Hiring green college grads  

With graduation season in full swing, millions of students will be heading to college this fall. Usually students pick a college based on the academic programs, tuition costs, location and sometimes the football team and the weekend (or weeknight) nightlife.

But more students may be adding another consideration to the mix: the school’s environmental conscience and carbon footprint. And that means a new generation of environmentally friendly workers.

This article posted on Mother Nature Network highlights the greenest colleges, which could give businesses a good pool of green workers.

According to the article: “Nearly 1,000 campuses are buying organic produce from two of the country’s biggest food suppliers, and many are taking away dining trays, saving a half-gallon of water and 30 percent food waste per student. The U.S. Green Building Council says 250 campus buildings have received its stamp of approval, a LEED certification, and another 1,600 are on the way. Wind and solar power generation is taking off; even high-tech projects like greywater reuse are finding a home on some campuses.”

Green campuses are located all over the United States, including North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Colorado.

In California, green kudos went to the University of California at Santa Cruz for having the greenest cafeterias with its use of locally grown, organic food. Stanford University – praised for having the greenest alternative dining ware – is using utensils made of potato starch and composts the flatware along with salad bowls made from sugarcane.

With more students taking an interest in the environment, there’s sure to be a trickle down to companies that employ these students after graduation. So, give your new hires license to bring their green education to the office – you just might learn something.

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Get some green inspiration from this report published by the Environmental Defense Fund, “Innovations Review 2009: Green Advances for a New Economy.” The EDF evaluated more than 200 green business practices for environmental benefits, business benefits, replicability and innovativeness. The top 15 innovations were selected for their potential to improve the planet – and the bottom line.

Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Google, Wal-Mart and Verizon are some of the companies highlighted in the report. For example, Google has focused on making its data centers more energy efficient by putting the management of all data centers under the leadership of one executive while also urging employees to consider the full lifecycle costs of purchases.

According to the Uptime Institute, a nonprofit association of data center professionals, Google’s move toward efficiency has saved the company at least $500 million in capital expenditures and $17 million in annual electricity costs. Guess, that’s not too bad.

Read the full report online and get some cost-saving ideas for your business.


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