Ecological Transition and Sustainability at Work

Action Plan



ET (ecological transition) concerns the transformation from an intensive and unsustainable production system from the point of view of the use of resources to a model that has its strong point in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. 

The ET deals with the major issues of sustainable agriculture, circular economy, energy transition, sustainable mobility, energy efficiency of buildings, water resources and pollution, in order to improve the sustainability of the economic system and ensure a just and inclusive transition towards a low environmental impact society. 

The concept of sustainability is therefore intrinsic to the very definition of ecological transition: it is necessary to change the current production system and set up new ways of managing resources, and to do this we need the collaboration of everyone, of the entire society.  

The protagonists of this transition are the people, and therefore all the workers that Unions try to protect. 

Trade Unions should encourage best practices for all colleagues and play an active role for the development of a shared culture of sustainability. 

The ET aims at a revolution of modern society, the final goal shall no longer be mere growth in quantitative terms, which does not take into consideration the well-being of the environment and the workers. The new paradigm of modern society must be that of sustainable development, “a development that satisfies the needs of the present without compromising the possibility of future generations to satisfy their own”.  

Social and environmental well-being are closely linked to each other and must be accompanied by a co-evolution. 

Trade Unions should acknowledge the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as most of them are related to working conditions and in general to the life of the community within which the organisations are operating. 

 Having regard to the above,  

  • The USF congress considers that“ protection of decent work” and “protection of the environment” should not be played off against each other. Climate and environmental justice cannot be achieved without social justice. Greening should not be a pretext for organizations to make savings or profit at the expense of workers’ rights and working conditions. 
  • The USF congress  urges employers to implement specific training for all workers in order to help them gain the skills and competencies that are needed to develop an informed critical thinking approach to the ecological transition and to sustainability in general. 
  • The USF congress urges that the sustainability dimension (environmental, social and economic) be taken into consideration in all policy and decision-making processes through social dialogue, which is the key pillar for a sustainable society. In this framework, trade unions shall be considered key stakeholders, consulted and represented in all relevant committees.  
  • The USF congress urges that employers actively engage with trade unions to implement a holistic approach to sustainability, fighting the greenwashing but ensuring concrete results are shared with all stakeholders in a transparent and consistent way.  

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