Bad news, Omaha – the state of Nebraska falls toward the bottom of the Forbes list of Greenest States. It’s number 33 out of 50, although ranked two spots ahead of Iowa. And Omaha is number 78 on Wallet Hub’s list of Greenest Cities in the United States, while Lincoln is 34th.
But even if you don’t live in the greenest of cities or states, you can still place yourself in a career focused on sustainability and conservation of resources.
The Green Omaha Coalition
The Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities partners with Omaha-based companies to form the Green Omaha Coalition. Companies in this coalition are dedicated to promoting green initiatives within the Omaha area. Employment with any of these companies represents a job that promotes sustainability as a company culture.
Here are some of the companies involved with this green initiative. It’s not an exhaustive list, but gives a good overview for job seekers who want an environmentally responsible role in a green company.
- American Institute of Architects (AIA) Omaha Chapter represents more than 350 architecture professionals in the Omaha area.
- Bahr Vermeer Haecker Architects is an architectural firm focused on creativity and community improvement.
- City of Omaha Office of the Mayor represents Mayor Stothert to Omaha residents and acts as a representative of the city.
- Destination Midtown is a group conducting an expansive planning study to revitalize the Midtown area of Omaha.
- Douglas County Health Department is a public agency responsible for the health of Nebraskans within Douglas County.
- HDR Architecture Inc. is an award-winning, national company specializing in architecture, engineering, environmental and construction services.
- Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities promotes sustainable development within the Omaha area.
- Keep Omaha Beautiful is a non-profit, environmental organization with the goal of keeping Omaha clean, beautiful, and environmentally sustainable as a city.
- Kiewit Building Group Inc. is a subsidiary of the Kiewit Corporation and is ranked as a top U.S. engineering and construction firm.
- Lamp, Rynearson, and Associates is a civil engineering and project management firm specializing in landscape architecture, construction administration and surveying.
- Lead-Safe Omaha Coalition is a non-profit organization providing education to Omaha residents about lead safety.
- Metropolitan Area Planning Agency works with Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa residents and government agencies in planning and development.
- Omaha by Design is a civic planning organization dedicated to the development and implementation of both urban design and environmental public policy.
- Our Healthy Community Partnership is a membership group consisting of various hospitals, insurers and other agencies and organizations.
- The Sierra Club is a national environmental organization founded in 1892.
- RDG Planning and Design is an architecture, planning and design company that also provides graphic design and multi-media services.
- University of Nebraska at Omaha is a public research university, often referred to as Nebraska’s metropolitan university.
National Geographic lists the greenest jobs on the rise right now, but many aren’t yet available here in Nebraska. Among the greenest jobs on the list are urban growers, water quality technicians, clean car engineers, recycling technicians, green builders, biofuel jobs and wind energy workers.
A green job is great, but to make changes to our personal carbon footprint outside of work can have a huge impact over time. Find ways to make your job green, even if the work itself isn’t necessarily green. Telecommute to reduce or eliminate car emissions. Find ways to use less paper and energy where you work. Be an environmental advocate within your organization.
You don’t necessarily have to have a green career to have a positive impact on the environment in Omaha and beyond. But if you decide a green job is the right path for you, seek an employer dedicated to sustainability and environmental responsibility – and choose a job that directly helps the world around you.