Green jobs are alive and well, and these 6 companies prove it

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The Trump administration’s coal-promoting agenda has threatened to put the squeeze on the promise for green jobs. One warning sign: Solar installations dropped 22 percent between 2016 and 2017, spurred by political uncertainty, according to a recent EDF report.

But the situation is not entirely dire. Facing the uncertain effects of tariffs on imported solar panels and other moves in Washington, private companies — as well as local and state governments — are stepping up to add corporate sustainability jobs focused on greening supply chains, adding renewables, reducing waste and implementing other climate-smart strategies.

“The number and range of companies and organizations hiring sustainability professionals continues to grow,” said Maureen Hart, executive director of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. The numbers bear this out as well: In a McKinsey&Company survey released in December, nearly 60 percent of respondents said their organizations were more engaged with sustainability than they were two years ago — compared to just 9 percent that said engagement had declined.

“In spite of or perhaps because of the current political climate, the private sector appears to be increasingly embracing the responsibility of evaluating and responding to environmental and social sustainability-related risks,” Hart said. “These include risks to supply chains and resources, risks to customer bases, risks to facilities and employees, and reputational risk if organizations are seen as being part of the problem rather than the solution.”

Ellen Weinreb, CEO of Weinreb Group, an executive search and consulting firm with a sustainability focus — noted another benefit: “Sustainability adds value to HR via recruitment and retention, which is often overlooked and undervalued.” (…)

Nikki Gloudeman

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