer, one for every 64 test-takers.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that there were nearly 5,000 applications for the most sought-after post, that of "energy conservation and technology equipment officer". In other words, someone looking after Green IT.

That's a refreshing outlook. Would that we had the same clamour to do the job here.

That reminded me of a survey which came out a few months ago by the Green IT specialist Externus which revealed that responsibility for implementing green measures in businesses is being taken-on by staff in a variety of different positions.

The majority of the UK professionals surveyed (34%) reported that, in their organisations, directors and senior management were in charge of green initiatives. For other businesses, responsibility was mixed; 13 per cent said that it fell to a dedicated 'green' person, while 17 per cent identified the facilities manager. 

Other roles identified as having environmental policy responsibilities included office managers or administrators (6%) and human resources (4%). Eight per cent were unsure whose remit it was and as over ten percent reported that nobody within the organisation held responsibility.

Over half of those surveyed (56%) confirmed that green improvements are on their company agenda

The areas of business which respondents felt most benefited from green improvements included IT (67%), marketing (52%), finance (51%) and human resources (39%)

"The results show clearly that, in most organisations, the desire to make improvements clearly exists," says Murray Sherwood, Externus' managing director. "Yet for any changes to be successful, initiatives that can reduce energy waste and enhance green credentials, such as green IT, require commitment from all areas of the business.

"Defining or understanding who in the business holds responsibility is of great importance if sustained green improvements are to be made. A potential reason for the failure of green IT, or indeed any other change management programme, is because of a lack of proper planning at CEO-level or director level. 

"Convincing management about the potential benefits of Green IT is, therefore, even more crucial than changing the mindset of IT staff."

Green Jobs: a different perspective

David Bicknell | No Comments
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With David Cameron's comments on green jobs in mind, I came across this interesting perspective on job creation from Andrew Winston. He believes that we've been talking about the new economy jobs entirely the wrong way.

He says, "Admit it, what do you picture when you hear the phrase "green jobs"? Mainly solar installers and wind turbine mechanics, right? In a recent, skeptical Newsweek article, the author laments that "green-tech workers - people who do things like design and build wind turbines or solar panels - now make up only 0.6 percent of the American workforce." When described this way, pursuing green jobs doesn't seem like much of an economic growth plan.

"Those clearly defined green jobs do lie at the core of this new world, and they are in fact growing fast, sometimes literally replacing what came before......But there are more subtle shifts in labor going on as companies that did one thing in the old economy are finding their skills useful in the new one. Another company, Global Marine Energy, has been installing and maintaining undersea cables for over 150 years. After serving the telecom and oil & gas industries for decades, it's now also stringing cable to offshore wind farms all over Europe.

"A new green economy is just that...a whole new economy, with job openings at all skill levels, from truck drivers to inventors of new battery chemistries. The solar or wind installer is just the tip of a very large iceberg that's coming our way. Will we let it pass by or take our piece?"

 

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