Employers Value Environmental Smarts

More and more businesses are placing value on environmental smarts and sustainability knowledge and skills in their employees.

Several firms hold "the underlying belief that responsibility for sustainability should be integrated throughout a company at every level and for every position, and that engaged employees are not only more productive, they also can produce valuable cost-savings solutions."
— GreenBiz Staff

A 2009 survey by the National Environmental Education Foundation confirmed that companies consider environmental knowledge valuable and that environmentally educated employees can help improve the bottom line of a business.

Joel Makower, author of Strategies for the Green Economy, has been dubbed "the guru of green business practices." He points out the importance of employees who understand environmental issues and practise sustainability:

  • "Millions of people now engage in a variety of green-minded activities in their personal lives, from cutting waste to recycling to saving energy to purchasing greener goods and services. But then they go to work and see those efforts dwarfed by the mountains of waste that collect just around their own workspace, never mind the lights, computers, and other machines that burn 24/7, the dumpsters full of packaging trash, and 1,001 other environmental insults. It's discouraging, to say the least.

  • "Conversely, some companies' ambitious efforts to reduce waste, pollution, and other forms of inefficiency — not to mention create new markets for cleaner and greener solutions to meet customers' needs — can be thwarted by employees' lack of environmental awareness and personal habits. The disconnect squanders opportunities for employees to embrace a green ethic all week long, not just during the workday, and to bring to their jobs ideas and inspiration for a greener company."

The greening of employees can create a virtuous circle, one in which their personal and professional commitments and habits continually reinforce each other. Along the way, the more employees understand about the impacts of their jobs and the opportunities to make them greener, the greater the chances they'll rise to the occasion.
— Joel Makower

Our students deserve to be educated in ways that will make them valuable employees — or bosses. They need to be taught environmental smarts!

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