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The Thriving Potential of Spain’s Sustainable Economy and Green Jobs

The Thriving Potential of Spain's Sustainable Economy and Green Jobs

At Pyou, in Lavoropiù’s Group, we try to improve every day our attention to the environment, by reducing step by step our impact on Earth. Some of the steps we’ve made so far are: planting our 600’s trees forest with Treedom, which will absorb 101,500 kg of CO2; creating our oasis of biodiversity by sustaining beehives formation with 3BEE, eliminating all single-use plastic from our offices and increasing the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in our car fleet.

We’re deeply committed to exploring the transformative potential of a sustainable economy and green jobs. We view the sustainable economy as a powerful driver of not just environmental stewardship, but also a key to unlocking new avenues for economic growth and employment.

So, what exactly is a sustainable economy? A sustainable economy is an innovative and equitable economic system that values and prioritises environmental health, social well-being, and economic prosperity. It emphasises environmentally friendly practices, and responsible use of resources, and aims to reduce carbon emissions and waste. This economic model fosters resilience, ensuring future generations can thrive in a healthy environment.

Green jobs, on the other hand, are roles in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. They also include jobs that make an enterprise’s operations more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. These jobs are found in sectors such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, and sustainable agriculture, among others.

With a focus on the Spanish context, we are invested in understanding how these two concepts intersect and can be leveraged to bring about significant socio-economic changes, particularly for Spain’s senior professionals.

The Transformative Impact on Spain’s Labour Market

The country is estimated to create approximately 350,000 green jobs annually, ranking ninth globally in the demand for “green skills” in job roles. This shift, driven by a transition to a sustainable economy, is poised to transform the country’s job landscape, particularly for senior professionals who represent nearly 30% of the total unemployed population.

Despite challenges in accessing new job opportunities, these seasoned professionals find the green job sector an appealing prospect. The green sector, with an annual job creation of around 242,000 to 348,000 jobs (according to PINEC 2021-2030 data), encompasses a wide range of areas such as sustainable mobility, smart cities, renewable energy, organic farming, and sustainable tourism.

Spain’s Ascent in the Global Green Job Market

As stated in the “Jobs 2030: Future of Employment, the roadmap for a green and just transition” study conducted by Forética, Spain is the ninth country globally with the highest demand for green skills in job roles. Hence, projects like Generación SAVIA are vital, spotlighting the talent of professionals over 50, enabling them to find opportunities in this burgeoning sector. The Endesa Foundation’s project, in collaboration with the Máshumano Foundation, has been operational for over five years, enhancing the employability of these professionals and helping them venture into emerging sectors like the sustainable economy. These professionals hold the potential to pioneer the transition towards a sustainable economy, addressing climate change, while also stimulating economic growth and employment opportunities.

Four Reasons Why Senior Talent is Essential in Green Jobs

  • Innovation in Unstable Environments: Green job creation often calls for professionals skilled in managing complex processes. Senior professionals, with their extensive work experience, have the ability to solve problems and implement unexplored solutions.
  • Lifelong Learning: Senior professionals are well-prepared to venture into new job niches. Over 70% of the senior individuals surveyed in the “SAVIA Generation Study on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown on unemployed individuals over 50” chose to invest in further education and preparation during the lockdown months.
  • Adapting to Change: Senior professionals’ adaptability is supported by their experience in confronting new technologies throughout their careers. Their analytical skills, critical thinking, and readiness to learn make them see technological change as an opportunity for growth.
  • Leadership and Mentorship Role: Generational diversity is crucial for an effective business organisational culture. The leadership and mentorship role played by senior workers is essential for achieving lasting results in sustainability.

Sustainable Economy Projects Led by SAVIA Talent Aged 50+

SAVIA has witnessed a growing number of senior professionals spearheading entrepreneurship projects in the sustainable economy. Notable projects include The Sky Garden, an initiative by 52-year-old Ana Atienza that aims to clean city pollution, promote energy saving, and support the cultivation of organic products through the design and implementation of green rooftops and urban gardens. Other examples include the Bolulla Valley project by 56-year-old Manuel Lencero, which seeks to boost the economic activity of the Marina Baja region in Alicante through sustainable avocado farming, and 61-year-old Icíar Aresti’s Añino Regina Merina project, which produces and markets 100% biological footwear and garments using merino wool from Extremadura.

Conclusion: Shaping the Future of Sustainable Economy and Green Jobs in Spain

As Spain steadily emerges as a global player in the green job market, the future of its sustainable economy holds immense potential. The rise in demand for green skills and the expansion of sectors such as renewable energy, sustainable mobility, organic farming, and ecotourism reflect a promising shift towards a sustainable future.

A sustainable economy in Spain is much more than a trend; it is a necessary path for both environmental preservation and economic growth. It is an opportunity to revolutionise industries, creating not only resilient but also economically prosperous systems that work harmoniously with the environment rather than against it.

Achieving a sustainable economy involves concerted efforts across various sectors and demographics. It necessitates policies that support green technologies and sustainable practices, business strategies that prioritise sustainability, and a workforce that is equipped with green skills. As demonstrated, Spain’s senior professionals, with their depth of experience and ability to adapt, can play a crucial role in this transition.

Moreover, education and lifelong learning will be key to this transformation. As more professionals are trained in green skills, Spain can build a robust and skilled workforce ready to lead the charge in the sustainable economy. It also involves fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, as shown by senior professionals who have spearheaded sustainable projects, proving that innovation in sustainability can come at any age.

Ultimately, the success of Spain’s sustainable economy will be measured by its ability to balance economic growth with environmental preservation, ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for generations to come. At Pyou, we’re excited to be part of this journey, fostering understanding and advocating for a future where the economy and the environment thrive together.