Oregon tops nation in new Clean Jobs Index
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Oregon ranks No. 1 in the nation for "clean jobs" according to a new index.
A new nationwide index released this week by Ecotech Institute, a recently formed college focused on renewable energy and sustainability job training, shows Oregon leads the nation when it comes to so-called "clean" jobs.
The Clean Jobs Index aggregated data about clean and green jobs and found that there were more than 3 million available nationwide last year. The bulk of those jobs exist in Oregon with Washington coming in second for density of clean gigs. Minnesota ranks third.
The index used the definition of green jobs established by the U.S. Department of Labor. That is:
- Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
- Jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.
The index crunched the numbers of clean jobs by state. Researchers also looked at a variety of sustainability factors that affect citizens’ lifestyles, including alternative fueling stations, LEED projects, total energy consumption, energy efficiency, green pricing, net metering and state incentives.
In addition to crowning Oregon as king of the clean jobs, the index provides the following honorable mentions:
- Alaska is No. 1 for clean jobs per 100,000 residents.
- Idaho generates the highest percentage of energy by renewables at 85 percent.
- Minnesota is number one for renewable energy and efficiency state incentives.
- California ranks lowest in energy usage per 100,000 residents.
- Massachusetts ranks highest for energy efficiency.
- Hawaii has the highest number of customers on net metering energy per capita — meaning the most customers receiving credit for the energy they generate at home.
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