Going Green Earns Green, Hard Cash

As the presidential election rapidly approaches, there is a huge debate over the state of our economy, particularly in reference to government subsidies and job creation. The good news is that going green may be the key to staving off the American economic apocalypse, and just what this country needs to create jobs, and earn companies green hard cash.

As a recent infographic by created by the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass illustrates, green tech industries like smart grid, wind, solar, biomass, and building retrofits each create more jobs than coal and natural gas combined.

We recently heard a critique of the of this infographic that went as follows, ‘How many tax payers does it take to get a million dollars? If we assume the average tax payer earns $50,000 x 25% = $12,500…$1,000,000/$12,500=80 people. So it takes about 80 paying taxes to “create” 14 solar jobs in a start-up company that may fail.’

The problem with this argument is that it ignores the significant governmental subsidies traditional energy industries like coal and natural gas are already receiving. According to the Environmental Law Institute, over the 7 year study period, over $72.5B was invested in fossil fuel companies as a result of government subsidies. By comparison, only $29.5B in federal subsidies was invested in clean tech industries. (Source: http://www.eli.org/pdf/Energy_Subsidies_Black_Not_Green.pdf)

In other words, it takes 1/2 as much money to create 5x as many jobs in the green tech sector as compared to traditional fossil fuels.

SIS has known for a long time that going green can save companies green cash. In fact, we founded our business in North Carolina on this principle. Since our inception last year, we have already saved Nomaco $114K over a 6 month period by working with them to implement sustainability upgrades including more efficient lighting tech and peak shaving practices. By our critic’s logic that is 2 extra tax paying jobs, or in our case 3 full time jobs, and 6 part-time workers.

While we’ve known for a while that going green goes hand in hand with being fiscally responsible, it is great to see this knowledge shared an applied on a more national level.

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