Jobs & Recycling
Green buildings typically involve greater initial costs to achieve important green objectives such as improved energy efficiency, increased use of renewable energy (on site and off site), and diversion of waste from landfills for reuse or recycling. These changes create local and US jobs and offset wasteful consumption of energy (some of it imported from anti-democratic nations) and improve productivity and the US trade deficit. Each of these aspects of green design – efficiency, renewable energy and waste diversion — involves increased employment compared with conventional non-green buildings.
The typical green school uses one-third less energy than conventional schools. This reduction is a result of a combination of things, including better design, more energy efficiency equipment, and installation of energy efficiency measures such as increased insulation. A 2004 Massachusetts report found that every $10 million in additional energy efficiency investments contributes about 160 short-term jobs and 30 long-term or permanent jobs. Assuming about $200,000 in additional energy efficiency related investments in a green school relative to a conventional school, investment in energy efficiency creates three short- term jobs through additional work and half of a long-term job per school. The average income for a permanent job created can be conservatively estimated as $38,000, indicating a long-term annual increase in salary in-state for each green school of $19,000 (half of one fulltime job created from increased energy efficiency). On a 20 year discounted basis, and assuming salaries grow at inflation, this is $250,000 of direct in-state salary created, equal to $2/ft2 for a typical 125,000 ft2 school. This calculation does not include the positive net employment impact of short-term jobs created.
Only 2.5 jobs are created for every 1,000 tons of waste disposed, while 4.7 jobs are created for 1,000 tons of waste diverted.