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Economic Development

What is Sustainable Economic Development?  Sustainable economic development focuses on balancing economic goals with environmental limits and social equity concerns.  It is a reassessment of economic activity as an integral part of a whole social and ecological system rather than conceiving of it as a solitary function acting in isolation from other aspects of human society and nature.  A key goal of sustainable economic development is not to exceed the capacity of the earth to supply resources and raw materials and to process waste products while ensuring that people can meet their needs.

| Green Jobs | Weatherization and Retrofit Programs | Creating Sustainable Industries and Businesses | Sustainable Economic Development |

Green Jobs

  • Greener Reality: Jobs, Skills, and Equity in a Cleaner U.S. Economy
    This PDF includes an executive summary, a set of case studies and examples, and a conclusion. This page also provides links to PDFs on earlier work entitled Greener Pathways and Greener Skills.

  • Green Collar Jobs
    By Gary Green and Andrew Dane
    The promise of an economy that creates good jobs while protecting and restoring the natural world is an alluring one. Depending on society’s commitment to sustainability, between 8 and 40 million green-collar jobs—loosely defined as employment that contributes to environmental quality—could be created in the U.S. alone by the year 2030. Used with permission, originally published in the Encyclopedia of Sustainability (c) Berkshire Publishing Group 2010, and provided here for individual use only and not for redistribution in any form.

  • Will Marre, Leadership Expert, on How Green Business Is the New Revolution of Business Strategy
    Will Marre, leadership expert, contends that going green as a new business strategy unleashes the greatest economic opportunity in history. Green businesses can create new markets with new customers or erase competition all together.

  • Greener Pathways: Jobs and Workforce Development in the Clean Energy Economy
    This report talks about the kind and quality of jobs in the clean energy economy; the skills needed to fill these jobs; and how existing plants and their workers—especially those in the beleaguered industrial heartland—can move to the center of the clean energy economy. The Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) promotes research, policy analysis, and field experiments and demonstration projects in "high road" (high wage/productivity/profits, low waste, democratically accountable) economic growth and government.

  • Job Opportunities in a Green Economy
    This June 2008 report by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) provides a snapshot of the kinds of jobs that are needed to build a green economy in the United States. It focuses on six key strategies for attacking global warming and highlights some of the major “green jobs” associated with each of these approaches. Wisconsin is one of the 12 states included in the report.

  • American Sustainable Business Council
    The American Sustainable Business Council has a mission to advance public policies that ensure a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy.

  • Business Alliance for Local Living Economies Guiding Principles
    Business Alliance for Local Living Economies is a network of socially responsible businesses, comprised of over 80 community networks in 30 U.S. states and Canadian provinces representing over 22,000 independent business members. BALLE’s guiding principles include: Think Local First, Increase Self-Reliance, Share Prosperity, Build Community, Work with Nature, Celebrate Diversity, and Measure What Matters.

  • Social Venture Network
    Social Venture Network was founded as a platform to connect, inspire and support influential entrepreneurs who wanted to use business to create a values-driven and sustainable world. Social Venture Network is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse community of socially responsible business leaders who will lead the way to a just and sustainable economy.

  • National Environmental Education Foundation
    The Business and Environment Program has helped companies integrate employee education and engagement to align sustainability goals and day-to-day operations, while also improving their bottom line. Through its Business Sustainability Educational Roundtable, NEEF has engaged leading companies, including Kimberly-Clark, Johnson & Johnson, Intel and others, representing four million employees to share and develop best practices on employee engagement. NEEF has also produced groundbreaking reports on employee engagement in environmental and sustainability education. Various reports available on-line.

  • Center for American Progress
    Van Jones is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress focusing on “green-collar jobs” and how cities are implementing job-creating climate solutions. This web site provides some of his articles on green collar jobs. Jones is the founder of Green For All.

  • Green For All: Overview on Green Collar Jobs
    This site provides an overview on Green Collar Jobs. A variety of reports and research related to green jobs can be found on this site.

