The article provides an introductory description of Italian green social cooperatives which are democratic nonprofit organizations specializing in the provision of environmental services. The background to this topic is the literature on the “third sector,” usually called social entrepreneurship, and the “sociology of environment,” mainly that part con-cerned with consumption and lifestyles. Green social cooperatives are a concrete attempt to unify the three pillars of sustainability. The analysis is divided into two parts. The first part highlights the challenges that the environmental crisis raises for social enterprises and considers three dimensions in particular: work integration, generalized or linear exchange, and the theory of the commons. The discussion reveals mismatches between the urgency of moving to¬ward a sustainable world and the competences of social enterprises. The second part examines this asymmetry and uses the social co¬operative, the main empirical expression of social enterprise in Italy, as its point of departure. The article proposes a typology with which to frame green social cooperatives and employs a qualitative approach to out¬line a concrete case for each type. The result is the emergence of a social area, at present decidedly underdeveloped and undersized, but with considerable potential for job creation and environmental services. The analysis demon¬strates that social enter¬prises are interesting hybrids of economic and social sustainability, but to promote the envi¬ronmental pillar of sustain¬ability they must combine work and habitation (or production and consumption) according to a logic of sufficiency.