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Focus on sustainability and skills

A green and sustainable economy can be defined as one “that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”.

(Source: United Nations Environment Program).

235,000 – 400,000

Number of new jobs to be generated through the sustainable economic transition

(Source: RBC)

$125 -140 billion

The required annual private and government investment needed to complete the transition to a net-zero economy

(Source: Federal Budget 2022)


Canada’s target for carbon emissions reduction by 2030 (vs. 2005 levels)

(Source: Government of Canada)

In Canada, this transition to a sustainable economy can be seen on two fronts:

  • the transformation of traditional industries, especially through the implementation of net-zero emission targets for these businesses to contribute to the overall carbon emission reduction;
  • the emergence of new sectors and industries that will help Canada compete in a decarbonized global economy.

This sustainable transition will have a significant impact both in terms of new job opportunities and of skills development needed for existing jobs. According to RBC, 3.1 million jobs (almost 15% of the workforce) will be disrupted over the next 10 years. Many sectors, including oil and gas, agriculture and food, mining and automotive, will be affected by these changes.

This sustainable transition can also bring significant opportunities through the upskilling of the workforce, with between 235,000 and 400,000 new jobs potentially added in industries where enhanced skills will be critical.

FSC has made skills for sustainable futures a strategic priority in order to help Canadian employers and workers navigate the sustainable transition. The transition to a net zero economy will be felt unevenly in different regions, populations and industries, and we continue working with local partners to ensure that our actions respond to the needs of all — both in terms of environmental impact and for employment opportunities.

Learning Bulletin

Our Learning Bulletin “Mapping the Green Jobs Transition” explores key aspects of the sustainable transition for the Canadian workforce. How can workers transition to green jobs? What information matters to better plan this transition? And how do we ensure that vulnerable populations can benefit from it? Discover several “sustainable transition” initiatives across Canada and how the insights from these projects can help policymakers, employers and workers to implement a just and equitable transition.

Read the latest research on skills and sustainability

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Jobs and skills in the transition to a net-zero economy: A foresight exercise

This report presents a foresight exercise that models the jobs and skills that would be required in a net-zero economy across a set of distinct futures.

Green occupations pathways: from vulnerable jobs to rapid-growth careers

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The Future Skills Centre and the Conference Board of Canada research the paths that workers…

Retraining workers will be essential for our net-zero goals

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Discover our projects supporting sustainable skills development

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Test the waters: Competencies for the sustainable blue economy

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Monitoring climate change in the Northwest Territories

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The future of food through agricultural technology

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Securing sustainable northern fisheries

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Free education for an inclusive economy

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Skills for a clean economy

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