  • Union of Concerned Scientists - News Center
    Press release: 25-Percent-by-2025 National Renewable Electricity Standard Would Create Nearly 300,000 Jobs, Save Consumers Billions, Science Group Says.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics - Green Careers
    This site provides information on green careers including wages, anticipated job prospects, what worker do on the job, working conditions, required education, training and credentials. The page lists green career articles, data on green jobs, and green career information related links.

  • International Society of Sustainability Professionals
    ISSP is a non-profit, member-driven association for professionals who are committed to making sustainability standard practice. Members share resources and best practices, and develop themselves professionally. Special reports, salary surveys, and the knowledge competency study are just a sampling of the rich content offered members.

  • American Innovation: Manufacturing Low Carbon Technologies in the Midwest
    Midwest job numbers from climate and energy policy study.

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Weatherization and Retrofit Programs

  • A Short Guide to Setting Up a City-Scale Retrofit Program
    This guide, released in July 2000, was developed by Green for All and the Center on Wisconsin Strategies (COWS) and provides a model for cities to design and implement large-scale weatherization and retrofitting programs that address climate change, put people to work, and reduce working families' energy bills.

  • Recovery through Retrofit (October 2009)
    Recovery through Retrofit report builds on investments made in the Recovery Act 2009 to expand the home energy efficiency and retrofit market. A 14 page report by the Middle Class Task Force of the Council on Environmental Quality.

  • Long Island Green Homes Initiative
    A brief case study on the town of Babylon’s (New York) “Long Island Green Homes Initiative” which is an ambitious plan to perform energy efficiency retrofits on all of the town’s 65,000 homes. At no upfront cost, the program provides homeowners with the capital to perform retrofits on their properties and connects them with trained workers to make the improvements.

  • City Scale Retrofits: Learning from Portland and Oakland
    A 24 page PDF report produced by MIT Community Innovators Lab.

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Creating Sustainable Industries and Businesses

  • Business, Environment and Social Responsibility
    The mission of the Business, Environment & Social Responsibility Program is to provide students, executives, and organizations with education, knowledge and practice tools to become leaders and drive innovation in sustainable enterprise.

  • Full Cost Accounting
    Full Cost Accounting: A Course Module on Incorporating Environmental and Social Costs into Traditional Business Accounting Systems. A 46 page PDF from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • UW-Extension Center for Community Economic Development
    The Center works with UW-Extension county and campus partners to create, apply and transfer multi-disciplinary knowledge to help people understand community change and identify opportunities.

  • Wisconsin’s Travel Green Program
    Travel Green Wisconsin is a voluntary self-certifying sustainable tourism program. To earn certification, applicants must first supply the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative with a Baseline Environmental Performance Assessment. The baseline collects information about the amount of energy, fuel, water, and solid waste that the business consumed during the last calendar year.

  • Interface Sustainability
    Interface Corporation's The Natural Step page.

  • Ethical Markets
    Ethical Markets provides news and perspective on Green Transition, Reforming Global Finance, SRI and more by gathering information from around the world. This site tracks news on Green Prosperity, Reforming Global Finance, Wealth of Networks, Biomimicry, Greentech, Energy Efficiency, Socially Responsible Investing, Beyond GDP, Earth Systems Science and many more topics. The site also houses the Green Transition Scoreboard which looks at total private investments in the green sectors since 2007.

  • Social Economy Centre
    The Social Economy Centre (SEC) of the University of Toronto promotes and disseminates multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on issues affecting the social economy. A central feature of the Social Economy Centre is to create a bridge between the university and other community organizations, particularly nonprofits and co-operatives. The web site has information on SEC projects: Business Done Differently, Southern Ontario Social Economy Node, Volunteers Count, Volunteers and Paid Labour, and Co-ops.

