Seniors: join your classmates in a pledge to consider the social and environmental consequences of your careers. By taking the Graduation Pledge, you define for yourself what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible. There is not obligation to turn down jobs... the graduation pledge is simply a way for you to ensure that your job represents more than a paycheck.
Members of the class of 2011 who have taken the Graduation Pledge, and what they plan to do next year:
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Join them! Take the Graduation Pledge.
Organizations in support of the Graduation Pledge at SCU
Environmental Studies Institute
Office of the Provost
Sustainable Business Studies Club
Student Sustainability Convergence
Join other SCU Graduation Pledge takers on Facebook.
What does my job have to do with sustainability?
If you’ve got a job lined up in a field like accounting, finance, education, or anything else that seems completely unrelated to the social and environmental values the Graduation Pledge encourages you to consider, think again. The Grad Pledge has something for all college graduates. Here are some reasons why:
By signing the Graduation Pledge, you are saying that you’ll take the values of SCU with you into the working world and keep the earth and all of its inhabitants in mind as you make your living.
- We’re raffling off a new work wardrobe and coupons for restaurants, stores, and services all over the Bay Area
- Social entrepreneurship is a growing trend, and many companies, big and small, are making an effort to ensure that their practices do not interfere with social justice or the environment. Most companies will have a corporate responsibility statement on their website. Even actions as simple as supporting a sustainable paper recycling program or a company-designated charity can be in solidarity with the Grad Pledge.
- The Pledge lets you define “social and environmental responsibility” for yourself and is therefore designed just for you to think about what these values mean to you.
Things to consider when looking for a sustainable career
These pages, which appear on the Graduation Pledge website, as simple guidelines for investigating an employer, company, or organization to assess how socially or environmentally responsible they are.
- Check out noteworthy issue areas to examine to determine a company or organization’s level of social or environmental commitment.
- A more detailed way to investigate and analyze your potential employer’s responsibility
How to make a change
If you feel your career could be more socially or environmentally responsible, here are some resources to help you make that change:
Tools of Change:offers case studies, tools, and other resources to help promote comprehensively sustainable practices
Recyclespot.org: One easy way to “green” your workplace is by instituting a recycling program
Complete Guide to Ethics Management - An Ethics Toolkit for Managers: A guide about how to promote business ethics
Social Edge: A network for social entrepreneurs with inspiration for improving the social aspects of your future career
Starting Bloc: A four-day workshop and extended membership for young professionals interested in promoting corporate social innovation
GreenBiz.com: News about all kinds of sustainable businesses and tips for how to promote sustainability in your own>
Living green at work
Now that you’re out of college, you’ll find that many lifestyle habits that are good for the earth are also good for your wallet. Here are some simple changes you can make—in the office and out—that will help you stay eco-friendly after graduation.
- Reduce emissions when on your commute by carpooling with a co-worker who lives nearby, using public transportation, or riding your bike. You can save up $2,174 each year by carpooling 40 miles round trip with just one other person. If you don't know of anyone who you can share rides with, try erideshare.com to find a commuting partner. You can also try Zipcar, which is a really convenient option for people living in the city or near public transportation.
- Pack a reusable coffee mug or water bottle--you can even stash a few plates and some silverware instead of buying their disposable counterparts. Instead of ordering food "to-go" from a restaurant, bring leftovers from home to avoid the extra packaging.
- Use a CFL bulb in your desk lamp and in your home. These bulbs last ten times longer than their incandescent counterparts and use only about thirty percent as much energy.
- Turn off and unplug your computer and other electronics when you leave your office in the evenings. Even in a low-power mode, these items are still using small amounts of energy which contributes to CO2 emissions. Also try plugging your office and home electronics into a power strip which you can turn off when you’re gone for periods of time.
- If you travel for your job, consider buying carbon offsets for each flight you take. You can do this at www.carbonfund.org.
- Consider starting your own compost. With a little dedication and patience, it’s easy to do and extremely beneficial for the environment. See the US EPA’s guide for how to create your own compost pile and what you can and can't compost.
- Make sure you recycle! Go to the website of whatever city you end up living in to learn about their municipal recycling program and to see what they do and do not accept. Also, make sure your office has a recycling program. If not, refer to our guide for how to start one yourself!
- Purchase “eco-friendly” cleaning products. Good brands are Mrs. Meyer’s and Seventh Generation. They feature products made with natural and biodegradable ingredients that aren’t tested on animals, and are socially conscious.
- Use Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay or freecycle.org to buy and sell used furniture or household goods and office needs.
- Instead of joining a gym, save emissions and money by exercising outdoors. Consider joining a running or biking club. For more information, visit http://www.timeoutdoors.com/.