The creation of a sustainable future will require diversity


Sustainable and diverse?

A demographic profile of those who are classified as “Super Greenies” reveals these people tend to be white and college educated, and whose annual income tends to be in the upper 10%.  The most recent census revealed in Hawaii and California that the number of minorities, defined as African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans, has eclipsed the number of “non-minorities”. The implementation of sustainable practices on a national level will mandate all people of all races and backgrounds to contribute.

A diverse future?

I had the opportunity to speak with students at Mission College in Santa Clara, California that were enrolled in a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program. STEM programs are designed to educate students in those four specific disciplines.

I could not help but notice that almost all the students were of minority groups. Many of those in attendance had expressed interest in pursuing sustainable careers and claimed to be interested in sustainability.

The status of sustainability

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 3.1 million jobs in the U.S. were associated with the production of green goods and services, accounting for 2.4 percent of total U.S. employment. A Nielsen 2015 survey revealed that 66% of global consumers say they are willing to pay more for sustainable products. These trends are expected to increase in the future.

Diversity will be a requirement

By the year 2050, Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans will make up more than 50% of the American population. Minority workers will become the majority in corporations by the year 2039. The clear conclusion is the progression toward a sustainable world will involve the full participation of all diverse groups. All people from all backgrounds will need to contribute, not just those who are privileged. It is everyone’s planet, after all.