  • Sustainable Prosperity – Making Markets Work for the Environment
    Sustainable Prosperity is a national research and policy network, based at the University of Ottawa.  SP focuses on market-based approaches to build a greener, more competitive economy. It brings together business, policy and academic leaders to help innovative ideas inform policy development.

  • Sustainability Education and Economic Development
    This web site functions as a resource center.

  • Global Environmental Management Initiative
    GEMI is a global leader in developing insights and creating environmental sustainability solutions for business. GEMI is an organization of leading companies dedicated to foster global environmental, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability excellence through the sharing of tools and information to help business achieve environmental sustainability excellence. GEMI currently has 26 member companies representing more than 12 business sectors.

  • Sustainable Industries
    This business source for leaders of the new economy offers a digital Sustainable Industries Magazine as well as white papers and forums focused on sustainable topics. A number of sustainable industries are featured with news and analysis for that sector. Featured resources include guides, podcasts, white papers, and webinars.

  • Business Alliance for local Living Economies
    The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, or BALLE, is North America's fastest growing network of socially responsible businesses, comprised of over 80 community networks in 30 U.S. states and Canadian provinces representing over 22,000 independent business members across the U.S. and Canada. The organization’s web site is focused on building networks of people and businesses to transform regional economies.

  • Sustainable Manufacturing 101 Module
    The Sustainable Manufacturing 101 Module is designed to familiarize companies, particularly small-to-medium-size manufacturers, with key concepts, approaches, strategies, terminology and regulations related to sustainable manufacturing. The modules guide users through various aspects of sustainable manufacturing to help companies identify opportunities for savings and value enhancements throughout the production cycle and supply chain. The module is divided into six distinct lessons, each of which can be downloaded separately.

  • Sustainable Business
    Sustainable Business provides information on green investing, green jobs, business connections, news, events and resources.

  • Sustainable Business Oregon
    Provides news, green jobs, a blog, resources, and events.

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Sustainable Economic Development

  • Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
    This website contains a database of activities contributing to international sustainable development. It provides the latest news on actors and issues are provided on the topics such as Sustainable Energy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development, Biodiversity, Small Island Developing States, African Regional Coverage, Latin American, and Caribbean Regional Coverage.

  • Millennium Consumption Goals
    Millennium Consumption Goals support the major objectives of the RIO+20 and suggest that consumption goals be developed for the period 2012 – 2020 and compliment the Millennium Development Goals. The proposal is found on this web site.

  • Community-Wealth.org
    This site provides Wealth-Building Strategies for America’s Communities through comprehensive and up-to-date information resources on state-of-the-art strategies for democratic, community-based economic development.

  • Green Economy
    This is a web site of the United Nations Environment Program. There is a link for the Green Economy Report Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication.

  • Targeted Regional Economic Development
    This web site is related to Penn State University’s Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. Program areas include Community Capacity Building, Regional Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, Local and Regional Food Systems, and Balanced Use of Natural Resources.

  • New Economy Working Group
    The mission of the New Economy Working Group is to contribute to reframing the economic policy debate to address the social and environmental imperatives and opportunities of the 21st Century. The web site and the work of this organization is focused on nine interrelated action clusters.

  • RuralXChange
    This web site allows people to find and connect with like-minded people to discuss issues related to sustainable rural community, industry, food security. A searchable member directory and group discussion area is available.

  • The Grand Vision
    The communities of Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Wexford – all in Michigan, have created a Grand Vision that includes regional multi-modal transportation, strong local economies, a diverse mix of housing, protected and preserved water, forests, natural and scenic areas, and sustainable energy use. The web site provides details for each vision area.

  • Oxfam International
    Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 90 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty.  The Campaigns tab provides information on various Oxfam projects: GROW, Health and Education, Agriculture, Climate Change, Conflicts and Disasters.

  • Redefining Progress: The Nature of Economics
    This site focuses on shifting public policy to achieve a sustainable economy, a healthy environment and a just society. Topics include ecological footprint, climate policy, environmental justice, sustainable economics, sustainable indicators, research and publications.

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