Green Equity Toolkit

This toolkit includes principles, goals, outcomes, strategies, indicators, and examples that can inform best practices for making race, gender, and economic equity a priority in green-collar job creation. While not specific to adaptation, this toolkit provides guidance for considering equity in green job initiatives more broadly. 

This report draws on the non-profit Green For All's definition of green-collar jobs, which states that green-collar jobs are "well-paid, career track jobs that contribute directly to preserving or enhancing environmental quality. If a job improves the environment, but doesn’t provide a family-supporting wage or a career ladder to move low-income workers into higher-skilled occupations, it is not a green-collar job." The tookit points out that many green-jobs initiatives are missing key equity standards, resulting in the following pitfalls:

  • The green job initiative focuses on low-skilled work and provides few opportunities for career advancement, keeping people of color at the bottom of the career ladder. 
  • The initiative supports job training, but actual jobs are not available for people who complete the training.  
  • Green jobs offer lower-wages and fewer opportunities compared to gray jobs. 
  • Green jobs mostly go to white men. 
  • Green jobs primarily benefit white executives. 

The toolkit guides users on how to break this cycle by describing a framework for designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating initiative to establish green jobs. It begins by outlining equity principles and goals that should guide decisionmaking. It then delves into equity strategies, describing a number of "handles" or justifications that can be used to support equitable green job creation including the principle of equal opportunity, local hiring and training, and labor peace agreements. Using scenarios, the guidebook describes what equitable job programs could look like.  


On November 6, 2013 Applied Research Center (ARC) was rebranded as Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. The content on this page was published by ARC prior to the rebrand.

Publication Date: November 2009

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Yvonne Yen Liu
  • Terry Keleher

Related Organizations:

  • Race Forward


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Indicators
  • Policy analysis/recommendations


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