5 Surprising Ways Green Jobs Benefit Us All

February 22, 2016

Ben & Jerry's - How Green Jobs Benefit Us All

If you ask any employee at Ben & Jerry’s what they love most about their job, they’re likely to say that they believe they’re making a positive difference in the world. (The plentiful ice cream is up there, too, but we have a pretty big passion for making a difference.) So we love to see other people and companies living their values, too. One way a lot of people do that is with a green job – any job that contributes to a more sustainable, renewable-energy-powered world.

Green jobs are on the rise – rising 20% faster than the rest of the US economy, actually – and if helping solve climate change alone isn’t enough, here are the coolest ways that green jobs benefit all of us:

1. They’re an Awesome Investment.

For every dollar invested in the green economy, three times more jobs are created, compared to investing that same dollar in the fossil fuel industry. So in terms of return on investment, it’s three times more bang for your buck. That’s like saying that for the price of one pint of Joe Shmoe’s ice cream you can get three pints of Ben & Jerry’s (which is what you really wanted anyway, right?). That’s simple math we can all enjoy.

2. They Build the Economy Right Here at Home.

Building the green economy means building the local, right-here-at-home economy. A worker in India can’t retrofit your home with solar panels. An employee in Bangladesh can’t build windmills to power your town. These are jobs that largely cannot be shipped overseas and that folks can really count on.

3. . . . And Around the World.

But shoot, while we’re at it, investing in green jobs will benefit everyone from Alabama to Zimbabwe! Even though the price of oil is, ahem, tanking, the clean energy economy is booming around the world, with another 24 million green jobs predicted to be added globally by 2030. And beyond job growth, it’s predicted that the world GDP could increase by $1.3 trillion if we doubled the amount of renewable energy created. Sounds like a win-win to us.

4. They Bring in the Benjamins.

Another interesting benefit is that the green economy pays 13% more than the median wage in the US. Who wouldn’t love a 13% bigger paycheck (that’s 13% more ice cream, folks)? But counter-intuitively, a huge number of green jobs are staffed by people without post-secondary degrees. That means that low- and middle-skilled workers have more opportunity to move up and earn more— helping grow and stabilize the middle class.

5. They Support a 100% Clean Energy Future.

And then we’re back to the basic benefit of green jobs: they support a fair transition off of fossil fuels, and toward 100% clean energy. That’s the basic nut we’ve got to crack, but with all the benefits of developing and growing a green economy, these jobs benefit more than the planet alone; they plug whole societies into a brighter and more prosperous future.