The circular economy and the challenges of engineering’s world

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On February 22nd, Genium360 held its second edition of Engineering Meetings. Several speakers were present to offer more than seven hours of continuing education to engineering students and professionals, around a very interesting theme:

 

Circular economy: Engineering at the heart of innovation

Dominique Dodier, Executive Director of EnviroCompétences, and I, had the opportunity to participate to this event, featuring an introduction to circular economy as well as its impact on the creation of future jobs and skills.

As community business partners in Quebec’s environmental sector, we collected our knowledge and experience in human resources and environmental recruitment in order to build up an accurate and inspiring portrait of tomorrow’s jobs in circular economy.

Before disclosing more details about our presentation, I would like to “set the table” and first introduce you to the host of these meetings, Genium360.

 

Genium360 – Connecting the Engineering World

Genium 360 has existed since June 2017, formerly known as the Réseau des ingénieurs du Québec. Why “Genium 360”? The word Genium refers to the engineering activity sector. On the other hand, 360 offers a central position in the ecosystem.

This new corporation is now open to graduated engineers. This is a very innovative and inclusive decision!

 

Genium360’s mission is to connect the world of engineering. Engineering Meetings are part of Genium360’s mission as a continuing education tool for students and professionals.

Although the knowledge and approaches around circular economy are at an early stage, I believe that the timing chosen by Genium360 to address this topic is perfect; it is not too early to sensitize and prepare tomorrow’s students and professionals. They will be key players in the establishment and viability of manufacturing products, just as well as in jobs involved in the circular economy.

 

Circular economy in 30 seconds

The circular economy is an economy where activities are organized in such a way that the waste of some becomes the resources of others. In addition to increasing material productivity and reducing resource costs, it is also a source of profitability and value creation.

The circular economy makes it possible to save natural resources and to favour those that emit the least waste, to reuse the material downstream, to extend the useful life of goods and to optimise their use.

Simply put: sustainability and service are the watchwords.

 

Preparing people for the circular economy

As mentioned earlier, the presence of Atout Recrutement and EnviroCompétences was intended to explain the link between the circular economy, job creation opportunities and the development of skills needed for the future. We wanted to make engineers aware of their role in the circular economy cycle.

Here is an overview.

 

The transition to this economy generates employment. The challenge is to create new products with real added value for customers. To achieve this,the lifetime of the products must be extended and their parts easily replaced by modular systems. Also, jobs must be created to make this change happen.

Take appliances, for example. Currently, if a part breaks, the entire unit is replaced. If our appliances were manufactured here with modular systems, therefore repairable, the lifetime of the appliances would be considerably extended, and jobs would be created locally and of course, customers would be very happy!

Most jobs will be created in industry. Contrary to many perceptions, the circular economy is not limited to recycling.

 The potential lies mainly in industry and technology.

The future of consumption and its impact on environment must be rethought. The process is already under way, but all must help to achieve concrete results.

Greening jobs… Green jobs

Is there anything greener than green, you ask me? As long as it’s green, we’re on the right track! As an engineer or as any other professional involved in the environment, I believe it is important to know and understand the professions of the future and even better, to be part of the change by having the skills needed!

An exercise was done that tried to define what a green job is. Although the following definition is not cast in concrete, it allows to understand the impact of creating this type of job on the future.

 

A green job is a job that directly applies or develops information, technology or equipment that reduce environmental impact and also requires specialized skills,

knowledge or experience related to this field.

Individual jobs that spend 50% or more of their working time in activities related to environmental protection, resource conservation or environmental sustainability are also included.

Green jobs are and will be vital to a maximized circular economy. I will come back to you in a future blog with a more complete portrait of this economy of the future.

However, “greening” jobs, do not mostly concern jobs directly related to the environment. Rather, they are jobs that “greens” to meet many of the challenges of green growth. Every action taken is essential for the environment. We welcome these initiatives!

Our next appointment…

The entire Atout recruitment team and I have the same role, which is to propel human capital by finding the ideal talent for organizations through specialized coaching that meets the highest quality standards in the industry.

As you have seen on this blog, being aware of environmental trends is essential for our company so that we can guide employers.

On the other hand, we need to listen closely to employers’ demands. Join me in my next blog and I will tell you about the connection between human resources management (HRM) and the social dimension of sustainable development (SD).

 

See you soon!

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