Green product sales, hiring increase

With green procurement on the rise, small businesses reported an increase in green product sales during the recession, according to Sustainable Business News.

In a survey by Green America, EcoVentures International and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, businesses that were reported to participate in sustainable sourcing and other green practices also experienced higher sales. These practices included improving efficiency, reducing waste and renewable energy usage. Indicating that production of green products helped boost their business, 79 percent of respondents said they "strongly agree" that the availability of environmentally-friendly products or services put them ahead of the competition.

Green manufacturing job growth

As sustainable products become more profitable, green jobs are also growing to meet this expanding demand, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Green jobs jumped 4.9 percent from 2010 to 2011, compared to a 1.2 percent increase in total employment in the U.S.

The BLS defines green jobs as positions that produce or provide services that help the environment or save natural resources - even duties that improve their company's environmental practices to be more sustainable or waste fewer natural resources.

Of the 3.4 million jobs total that produced or offered eco-friendly goods or services in 2011, manufacturing was the largest source of this type of employment, followed by the leisure and hospitality industry. Manufacturing accounted for 507,168 green goods and services jobs in 2011 with the study showing green jobs made up 4.3 percent of all private manufacturing employment.

Expansion in this industry reached 2.9 percent, with 14,183 jobs added. Semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing led the way in green jobs growth while foundries and electric lighting equipment followed. These three sectors made up a combined 60.9 percent of green jobs added in the manufacturing industry. Leading the states that supply more than 100,000 green jobs were California with 360,245 and New York with 266,208. 

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