The Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS) was in part founded on the belief that the corporate “jobs vs. environment” frame succeeds because it fits into our silo approach to politics: labor can focus on jobs, and leave the environment to the environmental movement.
This “blue-green” silo approach is outdated and will continue to fall short in terms of building the movement needed to achieve a sustainable future for the planet and its people. The LNS vision is of a future for the planet grounded in full-spectrum sustainability (environmental, social, and economic).
We were founded in 2009 based on an understanding that long-term sustainability cannot be achieved without combining three elements:
1) environmental protection, and in particular addressing climate change;
2) economic fairness, in particular addressing income inequality and jobs; and
3) social justice, in particular eliminating prejudice and defending human and civil rights and democracy.
We believe that workers and environmentalists must be engaged together in order for our society to address the dual deepening crises of both climate and income inequality. We further believe that the environmental movement should have a jobs program of its own, and should not leave the jobs piece up to labor. We believe that the labor movement should become a part of the solution to climate crisis, and have a climate program of its own, because it is in their core self interest, rather than leaving climate protection up to the environmental movement. In other words, we believe both movements need to move beyond simply trying to understand and even honor each other’s core missions and begin to internalize how their missions are truly intertwined.