State Environmental Stewardship Initiative recognizes new and long-standing members at annual conference


RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality recognized the newest members of its Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) during the annual conference today for their outstanding commitment to environmental excellence.

“I believe in our shared mission…one that suggests we are a network of neighbors, friends, problem-solvers, community and business leaders who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change,” said DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. “Together, we agree that a good environment benefits the economy and a good economy benefits the environment.”

Secretary Regan recognized the following new members for their commitment to compliance, environmental performance goals and development of an environmental management system:

  • Seven new Environmental Partner sites – Continental Automotive - Fletcher; Corning Newton Cable Facility; Cree, Inc. – Durham and RTP; Kewaunee Scientific Corporation - Statesville; Leggett & Platt - Statesville and Conover; Matrex – Greensboro; and Static Control Components - Sanford.
  • New Rising Steward – CommScope’s Greensboro Plant.
  • New Steward – Daimler Trucks North America – Gastonia Components and Logistics.

In addition, Secretary Regan recognized four Stewards – Daimler Trucks North America, Cleveland; Keihin Carolina System Technology; North Carolina Zoo; and Santa Fe Natural –for maintaining the requirements of Steward for five years. Corning Cable - Hickory Manufacturing Technology Center (Steward) and Smithfield Foods - Tar Heel (Rising Steward) were recognized for achieving 10 years at these respective levels. Finally, DENSO Manufacturing North Carolina, Inc., Statesville Plant was recognized for 15 years of maintaining the Steward requirements.

The ESI program currently has 197 member sites located across the state, representing a broad array of industry sectors including pharmaceutical; automotive; technology; agribusiness; local, state and federal government agencies; and schools. The program consists of three levels: Partners, Rising Stewards and Stewards, the highest level of achievement. This year, the program is made up of 29 Stewards, 12 Rising Stewards, and 156 Partner sites.

ESI members and other business representatives gathered this week at the ESI Annual Conference to learn the latest about composting rules, DEQ’s permitting transformation project, emergency preparedness, reduction in hazardous waste, the Governor’s Executive Order 80 Clean Energy Plan, tips from DEQ regulatory inspectors, and the recycling markets.

The ESI promotes and encourages superior environmental performance by North Carolina organizations. This voluntary program was established in 2002 to stimulate the development and implementation of programs that use pollution prevention and innovative approaches to meet and exceed regulatory requirements.

From 2004 to 2017, ESI members saved nearly 11 billion gallons of water; approximately 75 billion BTUs of energy; more than 978 million gallons of wastewater; nearly 780,000 tons of landfill waste; more than 6,000 tons of air emissions; and more than 3,000 tons of hazardous waste. Total financial savings at the facilities based on environmental reductions were reported at more than $77 million.

For more information, visit the Environmental Stewardship Initiative’s website,, or contact Angela Barger, Environmental Stewardship Initiative Manager, at 877-623-6748 or

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