America’s greenest cities to work in

As we continue to learn more about our planet, it’s never been more important to consider the impact our actions and everyday decisions can have on the environment, whether it’s the food we eat, the way we travel, or where we work. But which US cities make the greenest workplaces?

Analyzing and comparing America’s 100 biggest cities, we’ve been able to determine those that come out on top. Find out where your home ranks!

The greenest US cities to work in

Ranked as America’s most environmentally friendly place to work, we have the New England city of Boston, which comes away with an overall index score of 4.729. In fact, Boston has more sustainable jobs per 1,000 people (0.307) than anywhere else in the US, besides Arlington, Texas (0.451).

Next up, San Francisco earns an index score of 4.663, thanks to its high rate of parks (0.135), vegetarian restaurants (0.516), and electric vehicle charging points (0.619) per 1,000 people, as well as the percentage of people who walk (17.21%) and cycle (4.92%) to work.

Ranking third, we head further south to Irvine (4.623). Nearby Los Angeles might rank among the worst cities to work in if you’re conscious of your environmental impact, but Irvine is among the best. This is contributed by the city having more electric vehicle chargers per 1,000 people than anywhere else in America (1.859).

Placing fourth, Seattle scores 4.581, thanks to its impressive air quality and high rate of sustainable jobs (0.165) and parks (0.160) per 1,000 people, while Washington DC (4.448) places fifth with equally impressive air quality.

Meanwhile, rounding out the top ten eco-friendly US cities to live in, we have New Orleans (4.355), Madison (4.211), Minneapolis (4.172), Pittsburgh (4.115), and Baltimore (4.093). Interestingly, despite its status as a global metropolis, New York City only just misses out on a top ten spot, with a score of 3.944, largely thanks to the popular and practical subway system.

The least green US cities to work in

At the other end of the table, however, we can reveal that the least environmentally friendly city in America is Texas’ Laredo (0.564). With just 0.015 parks, 0.015 vegetarian restaurants, and 0.011 electric vehicle chargers per 1,000 people, as well as one of the most expensive public transport networks (average $120 monthly), no city records a lower ‘green score’ than Laredo.

Next up, we have a double dose of California, with Los Angeles and Chula Vista scoring just 0.990 and 1.244, respectively. In fact, five of the ten worst-rated cities for sustainability are located in California. Los Angeles ranks among the worst cities for air quality and number of parks per 1,000 people (0.012), while Chula Vista scores lowly for number of sustainable jobs per 1,000 people (0.004).

Also ranking alongside the least-green US cities to work in, Garland, Texas registers an overall index score of just 1.264, placing particularly poorly for number of vegetarian restaurants per 1,000 people (0.026). Meanwhile, Paradise, Nevada (1.380) is far from the utopia its name would suggest, with just 0.013 sustainable jobs per 1,000 residents.

And, rounding out the ten worst cities for sustainable working, we have Chandler (1.449), Riverside (1.572), Santa Ana (1.642), Anaheim (1.750), and Fort Worth (1.820).

Comparing major cities across the US, it’s important to consider which are leading the way as the greenest to work in, and it’ll be interesting to see if those struggling at the bottom implement sustainable initiatives to improve their position. In the meantime, check out more expert insight like this over on our blog!


To determine America’s greenest cities to work in, we considered a series of factors: air quality, number of parks, vegetarian restaurants, and electric vehicle charging points per 1,000 people, average distance to work, the percentage of the population who walk, bike, bus, tram, or train to work, the average monthly cost of public transport, and the number of sustainable jobs currently advertised.

Considering the top 100 US cities by population, we ranked each city for each factor and assigned them a relative index score. We then combined all individual scores for each city, to give an overall city score, before ranking the overall index totals.