This pledge for graduating seniors asks them to define what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible in the workplace. There is no obligation to turn down jobs...it is simply a way to ensure that a job represents more than a paycheck.
Join your classmates in a pledge to consider the social and environmental consequences of your careers. By taking the SCU Graduation Pledge, you define for yourself what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible.
The Grad Pledge is part of the Graduation Pledge Alliance, a global community of conscientious graduates. 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.
What does my job have to do with sustainability?
- 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, or switching to, a sustainable career:
- Tools of Change: This offers case studies, tools, and other resources to help promote comprehensively sustainable practices.
- Complete Guide to Ethics Management - An Ethics Toolkit for Managers: Read this 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 five-day workshop and extended membership for young professionals interested in promoting corporate social innovation
- GreenBiz: News about all kinds of sustainable businesses and tips for how to promote sustainability in your own workplace
- Sustainability Degrees: A resource for discovering a sustainability degree that fits your passion and skills, plus an ultimate "how-to guide" for students to get involved in sustainability advocacy and activism.
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.
- Carpool, use public transportation, or ride your bike to reduce emissions on your commute. 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 and 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.
- Start 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 composting at home for more information.
- Make sure you recycle! Go to your city's website to learn about their municipal recycling program and 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 or make your own “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.
- Buy and sell used furniture, household goods and office supplies instead of buying new. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay and freecycle.org are great places to start.
- Save emissions and money by exercising outdoors instead of joining a gym. Consider joining a running or biking club.