Green Economy

The Student Divestment Movement’s Next Frontier: Community Investment

Community investment strategies can root institutional capital in underserved communities and catalyze local energy democracy, making it a fitting next step for university fossil fuel divestment campaigns

Reinvestment presents a unique opportunity for universities to partner with their local communities to promote equitable economic development and energy democracy. Campaigns’ embrace of community investment would strengthen the crucial role that divestment movements play in fostering long-term system change. This strategy creates a powerful opportunity to engage young people in new economy work while leveraging the resources of some of our most powerful institutions to shift financial capacity from the extractive economy to a new energy system. Read more about The Student Divestment Movement’s Next Frontier: Community Investment ...

The Scrap Exchange

Founded in 1991 to create a sustainable supply of high-quality, low-cost materials for artists, educators, and other creative people, The Scrap Exchange is a nonprofit focused on promoting creativity, environmental awareness, and community through reuse.  In 2016, the nonprofit helped divert 266 tons of reusable materials from the waste stream and served 477,154 people at its Creative Reuse Center, which includes its retail store, an art gallery, classrooms, and a community garden.  The Scrap Exchange is currently re-developing a 12.5 acre under-utilized shopping mall into the Reuse Arts District, a site it envisions housing new Scrap Exchange facilities and arts programs, as well as community gardens, a sculpture park, affordable housing, and other amenities.

The Forest Foundation

Launched in 2001, The Forest Foundation aims to improve relationships among people and the planet.  Through its GOAL initiative, the nonprofit is working to revitalize a brownfield site in Durham while creating green jobs by collecting waste vegetable oil from local restaurants, converting it into fuel for a green transportation business and members of a local bio-fuel cooperative, and using compostable matter from the collection to mitigate the site’s soil and nourish vegetable gardens.  The Forest Foundation also runs a green job training program, Green Tracks, which has trained 100 community members since its start in 2012.

Greenway Transit

Greenway Transit is the first and only green transportation company in the Southeast with vehicles that run exclusively on human energy or biofuels.  Aiming to help revitalize a brownfield site located within a low-income Durham community, Greenway established its headquarters at The Forest Foundation’s GOAL campus.  Since its launch in 2008, Greenway has created dozens of green jobs while providing carbon-free transportation services to thousands of people on a monthly basis.

Finger Lakes ReUse

Finger Lakes ReUse aims to foster community, economic opportunity, and environmental sustainability through the maximum reuse of materials.  ReUse operates two ReUse Centers, at which area residents can donate and purchase household goods, furniture, building materials, refurbished computers, and home electronics. Committed to creating quality green jobs, the nonprofit also runs two free job training programs, ReSET (Skills and Employment Training), which provide hands-on learning for individuals interested in computer technology or sales and customer care, and full-time paid apprenticeship opportunities for those who complete the program.