Models and Best Practices: Green Economy

Green Economy

American Indian Housing Initiative

The American Indian Housing Initiative (AIHI) is a collaborative effort to adapt and deploy sustainable building technologies on American Indian reservations. Founded in 1998 at the University of Washington and now based at Pennsylvania State University, the American Indian Housing Initiative integrates courses, research, and outreach activities to foster mutually beneficial partnerships between universities and tribal nations. Efforts are currently centered on work with the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Eastern Montana. Read more about American Indian Housing Initiative...

Buffalo ReUse

Buffalo ReUse is a not-for-profit organization, established in 2006 in response to the city of Buffalo's plans to develop deconstruction as a competitive alternative to the demolition of abandoned housing stock. There are an estimated 23,000 vacant structures in Buffalo, a city that once housed a half million people, but whose population is now only 290,000. To date Buffalo ReUse has deconstructed two entire structures, salvaged more than 25 additional abandoned structures, and initiated part-time sales of used materials. Read more about Buffalo ReUse...

Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative

Working to create a vibrant green collar workforce, the Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative seeks to integrate green business growth, innovative workforce development, and emerging environmental practices and policies into a vibrant regional economy. The group has chosen to concentrate its energies in four major green collar sectors: urban agriculture and horticulture; building construction, operations and maintenance; green products and services; and energy efficiency and alternative energy. Read more about Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative...

DC Greenworks

D.C. Greenworks runs a group of nonprofit social enterprises that train and employ local "at-risk" youth. D.C. TreeKeepers assists local neighborhoods that are interested in initiating a community greening project. D.C. RainKeepers provides rain barrels and training to households interested in disconnecting one or more rain downspouts from the storm sewer system. D.C. Greenwork's Green Collar Job Training Program reaches out to the city's low-income, ethnically diverse population to foster new job opportunities and training in the urban forestry, nursery, and landscaping industries. Read more about DC Greenworks...

EBO Group

Founded in 1978, the employee-owned EBO Group (which stands for “Excellence By Owners”) is an engineering firm with 55 employee-owners and $20 million in annual sales. The company originally developed custom-designed clutches and brakes, but in recent years has shifted focus to developing more energy-efficient batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles and other storage devices that use recyclable sources of power, such as solar energy. Read more about EBO Group...

Ella Baker Center

The Ella Baker Center, in addition to helping spawn the national support group, Green for All, has also been a green collar jobs pioneer at the local level. With $250,000 in seed funding secured from the Oakland City Council in June 2007, the Oakland Green Jobs Corps is expected to launch in early 2008 and will involve at least 20 local and regional green employers in the Green Business Council. Each participating firm will agree to provide internship positions for Oakland Green Jobs Corps trainees recruited from low-income Oakland city neighborhoods. Read more about Ella Baker Center...

Energy Co-op of Vermont

Founded in 2000 by local residents concerned by rising fuel costs, the Energy Co-op of Vermont is a member-owned utility that strives to offer its members low, fair prices, renewable energy options, and a chance to be a part owner. Comparing their prices to the Vermont average, Energy Co-op illustrates how it has saved its members more than $400,000 on their heating bills since 2000. Read more about Energy Co-op of Vermont...

Growing Home

Growing Home operates a Chicago-based organic agriculture business which grows produce organically and sells it at local farmers markets. Clients include high-end Chicago restaurants and individual Chicagoans through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. This social enterprise employs and trains homeless and low-income Chicagoans; since 2002, the nonprofit business has assisted over 100 participants to transform their lives. Read more about Growing Home...

Local Energy

Stressing the instability of foreign fossil fuel sources, Local Energy is working to ensure that the renewable energy movement focuses on local projects. Through research, education and projects, such as assisting rural communities to harness solar energy or utilizing waste from forest thinning to heat 35 low-income homes, Local Energy works to stress the best practices for local self-reliance in renewable energy. Read more about Local Energy...

Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development

Northwest SEED works to establish a clean, diverse, and affordable Northwest energy system based on efficient use of renewable resources, with maximum local control and ownership of energy assets. The group provides technical assistance for projects that stimulate local economic development, create jobs, and enhance security, while creating widespread popular support for and investment in a sustainable energy system. Efforts to date have included a range of community-owned and tribal-owned wind, solar, and biomass projects. Read more about Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development...

San Francisco Community Power

San Francisco Community Power is a nonprofit group founded in 2001 with a $1.5 million grant from the San Francisco Department of the Environment. Originally focused on two low-income neighborhoods — Bayview-Hunters Point and Potrero Hill—the group provides energy management services to low-income families and small businesses and trains under- and unemployed individuals to implement energy conservation measures. Read more about San Francisco Community Power...

Second Chance, Inc.

Second Chance is a nonprofit enterprise working with residents of Baltimore to train them in a wide variety of skill sets, ranging from carpentry to craftsmanship. The group strives to create skilled workers making a living wage with benefits for themselves and their families. By teaching workers to safely deconstruct a building without damaging its historic elements, they become self-supporting members of the community with new skill sets. Read more about Second Chance, Inc....

