As many of you are likely aware, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22. Around the world, people are taking part in everything from planting gardens, to clean water projects, to climate rallies, to people-powered smoothie making to celebrate and raise awareness. The White House is making a splash by dedicating five days of events to celebrate Earth Day.
In addition, Vice President Joe Biden announced earlier today that $452 million in Recovery Act funding will go toward energy-efficient building retrofits in 25 communities. These 25 projects will leverage an estimated $2.8 billion from other sources, which will go toward retrofitting hundreds of thousands of U.S. homes and businesses in the next three years.
Are businesses ready?
So, with all this retrofitting to come — and with many job seekers seeking out socially responsible companies — it’s exciting to hear that many companies are paying attention and have taken steps — or plan to take steps — to become more environmentally friendly, as indicated by a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,700 hiring managers. As Kimberly, a recent commenter on The Hiring Site, wrote:
“Our job descriptions have been revamped to instill a “day-in-the-life” of… to example our culture. We also include our organization’s work/life balance, community involvement and our “green” initiatives.”
According to survey results, one in ten employers say they have added “green jobs,” otherwise known as environmentally-focused positions, in the last 12 months, despite the tough economy, and nearly 10 percent plan to add more in 2010.
Which region’s leading the pack?
Employers in the Northeast (14 percent) added the most “green,” or environmentally friendly, jobs over the last year, followed by 11 percent in the South, 10 percent in the West and 9 percent in the Midwest.
Of those surveyed, which industry’s most green?
Retail led the industries surveyed, with 24 percent indicating they have added green jobs over the last 12 months. What percentage of other industries indicated they’ve done the same?
- Eighteen percent of transportation and utilities
- Fifteen percent of sales
- Fourteen percent of IT and manufacturing
- Ten percent of financial services
Companies are not only adding environmentally friendly positions within their organizations, but they are also strengthening their current in-house green programs. Nearly 70 percent of companies say they have added programs to be more environmentally conscious in the last year. The most popular green programs include:
- Recycling (47 percent)
- Using less paper (43 percent)
- Controlling lighting (40 percent)
- Powering down computers at the end of the day (29 percent)
- Purchasing office supplies made from recycled materials (25 percent)
“Green opportunities continue to grow as companies take advantage of increased government programs designed to spur job growth and reduce the country’s carbon footprint,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “The green category has expanded over the past few years and job seekers are finding environmentally friendly positions in virtually every industry and at every job level.”
What’s going on in the marketplace?
1. Hydrologist — The median annual income is $78,458.*
2. Solar energy system designer –The median annual income is $65,160.
3.Wildlife biologist – The median annual income is $38,301.
4. Science teacher – The median annual income of kindergarten, elementary, middle and secondary school teachers ranges from $51,373 to 57,537.
5. Waste management engineer — The median annual income is $89,067.
6. Environmental attorney — The median annual income for attorneys specializing in construction, real estate and land use is $99,579.
7. Urban planner — The media annual income is $65,768.
* Salary information from CBsalary.com.
What are you doing for Earth Day 2010?
What is your company doing to take part in Earth Day — or what has your business done recently to become more environmentally friendly? What kind of an impact is it having on your business and on your employees?
If you are looking for ideas of service projects in your local area, check out the Earth Day 2010 list.Related