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Meet Jessica Mann of Green Futures Unlimited

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Mann.

Jessica, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story begins when I was just a kid, and my parents would take our family camping and backpacking every summer around the West. I learned to love wilderness and the natural world at a young age, and that love has stayed with me my entire life. It led me to study Environmental Science in college, and earn a Masters’ degree in Public Health after that.

My career has been devoted to protecting our natural world and those who live in it. For years I dreamed about having my own business, but the timing and circumstances were never right. Finally, after 25 years in the corporate world, I set off on my own. Green Futures Unlimited was officially launched in 2014, and I’ve never looked back.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Being self-employed offers many rewards in terms of flexibility, independence, and the empowering feeling of being free to follow your dreams.

But it’s not always an easy road! Owning a small business means being on the clock at all times, and constantly hustling for the next project and paycheck. It also means you’re responsible for every aspect of the business. (Website design? Check. Marketing plan? Check. Software upgrades? Check. Invoicing, financing, the printer’s out of ink!) You get the idea… it’s a steep learning curve, but eventually it gets easier.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Green Futures Unlimited – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Green Futures Unlimited specializes in environmental sustainability, worker safety, and all things green: green chemistry (safer materials for workers and consumers); green buildings (healthier indoor environments that use less energy); greenhouse gas reductions (creating smaller carbon footprints); and a number of related areas.

The use of the word Unlimited in the name was intentional, designed to capture the sense that the sky’s the limit in terms of sustainability’s benefits – well as being a play on words with the term “Limited” as traditionally applied to corporations.

Green Futures’ main service is to provide advice and consulting to business clients to enable them to capitalize on the opportunities afforded by sustainable business practices. Typical services include corporate strategy assessments, site policy and program development, and sustainability report-writing assistance.

Green Futures’ other main service area is in green education and awareness. I speak regularly at major professional conferences (such as GreenBuild and the Product Stewardship Society); and I teach with the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in the Extension Division’s Sustainable Business Practices certificate program, helping working professionals learn how to incorporate sustainability into their jobs and companies. Lastly, through publishing articles and white papers, Green Futures aims to raise awareness about ways in which business can achieve success through sustainability.

What am I most proud of about Green Futures? When I have opened eyes. When a student or audience member comes up to me, the excitement showing in their eyes, to say, “I never knew that this was happening, or that this was possible.” Success is when a million ripples grow strong enough to challenge the status quo and things change for the better. It is knowing that, in my own small way, I have contributed to helping us learn to live within the natural limits of our world – this, to me, is success.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My big plans are to keep on working for good, in as many small ways as I can.

Contact Info:

This was the final gathering of a company Fire Brigade (I served as Safety Officer). The company had just announced closure of the site and all employees were to lose their jobs, so the Fire Brigade threw a party — here they are looking back over 50 years of volunteer service.

Happy on the trail (at age 4)

Receiving my Sustainability “Star Award”

Happy on the trail (now)

Posing with a wind turbine blade (they”re huge!) at an energy company I work with

On the UCSD campus after a night class

In the recording booth for UCSD online

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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