A recent study conducted by RDÉE Prince Edward Island found a growing number of employers throughout the province want to become “greener”, either with the help of new employees or by training current staff in the relatively near future.
A survey conducted by Mathieu Arsenault, a consultant from Charlottetown’s Think Forward Solutions, for RDÉE Canada and RDÉE Prince Edward Island last spring, produced statistics that are fairly small yet quite interesting in relation to a more ecologically sound economic development on PEI.
Stéphane Blanchard, economic development officer with RDÉE PEI, notes that about 200 English and French employers (including private, community and governmental) were approached directly to participate in the survey. More than half of the businesses and organizations contacted by phone said they weren’t interested in such a survey or didn’t feel the topic was of any pertinence to their workplace.
Among the 88 respondents, 50 per cent of employers said they were already involved in the “green economy” but only 35 per cent said they had qualified “green” employees. These respondents noted they had already implemented such practices as the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency practices, more efficient construction methods, green transportation, recycling and waste management, pollution control, environmental protection, green and sustainable agricultural practices, sustainable forestry, water treatment, education and awareness or development of sustainable green products.
About 70 per cent of respondents said going greener within the next three years was a top priority.
Eighty-one percent of the 26 respondents who already had green employees noted they had between one and four. Twenty-six also said they expected to hire one to three new employees within the next three years. The main fields for these new employees would be in the areas of management, technical and operations.
“All of this shows that there is a growing demand among employers to integrate extra green practices and jobs within their place of business – particularly in these times when there is so much talk about carbon taxes,” said Blanchard.
Stéphane Blanchard, economic development officer with RDÉE Prince Edward Island, reviews the results of a survey on the green economy conducted this past spring with Emmanuelle Billaux from the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean in Charlottetown.