news | 2021-05-12
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Green transition and working life – new report on the state of knowledge and continued research needs

Society's green transformation means a structural transformation that will create new jobs in new industries, require new skills, new ways of organizing work and new business models. The change also involves risks linked to the work environment as well as uncertain and unclear employment conditions, such as in the gig economy. Researchers at IVL have looked at how working life may be affected by the green transition, what is known today and what continued research needs there are.

In the report “Green transition and working life”, the authors describe what the concept of green transition can include, which industries are assumed to be affected, and what consequences the transition can have for gender equality and equality. The assignment included making an overview of existing research, highlighting knowledge gaps and future research needs.

A general conclusion is that a diversity of perspectives is needed in future knowledge development around green transition and working life, not least to create a greater space for social perspectives in the green transition.

– The impact of the green transition on society depends on the courses of action and active choices made in politics, business and working life. Choice of path in environmental and climate policy is expected to be decisive for the development of working life, says Peter Bjerkesjö at IVL, who was project manager for the report.

Research on the consequences of the green transition for working life is limited, especially concerning Swedish conditions. Research that combines the perspectives of environment, climate, innovation and working life is needed for society to be able to work proactively with both education and skills supply as well as change in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase resource efficiency, and for future working life to be healthy and inclusive.

New ways of working can make new demands

Few completely new professions are expected from the change, but many may require new ways of working, skills and training requirements. The changeover may also lead to uncertain and unclear employment conditions, such as those connected to the platform in the gig economy or employees in recycling and recycling.

– The investigation shows that most work environment risks that are expected are not new in themselves, but they are combined with new conditions for work environment work. They can appear in new work steps in combination with old risks, be moved to companies that do not have sufficient work environment knowledge, that lack resources and whose employees lack sufficient training, says Fanny Isaksson Lantto at IVL, who has been an investigator in the project.

The report has been produced on behalf of Formas, the Research Council for Sustainable Development, and Forte, the Research Council for Human Health, Working Life and Welfare, and the Social Fund's thematic platform for sustainable working life.

Download the report here: Green transition and working life Pdf, 1.4 MB, opens in new window.

Read more on Forte's website. External link, opens in new window.

For more information, please contact:
Peter Bjerkesjö, peter.bjerkesjo@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 67 19
Fanny Isaksson Lantto, fanny.isaksson.lantto@ivl.se. +46 (0)10-788 67 33


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Last updated: 2021-10-04

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has a wide environmental profile. We combine applied research and development with close collaboration between industry and the public sphere. Our consultancy is evidence-based, and our research is characterized by interdisciplinary science and system thinking.

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