Many studies are available analysing the quantitative employment effects of the “green transition” including the transition from a fossil fuel based economy to a renewable energy based one. However, our knowledge about the qualitative employment effects including working conditions, employee representation and participation and collective employment relations within the renewable energy industry is fairly limited. An interdisciplinary research project involving the Environmental Policy Research Centre and the Management Department (Freie Universität Berlin, School of Business and Economics) seeks to improve our understanding in these specific issues. The purpose of the research project supported by the Hans Böckler Foundation is to analyze the institutionalization of employment relations in the German wind industry taking into account the social, ecological and economic pillars of sustainable development.
The research project aims to analyze evolutionary pathways of employee representation and co-determination in the wind industry. It is based on in-depth case studies of the leading companies and comprises the following steps:
• Analysis of external and internal context factors and determinants including energy policy frameworks based on the Strategic Corporate Research (SCR) model;
• Analysis of business models and inter-firm supply chain networks;
• Analysis of working conditions and processes of institutionalizing core representative and participatory institutions (work councils, co-determination in the Supervisory Board, collective sector-level agreements, company-based agreements).
Research of FFU covers
• the theoretical foundations (including social dimension of sustainability, Green Economy, Green Jobs, principle of „Decent Work“)
• a context analysis using the SCR-model including an analysis of energy policy frameworks and of cross-ownership and personnel inter-company dependences,
• Fact sheets on target companies;
• Policy instruments and measures to support good working conditions and social sustainability in the renewable energy sector including wind energy sector.