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Overview of the Green Economy


The green elements of BC’s economy are growing faster than the province’s economy as a whole and are expected to continue to do so over the next decade.

          The GLOBE Foundation

The majority of green jobs in BC are not new occupations but are, for the most part, created from existing occupations. They are jobs that are being re-designed to help reduce the impact of humans on the environment, to promote sustainability, and to encourage the efficient use of energy and resources. An example would be an automotive technician whose skills are shifting to include more work with hybrid and electric vehicles.

Six key sectors are responsible for supplying the bulk of the green products and services in BC:

  • Clean & Alternative Energy: including renewable energy, bioenergy, and fuel cells
  • Energy Management & Efficiency: including energy storage & transmission, energy efficient lighting and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), and public transportation
  • Green Building and Community Design: including construction and building materials, architecture & green infrastructure, and sustainable development
  • Environmental Protection: including elements of agriculture and silviculture, pollution control, land and water remediation, environmental consulting and engineering, materials management and recycling
  • Carbon Finance & Investment: including carbon management, offset markets, and venture capital
  • Green Knowledge & Support: including research and development, advanced education and training, law, information technology, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and the public sector

The Figures on the Green Economy Development in Vancouver:

  • one in 15 Vancouverites works in the green economy
  • increase of 23% in green jobs since 2013
  • 26% increase in local food Jobs since 2013
  • green and local food jobs in Vancouver increased from 16,700 jobs in 2010 to 24,700 jobs in 2016, an increase of 47% increase since 2010
  • green and local food jobs represent roughly 6 per cent of all jobs in Vancouver, increasing from 4.2 per cent of jobs in 2010
  • 25% of Canada’s ‘Cleantech’ companies are based in Vancouver
  • in 2016, 2,544 total jobs in ‘Cleantech’, 7.1% increase since 2010
  • since 2010, 52% increase in construction employment in green buildings
  • in 2016, 7,689 total jobs in green buildings construction

Estimated growth potential for green jobs in BC to 2020

Table from: Globe Foundation: British Columbia’s Green Economy 2010

For more information on BC’s green economy see:

Occupations in the Green Economy

All occupational sectors contribute to BC’s green economy to varying degrees.

Green jobs in agriculture (which include farmers and farm managers, aquaculture operators, nursery and greenhouse operators, and landscaping and ground maintenance supervisors) employ the most people in BC’s green economy.

A variety of new employment opportunities are emerging in the green economy.

These include a wide range of occupations such as:

  • tidal power electrical engineers
  • wind and solar power technicians
  • wood pellet equipment operators
  • energy managers
  • waste reduction consultants
  • Greenhouse gas emissions verifiers
  • hydrogen fuel cell researchers
  • sustainability managers

and many others…

The chart below shows employment numbers by broad occupational group:

employment numbers by broad occupational group

Chart from Globe Foundation

More information on specific careers in the green economy can be found at:

Hiring Forecast by Region

The majority of jobs in the green economy are found in Metro Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

The table below shows job numbers and key sectors by BC’s regions:

Region Jobs (full- time equivalent) Key Sectors
Vancouver Island/Coast 15,877 Clean & alternative energy
Energy management
Green Building
Environmental Protection
Carbon Finance
Green knowledge
Mainland/Southwest 75, 703 Clean & alternative energy
Energy management
Green building
Environmental protection
Carbon finance
Green knowledge
Thompson/Okanagan 10, 730 Clean & alternative energy
Energy management
Green building
Environmental protection
Green knowledge
Kootenay 5, 188 Clean & alternative energy
Environmental protection
Green knowledge
Cariboo 3, 778 Clean & alternative energy
Environmental protection
Green knowledge
North Coast/Nechako 1,869 Clean & alternative energy
Environmental protection
Green knowledge
Northeast 4,004 Clean & alternative energy
Environmental protection
Green knowledge

Source: British Columbia’s Green Economy. Building a Strong Low-Carbon Future. Globe Foundation.

For more information see:

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the green industry in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Canadian Environmental Resource Guide
    Available at the Central Library, Level 4, 363.70025 C21

Additional Resources

Still looking for more information? Try looking at the following resources: