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Green Jobs are “Additive”, not simply replacing other jobs

Green entrepreneurs account for critical green jobs creation. This is not to be understated, as not all jobs are created equal.

Think about the recent announcement that Airbus is building a large manufacturing facility in Alabama. Yes, this creates a lot of jobs in both the construction of the plant and the ongoing operations at the plant, and these kinds of developments are generally considered good by economists. But when you take the 30,000 foot view, are these jobs really “additive”? In other words, are Airbus employees basically just replacing the need for Boeing to add jobs? Or is the construction in Alabama really just replacing jobs for manufacturing back home in France, Airbus’s home country?

This is the fundamental difference in the clean economy. The clean economy is truly additive. When someone starts a business helping homeowners convert their backyards into organic gardens, and then helps those folks maintain those yards, they’re not really displacing another job. They’re creating a job more or less from thin air. In addition, they’re helping to produce organic and local food, which can help a local economy keep more money within its area and stimulate other local economic development. Similarly, an energy auditor helps homeowners reduce their electricity bills. It’s not replacing another job, it’s actually creating one. Green jobs are simply… different.

So back to that contest. Here’s how it works. Just nominate a green entrepreneur in your area by leaving a comment in the article about the contest. One business will be chosen for just how additive it is, and will receive $150 in cold hard cash just as a show of appreciation.

And with that, I’d like to also encourage you to go out and support locally owned, green leaning companies. Because we need them now more than ever, and they represent our best hope of changing our world for the better.

Follow Scott Cooney on Twitter.

Green entrepreneur photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Written by Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride.


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