Toops Scoops: Going Green -- Promise Deferred?

Last June, AA&B took an in-depth look at insurers and agents who were specializing in "green" insurance coverage. Our sources spoke glowingly of the potential for growth in green construction, especially in the area of retrofitting existing buildings -- a topic covered in a current Web exclusive article on the subject.

Supporters maintain that adopting green building methods and materials will create a "green collar" job transformation in the U.S.  The latest figures from the USGBC in a "Green Jobs Study" conducted by Booz Allen suggests that green building will support or create 7.9 million jobs between now and 2013. And in certain areas of the country, it seems to be working. One independent study shows California green jobs grew 36 percent from 1995 to 2008.

But President Obama's campaign promises to create 5 million new green jobs and put the U.S. in the forefront of renewable energy production have failed to materialize. Ironically, China, which for years has been reviled for its profligate use of nonrenewable energy, is now the world leader in the production of off-grid wind turbine generators, according to a recent article in EcoWorld.com.

According to a recent article in Fast Company magazine, there is terrific potential for green job growth in these areas:

  • Farmers
  • Foresters
  • Solar power installers
  • Energy efficient builders
  • Wind turbine fabricators
  • Conservation biologists
  • Green entrepreneurs
  • Recyclers
  • Sustainability systems developers
  • Urban planners

This list is inclusive enough to accommodate all levels of workers, from MBAs to retrained blue-collar people.

Nobody should be cheering green jobs more than the insurance industry. With the manufacturing and construction industries struggling to find a place in the "new normal" economy, a burst of new activity in the green jobs area could pull these and other industries out of the doldrums.

But as the California example indicates, it takes more than hope to build the new green collar middle class American worker. Green is "gold" in California in large part because of state and municipal rules mandating green compliance. Like any fledgling industry, green jobs need some government incentive to get off the ground. As long as it's cheaper to keep doing things the old way, the green promise will remain just that. In China, the government subsidizes wind power, knowing the young industry won't be self-sustaining for years, but willing to make the investment. It seems if we really want to dig ourselves out of our current economic malaise, our country would be better served by a government that's willing to invest in the future instead of propping up relics from the past.

About the Author
Laura Mazzuca Toops, PropertyCasualty360.com

Laura Mazzuca Toops, PropertyCasualty360.com

Laura Mazzuca Toops, National Underwriter Property & Casualty executive managing editor, is responsible for the Agent & Broker channel for PropertyCasualty360.com. Her more than 20 years of property & casualty insurance experience includes associate editor at Business Insurance, Midwest managing editor with Insurance Journal, and freelance work for insurers, brokers and trade associations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She may be reached at ltoops@SummitProNets.com

Comments

Resource Center

View All »

Complimentary Case Study: Helping achieve your financial goals By:...

Find out how a Special Investigation Unit used TLOxp to save the company money and...

Do Your Clients Hold The Right CDL License?

Learn about the various classes of CDL Licenses and the industries that are impacted by...

Integrated Content & Communications: A Key Business Issue For Insurers

Insurers are renewing their focus on top line growth, and many are learning that growth...

High Risk Insurance Coverage in the E&S Market

Experts discuss market conditions, trends and projected growth in a rapidly changing niche.

Top E-Signature Security Requirements

This white paper covers the most important security features to look for when evaluating e-signatures...

EPLI Programs Crafted Just For Your Clients

Bring us your restaurant clients, associations and other groups and we’ll help you win more...

Is It Time To Step Up And Own An Agency?

Download this eBook for insight on how to determine if owning an agency is right...

Claims - The Good The Bad And The Ugly

Fraudulent claims cost the industry and the public thousands of dollars in losses. This article...

Leveraging BI for Improved Claims Performance and Results

If claims organizations do not avail themselves of the latest business intelligence (BI) tools, they...

Top 10 Legal Requirements for E-Signatures in Insurance

Want to make sure you’ve covered all your bases when adopting e-signatures? Learn how to...

Looking for Markets?

Search Kirschner’s Insurance Directory to help service your hard to place risks.

497 Risk Categories | 70,000 P&C Insurance Markets

kirschners
Agent & Broker Insider eNewsletter

Proven success tips and essential information to help agents and brokers grow their practice – FREE. Sign Up Now!

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.