Secretary visits manufacturing social enterprise after agency helps them become ‘Lean and Green’

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 10:30 am

Secretary van der Vaart recently visited Watauga Opportunities, Inc. in Boone, North Carolina to learn firsthand how DEQ’s Waste Reduction Partners was able to help the company become more environmentally-friendly, while also implementing cost-saving strategies.

Watauga Opportunities is a manufacturing operation that provides comprehensive packaging services. It also functions as a non-profit for the community by providing vocational training, residential services, and employment opportunities. Watauga Opportunities partnered with Waste reduction Partners in 2015 to have an environmental impact review and energy efficiency study conducted. After reviewing the results, Waste Reduction Partners made suggestions to the company which included fourteen opportunities for improvement. The “Lean and Green” improvements were made, and they saw results immediately. Not only has Watauga Opportunities bettered their role as an environmental steward, but they have been able to add over 600 well-paying manufacturing jobs.

Secretary Donald van der Vaart and Chief Deputy Secretary John Evans meet with Watauga Opportunities, Inc. CEO Michael Maybee to discuss the results of implementing Lean and Green strategies.

Secretary van der Vaart was very impressed with the results of the study, as well as the morale of the employees and the changes that were made in the manufacturing processes. Waste Reduction Partners works with organizations across the state to help them implement “Lean and Green” strategies that protect the environment and save millions in energy costs every year. To learn more about them, click here.