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Workers are gravitating to sustainable companies


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, almost two-thirds of survey respondents indicated that they would be more likely to apply for a job at a company committed to sustainable practices, and three out of five said they would avoid employers they perceive as having a negative impact on the environment.

So where can New Yorkers seek out gigs with an eco-friendly hook? Ahead, a look at tri-state employers leading the charge.


Welcome to the “second-cycle” revolution. Fernish is a furniture rental company founded in 2017 that has kept 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 end up getting dumped every year.

Fernish sees its principles as a way to attract and retain all-star employees.
“Recruiting is always a challenge, particularly when you are a startup looking for engineers,” said Michael Barlow, the co-founder and CEO of Fernish. “Our commitment to sustainability has been a critical differentiator.”

He said there’s a misperception that if you work in tech, you aren’t as concerned about the environment. “Our finance and product teams pull stats on sustainability; our sourcing and merchandising teams are actively working to find great items that are more renewable. Everyone in the company is involved and deeply invested in our mission.”

Apply for a job at Fernish.com/Careers.

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 usage, water consumption, waste generation and the other key environmental aspects in their day-to-day operations,” said Chris Bolman, Brightest’s co-founder and CEO.

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

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 like we’re a place where their work really matters, and they recognize that sustainability is one of the best industries to build a career in right now.”

Apply for a job at Angel.co/Company/Brightest/Jobs.

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


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

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

The organization is a certified B Corporation, often called a B Corp, which signifies those that place social and environmental values at the crux of their mission. B Corps voluntarily adhere to a set of standards, including charitable giving and thoughtful supply chain practices.

“Almost half of the world’s fresh fruits and vegetables are thrown away uneaten, but kencko’s process cuts waste by capturing 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 has helped them retain employees, “with employees sharing that the mission-led approach is a key driver for joining and staying,” said Froes.

Apply for a job at Kencko.com/Jobs.


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

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

“Our team processes more than 25 million pounds of electronics per year,” said Sunnking president Adam Shine. “Company technicians also refurbish used or broken tech by using parts recovered from the electronics dismantling stage of the recycling process; those devices are then offered for sale at a discounted price.”

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

Apply for a job at Sunnking.com/Contact#Careers.

Returnity package.
Returnity is looking to make single-use packaging a thing of the past.

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


Returnity package.
The company is aiming for a 95% packaging return rate.



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

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

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

Returnity‘s director of operations, Jeff Schwartz, was attracted 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. Plus, over the past year Returnity expanded its business to support more grocery-focused use cases, making this a prime time to join.

Apply for a job at Returnity.co/Careers.


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