A recent GreenBiz survey of more than 600 companies found that these organizations are increasing their hiring of environmental and sustainability professionals. Environmental, health and safety (EHS) departments at large corporations are also increasing spending. GreenBiz analysts feel that these trends are potential indicators that the green economy may be outpacing indicators of the overall recovery.

In spite of rising unemployment nationwide across industry sectors. The number of large companies citing open positions and plans to increase staff doubled from 8 percent in late 2008 to 17 percent. The percentage of companies reporting reassigned or eliminated headcount for environmental, health and safety or sustainability positions was low. There was a decrease in this category from 6 percent to 5 percent.

EHS spending has remained static or increased, with over 75% of companies falling in that category. The number of respondents reporting increased EHS spending rose from 28 percent in late 2008 to 41 percent. However, only one-third of the companies that reported an increased EHS also experienced an increase in head count. Greenbiz analysts feel these numbers could be a sign of stability.

The economic downturn has had a significant impact on the environmental priorities of these organizations. Energy efficiency ranks as the top priority with these businesses (43 percent).   Respondents also indicated that the anticipated climate legislation in congress, as well as company leading has an increased impact on company approaches toward environmental issues. Green product development also stood out as a priority with more than 80 percent of companies have indicated that their investments will be either greater than or equal to last year.

To find out how to become a participant in GreenBiz monthly polls, go to GreenBiz web site.

© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine, Monster.com, About.com Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine, HR.com, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.

  • Mitch Gutcho

    How do you find out about opportunities in Connecticut.
    Thank you, Mitch Gutcho

    • http://greeneconomypost.com Tracey

      Hi Mitch,

      I’m on the other coast and really do not have many connections in Connecticut, however I would start with green job boards and local green networking events and groups. I would also tract the local news and pay attention to who is getting stimulus funds and contracts pursue work with those firms. The following are two sources that might be of assistance:
      Where The Jobs Are – Interactive Tools Tells You Where to Look – he Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) recently published an online map that identifies and profiles more than 1,200 companies in key manufacturing states that they see as poised create new jobs when Congress passes a cap on global warming pollution. The interactive map spotlights companies located in manufacturing regions, including those in communities in the rust belt and coal country.

      Using Stimulus Watch to Track Energy Stimulus Appropriations –
      StimulusWatch.org was built to help the new administration keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly, and to hold public officials to account for the taxpayer money they spend. The site accomplishes this by allowing you, citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed “shovel-ready” projects in your city, to find, discuss and rate those projects.

      I hope this helps


  • Mark Tillack


    Thanks for the great posts lately.

    Can I ask…

    a few tips for me looking for positions with companies hiring for the environmental and sustainability departments? Which companies are doing this?

    much appreciated,


    • http://greeneconomypost.com Tracey

      Hi Mark:

      Thanks for the praise. I’m getting the information from the study, so I do not know directly. However, I would check out some green jobs board, greenbiz.com, sustainablebusiness.com are two that come to mind. Also I would check out the jobs listings sections on to green jobs, sustainability and green professionals groups on linked in and other social network. If you have no experience, then I would take a different approach. I would work to green your current job, do sustainability volunteer work for non-profits, write articles on sustainability and work to get them published on popular green blogs and publications, do free work for a start up, consider greening you degree with certification and finally network you butt off. Keep in mind that the stimulus money is just starting to flow and in my view we won’t see a significant growth in jobs until the money is dispersed. Most of the money in energy and the environment is scheduled for 2010 and 2011, so if the picking are slim right now, use the time for skill building and personal branding.

      Stay in touch.