The article was written by Murielle Antille with contributions from Marcos Huergo, Juan Luis Goujon and Lucía García.
In 2019, ENEL - Endesa, the largest multinational electric utility company in Spain, announced the closure of 4 thermal power plants (Teruel, Compostilla, As Pontes y Carboneras-Almería), in accordance with the company’s de-industrialization plans. These closures are part of the company’s transformation towards an emission-free future by 2050.
ENEL-Endesa is not the only company with deindustrialization plans. The traditional industrial sector is declining. The urgency to combat climate change, the digital revolution, and the COVID-19 pandemic have given rise to a new industrial model paving the way to a more sustainable future.
The green transition can have a significant impact on labour markets, however, reindustrialization could be the answer for employers and workers alike. Further, and following the LHH Spain practices in this article, career management services can play a key role in fighting unemployment by promoting and implementing holistic human-centred solutions.
There is no doubt that green transition is a global requirement. This is a climate emergency.
Reducing carbon intensity is a huge priority, but implementation of the Paris Agreement requires not only economic but also social transformation. Re-industrialising means to industrialise again in order to stimulate economic growth and to renew outdated industries. However, the reindustrialization shift is not only about the climate, businesses, and redesigning solutions for a declining (manufacturing) sector. It also needs to account for jobs and local community development. “The E and the S are competing for attention, and the greener we go, the more social harm we need to account for,” says IMD Professor of Finance Karl Schmedders.
Besides unemployment, deindustrialization and job reductions could lead to involuntary part-time work or unsteady employment for long periods of time, which will cause underdevelopment and social exclusion for the communities concerned. Former facilities should be repurposed as part of a solution, although this is not always the case or not always possible.
How can companies mitigate the impact that these closures will have? How could reindustrialisation help bridge the gap and what are some of the measures to take?