The sustainability workforce has an exciting future in Arizona

Local companies have begun to take notice and make transitions towards more socially and environmentally responsible practices. Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability is helping catalyze these changes and move local businesses in a sustainable direction. The GreenLight Solutions Foundation debuted out of the School of Sustainability and is currently engaging ASU students with local businesses to help them achieve their sustainability goals.

GreenLight Solutions pairs passionate ASU students with local small businesses to work on specific sustainability projects. The volunteer nature of this organization allows local businesses to learn contemporary sustainability tactics at zero cost to them while also providing ASU students with valuable on the ground training.

The foundation prides itself on producing better-prepared graduates, citing the hands-on training as vital in their professional development.

“The theory of sustainability is going to be way different than what you will encounter in real life,” Program Development Director Ashley Weisman said. “So in order to have more effective sustainability professionals after students graduate, we have students getting out into the field and actually working with businesses on the ground and getting that real-world experience.”

Currently GreenLight Solutions has three projects lined up for next semester, working with Stardust Building Supplies, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, and the Green Chamber of Commerce. The projects are all local and benefit all parties involved, something Greenlight prides itself on. 

“A group of passionate students together and we have them go into the business and see what the business’ sustainability goals are so that we can work with them and help them solve some sustainability problems that a business has,” Weisman said. 

Arizona State University is the first university nationwide to create a sustainability program, making green professions highly sought after here in the Valley. GreenLight Solutions gives its interns and members a competitive edge post-graduation, giving them applied experience, which in turn not only makes their resumes stick out, but also gives them confidence going into their field of work.

The transition towards sustainability is becoming more and more mainstream as the years go on, making the services provided at GreenLight Solutions all the more useful. The companies involved get access to passionate students that can help facilitate a shift into a more sustainable operation and they also become linked with potential new employees.

The work being done at the GreenLight Solutions Foundation helps create higher valued graduates, an improved environment, and more conscious businesses.  

Joseph Flynn

1 comment

  • Great sounding program. From a sustainability perspective, one of the most effective and under utilized ways companies and individuals can have an impact on our environment is by shared-commuting. Cutting down on single occupant vehicles helps drastically reduce CO2 emissions and also saves participants thousands of dollars annually in commuting costs. Valley Metro (Maricopa County) has one of the nations best commuter vanpool programs with lots of room for growth. More companies need to be aware of and encourage employees to share their commutes.

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