Glossary entry

Environmental Work & Climate Sabbatical Work

Definitions

Option 1

Environmental Work  means work that:

(a) contributes to preserving or restoring the [local/ national] environment by:

(i) limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions;

(ii) improving energy efficiency;

(iii) minimising the use of raw materials, waste and pollution;

(iv) protecting and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity including rewilding; and

(v) supporting adaptation to the effects of climate change;

or

(b) produces goods or provides services that benefit the environment.

Option 2

Climate Sabbatical Work  means work that:

(a) reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions including by improving energy efficiency, minimising the use of raw materials, waste and pollution, or protecting and restoring the environment and biodiversity; or

(b) supports adaptation to the effects of climate change.

It includes tree planting, clearing and rewilding derelict land, habitat creation, installing energy efficiency measures or renewable power or raising awareness of climate change.

Option 3

Climate Sabbatical Work  means work that meets the criteria for approval of a climate sabbatical in [name of document containing criteria] [and that is aligned with the Paris Agreement Goals and the UN Sustainable Development Goals and that does not contravene the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights].

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Drafting notes

Options 1 and 2

The definition of environmental work or climate sabbatical work is likely to be used by organisations offering climate sabbaticals in an employment contract or a staff handbook. It can be used to define the type of work the organisation will accept as appropriate for a climate sabbatical.

Organisations can adapt this definition to ‘environmental sabbaticals’, which are potentially wider in scope than climate-specific sabbaticals.

Option 3

Option 3 (Climate Sabbatical Work) intends to maximise the impact of the sabbatical by broadly including the Paris Agreement Goals, the UN Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Key UN SDGs to consider would be:

  • SDG 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all).
  • SDG 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all).
  • SDG 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable).
  • SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).
  • SDG 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development).
  • SDG 15 (Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss).

Organisations could use the wording of option 1 to draft the criteria for Climate Sabbatical Work in option 3.

Application

Organisations wishing to insert climate sabbatical wording into employment contracts. Governments classifying jobs that fall within the scope of the green economy or measuring the extent to which government policies have resulted in a transition to a green economy.