Solar Richmond

The Richmond Solar Affordable Housing Project installs residential solar electric systems for low-income Richmond homeowners, including families, seniors and persons with disabilities. All installation services will be provided free of charge to the homeowners through installation teams of Youth Works construction trainees and other community members. The project encourages the use of solar energy throughout the city, helps low-income homeowners reduce their utility bills, and provides Richmond residents with professional skills on solar technology. Read more about Solar Richmond...

Sustainable Food Lab

Founded in June 2004, the Sustainable Food Lab (SFL) is a consortium of 70 businesses and organizations across three continents that is committed to moving sustainable food from niche to mainstream. Utilizing a methodology that encourages cross sector dialogues, an openness to new ideas, and even admitting that one does not have all the answers, SFL is committed to developing a food system that consumes natural resources at the same rate of recovery. Read more about Sustainable Food Lab...

Sustainable South Bronx

Founded in 2001 by South Bronx resident Majora Carter, Sustainable South Bronx promotes innovative, economically sustainable projects that are informed by community needs. This work includes “green roof” installation and maintenance, as well as its Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training program, a ten-week green collar job training and placement program that has had an 85-percent job placement success rate. Read more about Sustainable South Bronx...

The Rebuilding Center of Our United Villages

The ReBuilding Center is a project of Our United Villages, a Portland-based non-profit community organization. Modeled after successful building material reuse centers throughout North America (over 500 in the United States and Canada), the ReBuilding Center opened to the public in 1998 and moved to a 24,000 square foot warehouse in 1999. By 2001, five tons of materials were being kept out of the landfill each day. Read more about The Rebuilding Center of Our United Villages...

The ReUse People

The ReUse People is a nonprofit business dedicated to keeping usable building materials out of landfills and distributing them for reuse. Since 1993, the ReUse People and its affiliated contractors have deconstructed residential, commercial and industrial buildings ranging from single-family residences to military housing complexes and large-scale movie sets. To date, the business has diverted over 210,000 tons of materials from landfills throughout California. Read more about The ReUse People...

YSI Inc.

Yellow Springs Instruments Company (now YSI Inc.) began operations as a four-person company in 1948 that produced sensors and related medical instruments. In 1983, the company was converted to employee ownership. Today, the company has roughly 250 employee-owners and its primary business involves the manufacture of water quality and environmental monitoring applications. YSI actively pursues a “triple bottom line” of business, social, and environmental performance and tracks its progress with an annual sustainability report. Read more about YSI Inc....

Green Economy

American Indian Housing Initiative

The American Indian Housing Initiative (AIHI) is a collaborative effort to adapt and deploy sustainable building technologies on American Indian reservations. Founded in 1998 at the University of Washington and now based at Pennsylvania State University, the American Indian Housing Initiative integrates courses, research, and outreach activities to foster mutually beneficial partnerships between universities and tribal nations. Efforts are currently centered on work with the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Eastern Montana. Read more about American Indian Housing Initiative...

Buffalo ReUse

Buffalo ReUse is a not-for-profit organization, established in 2006 in response to the city of Buffalo's plans to develop deconstruction as a competitive alternative to the demolition of abandoned housing stock. There are an estimated 23,000 vacant structures in Buffalo, a city that once housed a half million people, but whose population is now only 290,000. To date Buffalo ReUse has deconstructed two entire structures, salvaged more than 25 additional abandoned structures, and initiated part-time sales of used materials. Read more about Buffalo ReUse...

Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative

Working to create a vibrant green collar workforce, the Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative seeks to integrate green business growth, innovative workforce development, and emerging environmental practices and policies into a vibrant regional economy. The group has chosen to concentrate its energies in four major green collar sectors: urban agriculture and horticulture; building construction, operations and maintenance; green products and services; and energy efficiency and alternative energy. Read more about Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative...

DC Greenworks

D.C. Greenworks runs a group of nonprofit social enterprises that train and employ local "at-risk" youth. D.C. TreeKeepers assists local neighborhoods that are interested in initiating a community greening project. D.C. RainKeepers provides rain barrels and training to households interested in disconnecting one or more rain downspouts from the storm sewer system. D.C. Greenwork's Green Collar Job Training Program reaches out to the city's low-income, ethnically diverse population to foster new job opportunities and training in the urban forestry, nursery, and landscaping industries. Read more about DC Greenworks...

EBO Group

Founded in 1978, the employee-owned EBO Group (which stands for “Excellence By Owners”) is an engineering firm with 55 employee-owners and $20 million in annual sales. The company originally developed custom-designed clutches and brakes, but in recent years has shifted focus to developing more energy-efficient batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles and other storage devices that use recyclable sources of power, such as solar energy. Read more about EBO Group...

