HMH, DSM, Siemens among N.J. employers pledging to support green workforce

Companies commit to train, educate and build career pathways for diverse, well-paid workforce

Hackensack Meridian Health, DSM, Hugo Neu, Siemens and Unilever were among the New Jersey companies that have pledged to invest in building a diverse and well-paid workforce as they advance their work as sustainability and climate leaders.

The announcement came during a Climate Week NYC 2022 event last week, where Gov. Phil Murphy also unveiled the Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future report.

The Corporate Green Workforce Development Pledge is designed to maximize well-paying green jobs in the state that benefit a diverse workforce. It is intended to complement the state plan by demonstrating the robust corporate support for these goals and setting a standard for other state employers to follow.

The pledge reads:

“Public and private partners are stepping forward to commit to more sustainable business practices and the creation of well-paid jobs that support climate action and diversity in the green workforce. Addressing climate change offers the opportunity for transformative investments that bolster the innovation ecosystem, protect the planet, and drive economic growth.”

Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Bob Garrett said HMH is all in.

“The climate crisis marks a significant public health risk to New Jersey and its residents, and growing a strong workforce to address it is crucial to the health of communities across New Jersey,” he said. “Health care can play a major role in addressing the climate crisis, and Hackensack Meridian Health is proud to partner with the Murphy administration in putting workers at the center of our state’s climate leadership.”

Hugh Welsh, president and general counsel, DSM North America, long a leader in sustainability efforts, agreed.

“Companies, investors and policymakers alike all know that confronting the climate crisis represents a major economic opportunity, and workers deserve to see these benefits,” he said. “As DSM works to lead in the clean energy transition, we pledge to support the development of a diverse and skilled workforce to take on this monumental challenge and opportunity.”

The pledge was organized by the sustainability nonprofit Ceres, in collaboration with the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy. In signing, the companies committed to:

  • Support high-quality, family-sustaining jobs for New Jersey residents;
  • Train, educate and build career pathways for a diverse, well-paid workforce;
  • Offer resources that support an inclusive workplace and contribute to the success of a diverse workforce;
  • Make investments that provide benefit to, and where possible are centered in, local communities; and
  • Support New Jersey in meeting its aggressive climate, clean energy and other sustainability targets.

New Jersey has emerged as a leader in taking advantage of the opportunity to build a cleaner and more sustainable economy. The state has approved landmark climate and environmental justice legislation while forming the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy to develop a holistic approach to harnessing these business and workforce development opportunities.

Jane Cohen, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, said all parties must work together.

“The public and private sectors must work in tandem to proactively and aggressively confront the worsening climate crisis,” she said. “New Jersey is proving that states can simultaneously boost environmental health and economic vitality by developing a green economy that generates good-paying jobs and opportunities for all in burgeoning new industries.”

Matt Helgeson, head of sustainability for Siemens USA, said Siemens is thrilled to be a part of the process.

“With more than 2,000 employees across the state of New Jersey, Siemens is invested in improving the quality of life and advancing a more sustainable and equitable future for the communities in which we work and live,” he said. “We’re supporting Gov. Murphy and signing the New Jersey Business Leaders’ Green Workforce Development Pledge as we help our customers reach their sustainability goals and seek to achieve net-zero in our own operations by 2030.”