A recent survey by JUST Capital shows that 57% of Americans think that companies have a negative impact on the environment.
Fortunately, there are companies that not only actively reduce their impact on the environment, but identify themselves with many of the public's priorities, like employee well-being, community services, and customer treatment.
If you’re looking for a job in a sustainable niche, make sure to check our list of high-ranking environmentally-responsible companies.
This outdoor clothing firm based in Ventura, CA can boast 47 years of environmentally conscious excellence in business practices. For over three decades, Patagonia has pledged 1% of the sales to the conservation efforts, while much of their raw materials are recycled or grown organically to reduce their carbon footprint.
First Solar is the solar company that pioneered the use of thin-film panels, which are used in small devices like calculators, for full-size solar panels. Obtaining materials from different sources, this business focuses on a budget-friendly policy, so more people can buy or invest in clean energy.
Offering a combination of mobile technologies and energy services this Los Angeles-based firm helps homeowners move to cleaner and more sustainable energy. The company’s renewable energy services allow households to customize their pricing based on their budgets and needs, while their mobile app allows customers to track changes in their energy usage.
Based in Culver City, CA, this startup is developing solutions that prevent water damage and unnecessary water waste in homes.  Their Smart Water Shut Off and Smart Water Detector help people reduce the risk of water leaks and damage by 96%, while potentially saving households hundreds of dollars on insurance services.
Founded in 2015, this New York City-based business uses AI technology to help companies optimize their energy consumption and reduce their carbon emissions. Their team has developed an advanced building OS called Nantum that connects to building systems, analyzes occupants’ habits, and uses data from IoT devices to offer optimizations to save more energy wherever possible.
A lot of waste that enters the global food waste stream is created during shopping and transport. Apeel Sciences recognized the problem and started developing edible, plant-based sealants that help maintain food and produce fresh, so less food waste is produced in the supply chain.
With more than 8,000 customers in over 100 countries, Sphera is a leader in integrated risk management software solutions. Their efforts are focused on environmental protection and sustainability, while their integrated cloud-based services help companies centrally manage their regulations compliance.
4Ocean organizes people who are passionate about sustainability to clean coastlines and oceans, while also educating everyone on the benefits of clean oceans.  The firm also connects with communities and businesses so that its sustainable mission reaches the general public. In just three years, the company’s teams removed a million pounds of waste from oceans worldwide.
One of the first companies in the world to design a toothbrush made from recycled plastic, Preserve has expanded its product line on razors, measuring cups, and colanders. However, their plastic recycling program isn’t the only thing that makes them sustainable. Preserve is also known for its plant-based products like straws, cups, and plates, that are fully compostable.
Although dairy corporations are often mentioned in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, world climate change, soil erosion, and water contamination, Organic Valley is set to make things right. One of the leaders in sustainability, the organization helps farmers save money by transitioning to wind or solar energy, and offset the carbon their farms produce.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, this environmental startup transforms recycled cell-phones into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can monitor and alert on illegal deforestation activity at long distances. The converted phones are mounted in tree canopies, where they listen to chainsaws, trucks, and other heavy machinery, sending pinpoint notifications to partners who can respond immediately.
Another prospective employer from the San Francisco Bay Area that has entered the list, Aurora Solar combines cloud computing with energy efficiency to come up with solutions that help energy technicians manage their work and deliver better results to their customers. Their software platform unifies all aspects of solar panel purchase and installation prices under one umbrella.
Determined to solve the problem of clean drinking water around the world, this company has created an engineering process that transforms saltwater into freshwater. While desalinization is nothing new, IDE has achieved to bring its advanced technology benefits to more impoverished regions of the world. It operates more than 400 water treatment plans in 40 countries.
Mosaic is a solar and clean energy financing firm based in San Francisco. It provides services to home improvers and households by offering affordable financing options through its centralized point-of-sale application. Their flagship software manages and simplifies loan negotiation processes, helping homeowners adopt green energy more easily in the future.
It’s often challenging for companies that rent or already own their offices to transition to clean power. Redaptive is a company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that helps those firms implement smart energy usage strategies for the future. They develop services that guide their clients through the process of planning and installing clean energy solutions
A fledgling startup from the San Francisco Bay Area, Span is remodeling electric circuits for older homes by replacing traditional fuse boxes with digital hubs. These smart fuse boxes help people optimize their power usage, reap future financial benefits, and reduce their environmental impact.
This company from the San Francisco Bay Area has developed an air purifier that uses nanotechnology to remove toxins from the air. Instead of using conventional filters, Molekule technology completely destroys pollutants, viruses, allergens, and fumes, on a molecular level, helping sensitive groups breathe clean air.
To be environmentally friendly means that a company puts its impact on the environment and community as a measure of its success.
However, being eco-friendly often means much more than just being safe for the environment. For a number of eco-friendly companies, environmental responsibility is built in every aspect of their identity.
Such organizations not only create sustainable products or ethical services but also make sure that their manufacturing and development are environmentally-responsible.
Apart from transparent sourcing of materials, environmentally-friendly packaging, and shipping, some of these companies fight pollution and climate change in other ways, as well. They might:
Finally, companies that are environmentally friendly “to the core” are not content with the current definition of environmental responsibility but actively redefine and expand the concept.
A company should be environmentally friendly for several practical reasons. First, we have only one planet that we all share. All businesses make an impact on the planet and their decisions affect all of us.
Second, companies use large amounts of natural resources, so it’s important that their operations are sustainable. This includes sourcing, production, and distribution.
Third, consumers are increasingly looking for eco-friendly products and services, and are more likely to support companies that are environmentally responsible.
A recent report from Nielsen shows that 81% of consumers think it’s very or extremely important that companies implement programs that improve the environment, while 30% of consumers said that they are willing to pay more for products manufactured in a socially responsible way.
More importantly, Millennials and Generation Z are a considerable force in consumer-driven sustainability. In the United States, Millennials account for at least $1 trillion in consumer spending.
These generations are ready to put money where their mouth is, so any business that wants to attract those two high-spending groups needs to seriously include sustainability in their mission statement.
Any Google search will give you a long list of green businesses, but you should know how to tell companies that are going green from those that are actually environmentally responsible.
If environmental policies are at the core of their values, their site will readily and proudly display information about their environmental impact.
The websites of truly environmentally-friendly companies often provide amazing information on their efforts and innovation that you didn't even know was possible.
Environmental people sometimes focus only on the final outcome of their work, but job seekers may be better served by paying attention to daily activities. Think in terms of verbs and you’ll know a lot about whether you’ll be competitive for a job.
Kevin Doyle, Environmental Career Coach at the Green Career Advisor
You can always tell an environmentally-friendly business through their certifications.
For example, B Corporation certification is the gold standard for better-for-the-world business practices. If you see the “B," it means the company achieved an impressive score on the B Impact Assessment.
Another certification, 1% for the Planet, means that the business pledges 1% of their total revenue to highly-selected environmental nonprofits.
A Climate Neutral certification indicates that the business measures, reduces, and offsets its carbon in order to neutralize its carbon footprint.
Environmental companies never separate their profit from environmental causes. These companies either make sure that every stage of their operations is sustainable or adopt practices that mitigate their environmental footprint.
We saw that environmental responsibility goes beyond using sustainably harvested wood or recycling ocean plastic. These companies often have a sustainable approach to employee well-being, community initiatives, and customer experience.
These values make environmental companies some of the best-ranking employers.
If you’d like to work for a company like these on the list, check out our Green Jobs board. Our handy service lists states and cities with available jobs in the environmental niche, and you can even browse them by category.
Find more sustainability jobs in environmental companies by category, by city, or by state now.
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