Nearly 4.2 million people (full-time equivalent - FTE) in the European Union (EU) were working in the environmental economy in 2014, almost 1.4 million more than fifteen years ago.
60% of these jobs concerned activities related to environmental protection, i.e. preventing, reducing and eliminating pollution and any other degradation of the environment. The remaining 40% were resource management activities, such as preserving and maintaining the stock of natural resources and safeguarding them against depletion.
Environmental employment outperformed overall employment
Between 2000 and 2014, employment in the environmental economy grew considerably faster (+49%) than employment in the overall economy (+6%). The rise in the number of jobs within the environmental economy is mainly caused by the growth in the management of energy resources. This is particularly the case for the production of energy from renewable sources (such as wind and solar power) and the production of equipment and installations for heat and energy saving.
Environmental activities were mainly concentrated in "Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply; water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities" (34% of total employment in the environmental economy, or 1.4 million FTE) and "Construction" (27%, 1.1 million FTE), followed by "Services" (17%, 0.7 million FTE), "Mining & quarrying and manufacturing" (14%, 0.6 million FTE) and "Agriculture" (8%, 0.3 million FTE).
This information is published by Eurostat on the occasion of the EU Green Week 2017 which takes place from 29 May to 2 June with the theme of 'Green jobs for a greener future'.
For more information:
Eurostat database of the environmental goods and services sector
Eurostat Statistics Explained article on the environmental economy (employment and growth)