Cross-sector leaders striving to advance Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in clean energy and beyond.

Enhancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Clean Energy Industry and Beyond

Browning the Green Space (BGS) was born from the realization that people of color often receive more than their fair share of “environmental bads” like brownfields, pollution, and asthma while they receive less than their fair share of “environmental goods” like cleantech jobs in energy efficiency, renewable energy, water, wasted food, and urban farming. The BGS Initiative operates at the intersection of environmental justice, economic justice, and social justice.

Browning the Green Space is a voluntary coalition of leaders and organizations, primarily in the New England region, that share the passion to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”) in clean energy. Our goal is to increase the participation and leadership of Black and Brown people and of women (collectively, “underrepresented groups”) in the clean energy space and beyond (e.g., wasted food, water, agtech) in the Northeast.

Our key insight is that the clean energy sector is a complex system involving a multitude of participants and sub-sectors that needs to take a system-based approach to promote DEI objectives. BGS needs to involve people and organizations across multiple sectors. For instance, when we have leaders in education, business, and public sectors together who are all committed to DEI objectives, we can then gain the necessary know-how, resources, and sustainable focus to understand and then address the underemployment of people of color, especially young people, in the clean energy space.

Supporting Broad DEI Initiatives

Our work falls into five connected but distinct focus areas:

Companies

Supporting Broad DEI Initiatives

Help employers embrace, incorporate, and achieve DEI goals in their recruitment, hiring, and retention activities and remove any unconscious barriers or obstacles to equitable employment.

Careers

Creating Opportunities through Networks and Training

Provide a pipeline and pathways to employment in clean energy for students in underrepresented groups including not only targeted plans of study but also mentorship, internships, and apprenticeships.

Capital

Funding and Supporting Founders of Color and Women

Enable entrepreneurs in underrepresented groups to gain access to resources, including technical assistance, networks, contracts, and capital.

Contracts

Enhancing Opportunities for Underrepresented Groups as Clean Energy Contractors

Increase representation of underrepresented groups as contractors for energy efficiency and clean energy by facilitating access to capital, bonding, and insurance.

 

Communities

Bringing Low-Cost Clean Energy Solutions to Disadvantaged Communities

Increase the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy products and services in communities of color and/or low-income communities by not only increasing awareness but also by advocating to remove structural disincentives.

Our Tangible Goals

Browning the Green Space intends to effect change with concrete goals in mind. It comes down to people and to organizations that we can help move closer to where they need to be individually and where we all should be collectively. Our preliminary goals for the next 12 months are as follows:

  • 100 more clean energy jobs for entrants in underrepresented groups
  • 100 more employers trained on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) practices and best practices in inclusive procurement
  • 100 local high school or community college students exposed to clean energy employers through field trips, speakers, mentorships
  • 10 more contracts of $500K or more to minority and women-owned firms enabled
  • 10 more businesses led by underrepresented groups join Greentown Labs
  • 10 more people in underrepresented groups join cleantech angel and VC firms
  • 1 clean energy internship program targeting 10 underrepresented students
  • 1 DEI Employer Toolkit created with 10 pledge committments made  
  • 1 clean energy matching and training program for contractors, startups, and entrants in underrepresented groups