While I was at the Mechanical Contractors Association of America’s (MCAA) national conference, Jerry Yudelson, of Tucson, Ariz., talked about green buildings. Among his most salient points was the fact that businesses must attract and keep good people by conforming to business practices that appeal to the values of the next generation of workers.

It is a given that as Boomers age, the work force demographics are changing dramatically. People feel differently about their commitment to work. In great demand, these young workers can be more selective about their careers.

Many of these people are growing up (shaping their values) with green, a former vice president who won an Academy Award and a Nobel Peace Prize, and carbon footprints. Just as in the 1960s when many a young person felt strongly about war and peace, many of today’s younger employees and nearly all of tomorrow’s will feel strongly about green buildings. They will want to work in green buildings and work for green companies because those will be the values that they hold important.

Whether or not green science has merit or not, who cares? A more complex question to ask might be: Is it the right thing to do? Conservation and energy efficiency in any form can’t be a bad thing.

In 10 years, how easy will it be to recruit the next generation of business leaders if you don’t share their values?

Once you define green in your HVACR business, you may find more answers to the recruitment woes that beset this industry.