The Greening of Financial Services and its impact on jobs

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It’s a new dawn for financial services jobs. The new Green Economy movement requires businesses to have a consistent, transparent, and repeatable process to build an auditable, green house gas (GHG) inventory to measure a company’s GHG emission footprint . And this requires professionals familiar with generally accepted rules, such as the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), to environmental accounting, reporting, verification, and validation.

Other employment opportunities are being created by environmental regulation as well, many of them requiring financial experience. The Cap and Trade initiative turns out to be translating into a number of new financial jobs for those with the proper education, training and certifications.

Businesses are discovering new advantages to going green: long term benefits combined with immediate, measureable short term gains (in some cases, in the form of offsets). For the economy's profit hungry enterprises, the time is now for American companies to go green -- by investing in it, saving millions of dollars on energy, waste, and water, creating new sponsorship opportunities and enhancing brand value with corporate social responsibility--not to mention the environmental benefits.

Going green is savvy business.

Nature is the ultimate source of all economic value. No commerce or culture is possible without clean air and water; a chemically stable atmosphere; and raw materials for food, energy and medicine. The new Green Economy is a movement which is directed toward introducing a more thorough manner of bringing green practices and sustainable resources into a normal routine of people all over the world.

And this initiative has other benefits as well: new jobs.

Living in today’s carbon-constrained world, where emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases carry a price, financial risks and opportunities impact corporate balance sheets. As a result, market-based instruments are capable of transferring environmental risk. Environmental regulation and market expectations for high-quality disclosure of environmental risks and opportunities continue to mature, and as they do, the costs associated with these environmental impacts become even more apparent, and are creating new jobs.

Green finance

The enormous amount of information and money that can be generated is creating a worldwide demand for qualified people in various GHG-related positions. Every company has an environmental impact. Larger firms and corporations will soon all have a department or business partner to deal with carbon credits and trading.

The future is: gas

For example, at the tip of the spear in the carbon trading market are the emissions brokers and traders. They are responsible for buying and selling credits to interested parties either on the exchange or from the private over-the-counter market. And more than just carbon, other greenhouse gas (GHG) markets will see growth in the same way and require similar support and service as the overall volume of GHG trading continues to grow. Traders and brokers must be licensed in order to work in the market; and many of these emissions traders bring their degrees in engineering, science or math.

Analyzing and interpreting this green market data falls to energy market economists who use it for economic forecasting in order to predict market trends based on economic models. These opportunities, too, will grow rapidly as the market grows.

Green market analysts are creating models that provide analysis and research on the market for investors, the findings of which help determine investment strategy, policy and pricing mechanisms.

The critics of the Cap and Trade market believe that fraud could be a major problem so to combat that possibility, forensic accountants and fraud examiners will play a critical role in determining the money trail and helping regulators with prosecution.

Understanding the true costs of GHG emissions is challenging. Thus, their impacts on business profit margins are largely ignored as overhead costs. More than being environmentally conscious, going green is increasingly a smart, profitable and job-creating strategy.

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