Ella Baker Center

The Ella Baker Center, in addition to helping spawn the national support group, Green for All, has also been a green collar jobs pioneer at the local level. With $250,000 in seed funding secured from the Oakland City Council in June 2007, the Oakland Green Jobs Corps is expected to launch in early 2008 and will involve at least 20 local and regional green employers in the Green Business Council. Each participating firm will agree to provide internship positions for Oakland Green Jobs Corps trainees recruited from low-income Oakland city neighborhoods. Read more about Ella Baker Center...

Energy Co-op of Vermont

Founded in 2000 by local residents concerned by rising fuel costs, the Energy Co-op of Vermont is a member-owned utility that strives to offer its members low, fair prices, renewable energy options, and a chance to be a part owner. Comparing their prices to the Vermont average, Energy Co-op illustrates how it has saved its members more than $400,000 on their heating bills since 2000. Read more about Energy Co-op of Vermont...

Growing Home

Growing Home operates a Chicago-based organic agriculture business which grows produce organically and sells it at local farmers markets. Clients include high-end Chicago restaurants and individual Chicagoans through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. This social enterprise employs and trains homeless and low-income Chicagoans; since 2002, the nonprofit business has assisted over 100 participants to transform their lives. Read more about Growing Home...

Local Energy

Stressing the instability of foreign fossil fuel sources, Local Energy is working to ensure that the renewable energy movement focuses on local projects. Through research, education and projects, such as assisting rural communities to harness solar energy or utilizing waste from forest thinning to heat 35 low-income homes, Local Energy works to stress the best practices for local self-reliance in renewable energy. Read more about Local Energy...

Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development

Northwest SEED works to establish a clean, diverse, and affordable Northwest energy system based on efficient use of renewable resources, with maximum local control and ownership of energy assets. The group provides technical assistance for projects that stimulate local economic development, create jobs, and enhance security, while creating widespread popular support for and investment in a sustainable energy system. Efforts to date have included a range of community-owned and tribal-owned wind, solar, and biomass projects. Read more about Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development...

San Francisco Community Power

San Francisco Community Power is a nonprofit group founded in 2001 with a $1.5 million grant from the San Francisco Department of the Environment. Originally focused on two low-income neighborhoods — Bayview-Hunters Point and Potrero Hill—the group provides energy management services to low-income families and small businesses and trains under- and unemployed individuals to implement energy conservation measures. Read more about San Francisco Community Power...

Second Chance, Inc.

Second Chance is a nonprofit enterprise working with residents of Baltimore to train them in a wide variety of skill sets, ranging from carpentry to craftsmanship. The group strives to create skilled workers making a living wage with benefits for themselves and their families. By teaching workers to safely deconstruct a building without damaging its historic elements, they become self-supporting members of the community with new skill sets. Read more about Second Chance, Inc....

Solar Richmond

The Richmond Solar Affordable Housing Project installs residential solar electric systems for low-income Richmond homeowners, including families, seniors and persons with disabilities. All installation services will be provided free of charge to the homeowners through installation teams of Youth Works construction trainees and other community members. The project encourages the use of solar energy throughout the city, helps low-income homeowners reduce their utility bills, and provides Richmond residents with professional skills on solar technology. Read more about Solar Richmond...

Sustainable Food Lab

Founded in June 2004, the Sustainable Food Lab (SFL) is a consortium of 70 businesses and organizations across three continents that is committed to moving sustainable food from niche to mainstream. Utilizing a methodology that encourages cross sector dialogues, an openness to new ideas, and even admitting that one does not have all the answers, SFL is committed to developing a food system that consumes natural resources at the same rate of recovery. Read more about Sustainable Food Lab...

Sustainable South Bronx

Founded in 2001 by South Bronx resident Majora Carter, Sustainable South Bronx promotes innovative, economically sustainable projects that are informed by community needs. This work includes “green roof” installation and maintenance, as well as its Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training program, a ten-week green collar job training and placement program that has had an 85-percent job placement success rate. Read more about Sustainable South Bronx...

The Rebuilding Center of Our United Villages

The ReBuilding Center is a project of Our United Villages, a Portland-based non-profit community organization. Modeled after successful building material reuse centers throughout North America (over 500 in the United States and Canada), the ReBuilding Center opened to the public in 1998 and moved to a 24,000 square foot warehouse in 1999. By 2001, five tons of materials were being kept out of the landfill each day. Read more about The Rebuilding Center of Our United Villages...

The ReUse People

The ReUse People is a nonprofit business dedicated to keeping usable building materials out of landfills and distributing them for reuse. Since 1993, the ReUse People and its affiliated contractors have deconstructed residential, commercial and industrial buildings ranging from single-family residences to military housing complexes and large-scale movie sets. To date, the business has diverted over 210,000 tons of materials from landfills throughout California. Read more about The ReUse People...

YSI Inc.

Yellow Springs Instruments Company (now YSI Inc.) began operations as a four-person company in 1948 that produced sensors and related medical instruments. In 1983, the company was converted to employee ownership. Today, the company has roughly 250 employee-owners and its primary business involves the manufacture of water quality and environmental monitoring applications. YSI actively pursues a “triple bottom line” of business, social, and environmental performance and tracks its progress with an annual sustainability report. Read more about YSI Inc....