December 1, 2023

For more and more job seekers, working for a company that supports the planet is top of mind.

In a recent survey from Handshake, a career search portal for college students, nearly two-thirds of survey respondents indicated that they would be more likely to apply for a job in a company committed to sustainable practices, and three out of five said they were. avoid employers that they perceive to have a negative impact on the environment.

So where can New Yorkers find gigs with an eco-friendly hook? Ahead, check out the tri-state employers who are leading the charge.


Welcome to the “second cycle” revolution. Fernish is a furniture rental company founded in 2017 that has saved more than a million pounds of furniture from landfills to date. The company’s mission? To reduce the nearly 10 million tons of furniture (yikes) that ends up every year.

Fernish sees its principles as a way to attract and retain all-star employees.
“Recruiting is always a challenge, especially if you’re a startup looking for engineers,” said Michael Barlow, Fernish’s co-founder and CEO. “Our commitment to sustainability is a critical differentiator.”

He said there is a misconception that if you work in technology, you don’t have to worry about the environment. “Our finance and product teams are taking sustainability statistics; our sourcing and merchandising teams are actively working to find more things that are more scalable. Everyone in the company is involved and deeply invested our mission.”

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A “fruitful career awaits” at kencko.


This Brooklyn-based company designs software to help more than 400 global organizations reduce their environmental footprint and impact, as well as comply with local, state and international environmental laws.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for companies, universities and governments to make informed decisions about their emissions, energy use, water consumption, waste generation and other important environmental aspect of their daily operations,” said. Chris Bolman, Co-founder and CEO of Brightest.

Launched in 2018, Brightest helps businesses understand how to optimize their environmental impacts and supply chains. This, in turn, helps companies accelerate their green transition. “We are also carbon-neutral as a company and invest a percentage of our revenue in forest conservation, natural habitat restoration and carbon capture projects,” Bolman added.

Brightest consistently sees more than 100 applicants for every job they post, “including candidates from elite universities and top tech and consulting firms, because they feel we are a place where their work matters, and they know that sustainability is one of the best industries to build a career in today.”

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Woman cutting vegetables.
kencko’s process is dedicated to cutting food waste.


To impress potential employees, kencko has a simple phrase: “Ready to shake up the food system?”

The startup’s almost 100-person team is, and a “fruitful career awaits” the fast-growing business, founded in 2016 by Tomás Froes and operating out of offices in Brooklyn and Lisbon.

The organization is a certified B Corporation, often referred to as a B Corp, which means it places social and environmental values ​​at the core of its mission. B Corps voluntarily adheres to a set of standards, including charitable giving and conscientious supply chain practices.

“Almost half of the world’s fresh fruit and vegetables are thrown away uneaten, but kencko’s process cuts waste by extracting the nutrients of fresh produce in a shelf-stable form,” explained Froes. The company also uses compostable packaging and offsets all shipping emissions.

Surveys show that kencko’s B-Corp certification helps them retain employees, “with employees sharing that the mission-led approach is a key driver of engagement and retention,” said Froes.

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This company is all about saving the planet since its inception in 2000. Headquartered in Rochester, NY, suburb of Brockport, Sunnking is the first electronics recycler in the state to be R2 certified (a global standard for responsible electronics- recycling works).

The company holds free, large-scale recycling events across the state, including in NYC, and helps businesses develop and implement corporate sustainability programs.

“Our team processes more than 25 million pounds of electronics each year,” said Sunnking president Adam Shine. “The company’s technicians also refurbish used or broken technology by using parts obtained from the electronics dismantling stage of the recycling process; those items are offered for sale at a discounted price. “

They practice what they preach. “We have a ‘no-waste policy.’ All of our office (and most of our warehouse) equipment is recycled or refurbished,” said Shine, adding that they pioneered a battery recycling program in New York.

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Return package.

The comeback seeks to make single-use packaging a thing of the past.

Return packages.

Returnity has expanded its business to support more grocery-focused use cases.


Return package.

The company aims for a 95% return rate on packaging.


Come back

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index estimates that parcel volume could reach 303 billion units by 2026. In the US, this would generate enough packages to pave a mile-wide cardboard street from NYC to LA and back – three times.

That’s one of the reasons Returnity was founded in Brooklyn in 2016. Returnity is a reusable shipping and delivery packaging company that aims to make single-use packaging a thing of the past, which refers to a 95% packaging return rate.

“We design, manufacture and implement reuse systems that replace cardboard boxes and plastic bags for companies such as Walmart, Happy Returns, Rent the Runway and others,” said the Returnity CEO. Mike Newman. To date, their packaging solutions are used for 1 million shipments a month, with 20 or more usage cycles per package.

Returnity’s director of operations, Jeff Schwartz, was drawn to Returnity because of its mission. “We’re seeing states mandate new laws against single-use plastic, and companies need vendors like Returnity to help them pivot,” he said. Additionally, in the past year Returnity has expanded its business to support more grocery-focused use cases, making it a prime time to join.

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