America Goes Green: What Does It Mean to Your Career?

By Paula Santonocito

But it’s not only alternative energy companies that are sprouting up as a result of the green movement. Organic is in, natural is new, and reusable resonates with consumers. Look at companies that grow or manufacture products with these considerations as they could be poised for growth.

New Opportunities in Existing Fields

And don’t ignore what might be called conventional environmental jobs when thinking green. Conservation officers, environmental scientists, and others are in demand.

There are also opportunities to put a green spin on jobs that traditionally have been viewed in other terms. Technical writers are needed to author environment impact statements, for example. Similarly, environmental law is a field where legal eagles can soar.

The list goes on. CBS News reports on several green fields, and also notes how white-collar jobs in corporate America are going green. A new position, corporate social responsibility director, has sprung up at every major corporation, CBS says. The job’s responsibility is “to help the company create plans and actions to be active members in their communities, give back to charitable programs, help employees to be good stewards for the community, and be as environmentally sustainable as possible.”

Employers Interested in Making a Difference

Why are traditional companies taking these steps?

The short answer is it’s the right thing to do. But the movement is actually being driven by consumers, shareholders, and employees who all want corporations to be environmentally responsible.

As a citizen of planet earth, this bodes well for you. But it also gives you an opportunity to become more environmentally involved, whether it’s by embracing a new career or putting a new spin on an existing one.

Even if you want to keep your current job, which has no green overlay whatsoever, you can still put an eco-friendly foot forward.

Today, a majority of employers offer an array of opportunities for workers to make a difference while in the workplace.

Recycling is the most common practice; a recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) finds that 83 percent of companies now recycle. However, this is far from the only initiative.

A full 79 percent of employers also donate/discount used office furniture and supplies, offering items to local charities or employees, as opposed to discarding them. Meanwhile, 59 percent of companies promote walking, biking, and taking public transit.

There’s often a chance to make a difference in the community as well; 50 percent of employers participate in or sponsor events like trash pick-up day, plant-a-tree day, and/or fundraisers for local preserves.

The greening of America offers new opportunities–for career growth and to make a positive impact on the planet while in your current job.

This spring, go ahead and wear the latest shades of blue and pink. But in terms of your career, remember: The hot color is green.

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