Vancouver's green jobs growth spurt led by local food businesses: report

Green jobs in Vancouver increased 19% between 2010 and 2013, but more work is needed to meet ambitious City of Vancouver goals to become the ...

Sean Dory, co-founder of Vancouver urban farming business Sole Food Farm. A report from the Vancouver Economic Commission says green jobs have grown in the past three years, led by local food

Green jobs in Vancouver increased 19% between 2010 and 2013, but more work is needed to meet ambitious City of Vancouver goals to become the “greenest city” in the world by 2020, according to a report released by the Vancouver Economic Commission June 19.

Green and local food jobs currently represent 4.9% (20,000) of all the jobs in Vancouver, says the report. That’s up from 4.2%, or 16,700, in 2010.

The VEC defines a green job as “an occupation that has a focus on those activities that restore or preserve environmental quality, reduce energy, materials and water consumption, decarbonize the economy, and minimize or altogether avoid the generation of all forms of waste and pollution.”

It defines a local food job as “A job involved in the production, retailing, or processing in Vancouver of food that originated in British Columbia.”

The VEC says green jobs can be found in seven sectors: local food; green building design and construction; clean technology, alternative energy, and green building products; green infrastructure, transportation and planning; sustainability services and education; land and water remediation and environmental consulting; and materials management and recycling.

Vancouver’s green economy is growing faster than other sectors, with local food being the largest sector and also the area that has experienced the most growth.

Initiatives that are needed to grow the number of green jobs in Vancouver include a kick start fund for local entrepreneurs, a green innovation fund, a demonstration platform for new technologies and a green enterprise zone, says the report.

jstdenis@biv.com

@jenstden

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