Black Businesses Need To Think Green

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The key to boosting African American business is to inspire active participation in the green movement. That’s what Andre Pettigrew, executive director of Climate Prosperity Inc in Washington DC, believes. In his view, it is imperative that the black community recognize the importance of the push to sustainability and eco-friendly business ventures and play an active role in its progression.

As he tells the St. Louis American, many in the community don’t see a “direct relationship” to the environmental movement and the work that they currently do. But with the push towards environmentally friendly alternatives and green jobs high growth rate, it “will directly impact the success of their businesses and quality of life.”

In efforts to boost environmentally friendly business Pettigrew and his organization have partnered with Portland, Silicon Valley and Denver. St. Louis is the fourth area to collaborate with the group, this year with the help of Pettigrew and the Climate Prosperity group, St. Louis released its action plan “Greenprint 2012,” which will assist in developing a green economy.

“The next step is to directly engage the communities of color,” Pettigrew said to the St. Louis American. “We believe that engaging the businesses is an important strategy to that end. We also think that we need to partner that effort in building the capacity with community-based organizations.”

St. Louis is underway with this plan and its neighborhood effort BUILD St. Louis strives to encourage people to buy and produce their goods locally. It’s groups such as BUILD St. Louis that Pettigrew hopes will inspire African Americans around the nation.

“That is an important message that the African-American community across the country has either been living or trying to get back to,” he said. “This is how to get our local neighborhoods to be safer, cleaner and more sustainable.”

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