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) this week for their commitment to environmental excellence during the ESI annual conference.

“As members of the state’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative, these facilities have committed to going above and beyond to protect our natural resources,” said DEQ Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser. “Their efforts benefit both our environment and our economy.

The following new members were recognized for their commitment to compliance, environmental performance goals and/or development of an environmental management system:

  • Eleven new Environmental Partner sites – Best Diamond Packaging, LLC, Commscope Inc. Catawba, Commscope Inc. Claremont, Cree LED, Jackson County Green Energy Park, Just Salad & Cattell Street Brands (3 locations), Novartis Gene Therapies, Reich LLC, Revlon in Oxford, Riverbend Malt House, and TC Transcontinental Thomasville.

In addition, one Steward and one Rising Steward were recognized for reaching milestones in their membership:

  • 5-year – Stanley Black & Decker’s Kannapolis Distribution Center (Steward)
  • 10-year – GKN Sinter Metals site in Conover (Rising Steward)

ESI is a voluntary program open to North Carolina companies who strive to go beyond the minimum requirements and are committed to setting and achieving sustainability goals and conservation targets.  ESI currently has 199 member sites located across the state, and consists of three levels: Partners, Rising Stewards and Stewards, the highest level of achievement. This year, the program is made up of 30 Stewards, 10 Rising Stewards, and 159 Partner sites.

During this week’s annual conference, ESI members and other business representatives learned about energy efficiency best practices, solid waste reduction strategies, recycling markets and regulatory topics. Over the past 16 years, ESI members collectively have reduced their water usage by more than 15 billion gallons; energy usage by about 87 million mmBTUs; air emissions by more than 9,000 tons; and waste sent to landfills by 4.2 million tons. From 2004 to 2020, ESI members reported a total financial savings at the facilities based on environmental reductions of more than $102 million.

ESI promotes and encourages superior environmental performance by North Carolina organizations. This non-regulatory 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. DEQ provides no-cost technical assistance, including strategies to reduce water and energy usage, for all ESI members. The program also provides members with networking and outreach opportunities to learn about innovative solutions and share successes as they achieve their goals.

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

# # #

This press release is related to: