Matt Sanford
Economic Development Manager
City of Carlsbad 

It’s hard to know exactly what economic recovery will look like — yet it’s clear sustainability will be a big part of that future.

The pandemic proved to be a watershed moment for cleantech. Despite the massive disruption that was 2020, businesses bought a record amount of clean energy. More than 130 corporations bought 23.7 gigawatts of renewable energy — an 18 percent jump from 2019.

And despite a devastating loss of more than 600,000 jobs in cleantech across the country, the Bureau of Labor Statistics still projects the two fastest growing jobs over the next decade will be solar panel installer and wind turbine technician.

Here in Carlsbad, dozens of cleantech companies provide more than 1,000 jobs. This includes innovative leaders, like Poseidon Water, which is reimagining our water systems through public-private partnerships. And Calsense, where engineers are designing irrigation that helps the government save water and money.

When I think about the long road of economic recovery ahead, cleantech gives me hope and cautious optimism. Its growth potential is promising, and the prospect of a more sustainable future is inspiring.

But sustainability isn’t just for cleantech. Increasingly, environmentalism is becoming a standard part of doing business. In fact, nearly 70 percent of consumers in the US and Canada think it’s important for brands to be eco-friendly, according to a study by IBM and the National Retail Federation.

Employees value it, too. UCLA researchers found that when companies embrace sustainable practices, they see a 16 percent productivity jump among their employees.

Managing a company’s environmental impact is no longer a question of “if,” but “how.”

If you’d like some ideas on how to get started, here are some simple ways:

Start small

Going green is something you can lean into. Even opting for an office water tank can make a big difference. One reusable bottle can replace up to 167 single-use plastic bottles per year. You can even opt local, and go for Carlsbad Alkaline Water.

If you’d like to see some events happening in Carlsbad to help get you started, you can find tips on our City website at www. carlsbadca.gov/earthmonth.

Make it fun

Doing something environmentally-inspired can make for great team building. For example, your company could rent a plot as part of a community garden.

Or, your company could do a quarterly clean up along Carlsbad’s natural spaces. We have 7 miles of coastline, 3 lagoons, and 1,000 acres of protected habitat — all of which make great options. If every Carlsbad company did just one clean-up, imagine the local environmental impact that would have.

Embrace the process

Remember that you’re always ‘going green.’ It’s a way of doing business.

Sustainability will look different for each company. Over time, you’ll learn which changes shrink your carbon footprint and reduce waste. And most importantly, I hope you’ll keep striving for better.

After all, there’s always more we can collectively do for Mother Nature— and that is something worth celebrating this month, and all year.

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