Sustainability Leaders at Major Corporations Share Strategies at Green Pathways Conference

Today marks that start of the Creating Green Pathways for Lower-Skilled Adults Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The two-day event, co-hosted with NWF by Jobs For The Future and the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, is designed to help project leaders, employers, and practitioners develop innovative strategies to successfully build up the lower-skilled green workforce and promote knowledge-sharing among green jobs projects and partners.

The first session of the conference has been about sustainable business practices, NWF Campus Ecology Senior Director Julian Keniry reports. This shift towards an entirely new way of doing business is fundamental to to the process both of greening existing jobs and of creating new intentionally-green jobs — and speakers from several global firms have shared some of their strategies for getting there.

Juliet Pagliaro Herman, the Energy & Sustainability Manager at Johnson Controls told conference-goers about JCI’s method of encouraging employees to earn Certified Energy Manager through their Building Performance Institute.

Robert Smith then talked about Panduit‘s strategy, in which the company encourages any entry level employee to come in with one of the basic LEED credentials and Panduit will pay up to 90 percent of the cost of obtaining certification to become a LEED Green Associate.

Up last was Walmart Senior Manager of Business Sustainability, Nidhi Munjal. She shared that Walmart, too, encourages continuous learning and also helps employees build skills in assessing waste reduction and energy efficiency. Another big emphasis for Walmart is working with vendors to analyze the entire supply chain to find closed loop solutions.