One of my favorite parts of Good Jobs, Green Jobs: A National Green Jobs Conference was hearing green success stories that are unfolding around the country.
During the first day of the conference, the focus was on defining the green economy and demonstrating that taking care of the environment can mean the recovery of the economy as well.
On the second day, the focus shifted to sharing examples of green economy successes. I found these examples to be educational and inspiring. I’ve provided links to a few of these examples to allow you to explore the progress of these companies.
- Gamesa – a Spanish based, worldwide wind power company founded in 1996 “is engaged with the manufacturing, sale, installation and operation and maintenance of Gamesa wind turbines” in the USA, Canada and around the world. With a manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania, headquarters in Philadelphia, and three offices in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Texas, Gamesa has completed wind farms in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas and has plans in progress for additional wind farms in other areas. Establishing this company in Pennsylvania is expected to add 1000 jobs across the manufacturing plant and the headquarters. Additional jobs will be found in other areas where they have offices and wind farms.
- Johnson Control – Originally founded to manufacture an electric thermostat in 1885, this global company, with 140,000 employees in more than 1,300 locations serves customers in 125 countries, has become a global leader in “automotive experience, building efficiency and power solutions.” Johnson Control has a fairly long history of sustainability and social responsibility and has a plan to be carbon neutral in five years. One of their most exciting energy efficiency projects will require 60,000 new employees in major cities around the United States to conduct energy audits and retrofit the buildings to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gases, and lower utility bills. You can scan job openings within North America and beyond.
- Terracycle – In 2001, two college students founded an innovative company that packages waste (fertilizer created from worm waste) in recycled waste (used soda bottles collected by students and community groups around the country). In 2004, Home Depot started carrying their product, now Whole Foods, Wal-Mart Canada, and many other companies carry a variety of products produced by Terracycle and distributed in recycled packaging. The company never manufactures their packaging. Instead they set up collection brigades for particular packages that have been previously used (a soda bottle, a yogurt container, a juice box, or a energy bar wrapper) and pays the senders a few cents for each item delivered. Take a look at Terracycle’s products to see how they’ve come up with viable products that are made from or packaged in recycled items. Voted one of the 100 most innovative companies in 2004, it’s still worth tracking their growing and expanding success! Explore their career opportunities to learn more about how they work.
Innovation is one of the keys to the green economy. Add inspiration to your life. Watch for innovations in your geographic area and your profession.