As would be expected, businesses with environmentally themed missions are often also the greenest places to work. These types of companies and organizations are often members of groups such as The Sustainable Business Network and A Better City. Many work with the U.S. Green Building Council to build LEED certified facilities. They may even work with green tools such as Practically Green to engage their staff in green living practices both in and outside of the office. Another way companies can go green is by giving to charitable causes with an environmental focus or by hosting educational events. There are countless ways for companies to both lower their carbon footprint and engage their surrounding community in climate change action, and amazingly, there are countless business taking these steps. In fact, there are over 1,000 businesses listed in the Sustainable Business Network’s Green Business Directory.
Unsurprisingly, some of the greenest workplaces are the city’s colleges and universities. Schools like Harvard, Tufts, MIT, Boston University and Northeastern University all have offices of sustainability in which there are entire teams of staff dedicated to making the colleges as green as possible. These offices create the infrastructure and have the word-of-mouth power to create behavioral change that may not be as easy to replicate in a corporate business atmosphere.
But the corporate sector is certainly evolving in a green direction. In addition to saving money and using their green practices as a point in marketing, there are also state and city incentives for becoming a sustainable business. City Hall’s green program, Greenovate Boston, has an annual award for the greenest businesses in the city. Now in its seventh year, the “Green Business Awards” are considered quite prestigious. Nominees include businesses big and small from a variety of sectors – many are not even focused in energy or environmental work. Last year’s winners included: Greentown Labs, Crown Uniform and Linen, P&G Gillette, Westin Hotel Boston Waterfront, Harpoon Brewery, 912 Auto Center, Digital Lumens, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Fresh Hair and Boston Cab Association of Kenmore.
For those on the job hunt, there are many places to look for green careers. The first place to look is Idealist.org. Idealist is a job board for non profit organizations and businesses with a social or environmental mission. It is the perfect place to find “green companies.” Businesses that post on Idealist are looking for passionate candidates, which is a great service for people looking to make a positive change with their career.
Another place to look for career openings at green companies is Green Dream Jobs (also known as the Sustainable Business Job Board). Through Green Dream Jobs, job seekers input their desired location, skill level and career field. Not all jobs posted are for companies with an environmental core mission, but all companies seeking candidates through the board are companies making efforts to become sustainable and want employees with some knowledge of these issues.
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Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.