San Francisco Department of the Environment

Driving Demand in the Green Economy

SF Environment is expanding the green economy and promoting green jobs through our environmental policies and programs.

Our region leads the nation in developing the innovative greentech and cleantech industries, and San Francisco is at the forefront of this revolution through our policies and programs.

The City’s support of job growth in the sustainability sector will transform our local economy, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, help us meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets and provide healthier places to live and work. Workers across the City—from Bayview Hunters Point to the Financial District—will benefit from new jobs utilizing a range of skills and education levels.

Learn more about how our work supports a thriving green economy:

Green Jobs and Zero Waste

San Francisco’s Zero Waste policies generate job growth in composting, recycling, and remanufacturing. It takes ten times more workers to collect, sort, transport, and remanufacture products than it does to bury them in a landfill.

Green Jobs and Energy Efficiency

Programs such as Energy Watch and Home Improvement and Performance create demand for jobs in energy efficiency and green construction while helping businesses and residents save money on their energy bills.

Green Jobs and Solar

Go Solar SF and [email protected] make solar energy more accessible for residents and businesses, translating into more jobs in solar panel production, sales, installation and maintenance. The Go Solar SF program requires that installations be done by contractors who hire from the City’s workforce development programs, thus creating greater opportunity for San Francisco’s economically vulnerable populations. 

Green Jobs and Consumer Products

The Food Service Waste Ordinance banned the use of styrofoam, leading to a growing local market for recyclable and compostable foodware. The City’s Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance expanded the market for reusable bag companies, many of which are California based.

Policies to reduce toxics, such as the Precautionary Purchasing Ordinance, drive demand for healthier products, and support businesses that are going green.

Green Jobs and Environmental Justice

The Environmental Justice Program has encouraged green jobs for the past 10 years. The program provides technical and grant assistance to nonprofit groups to integrate eco-literacy and green building principles into job training curricula. It also supports community projects that promote environmental health, air quality, toxics reduction, energy conservation, solar PV installations, tree planting, community gardening, and urban farming in Southeast neighborhoods.    

Green Job Training

The green economy will encompass a wide range of skills and education levels. Our Environment Now job training program supports soft skills development and technical job skills alongside eco-literacy and environmental stewardship.

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