Urged by the current state of the natural environment, food and beverage industries are increasingly pressured to reduce environmental impact by societal groups, by tightening environmental regulation, and by customers and consumers down the supply chain. At the same time, consumers demand food chains to deliver high quality products at affordable prices. Consequently, food and beverage industries are challenged to increase the environmental sustainability of their operations without compromising the costs or ideally even gaining cost savings.
The NCEast Alliance, in partnership with East Carolina University and the NC Department of Environmental Quality, is hosting a series of workshops across the region designed to educate food processors and manufacturers about ways to improve efficiency and profitability all while reducing the amount of pollution their facility expels.
These workshops are a continuation of a program initiated by the NCEast Alliance in 2015 branded, “Sustainability in Manufacturing”, which sought to inspire manufacturers to run at peak performance while respecting the environments in which they operate. The next workshop will be held in Jacksonville, North Carolina on September 13th. The workshop will begin at 11:00am and attendees will hear from speakers from the NC Department of Environmental Quality, the Small Business and Technology Development Center, ECU’s Center of Sustainability and the Power Resource Group.
The NCEast Alliance assumed a leadership role in identifying best practices developed locally or elsewhere and adapting these efforts on a regional scale that responds to the needs of eastern North Carolina. Such efforts include industrial site certification, workforce quality certification and STEM education initiatives in partnership with local economic development offices, colleges/universities, community colleges, public schools, chambers of commerce, and others to improve the competitive position of the region.
“To grow our economy, we need to encourage our manufacturers to explore and implement processes that promote sustainability,” stated John D. Chaffee, President/CEO of the NCEast Alliance. “We, as community leaders, also need to maintain our commitment to provide the appropriate infrastructure and talent needed to sustain these companies,” continued Chaffee.
The workshops are made possible through a Pollution Prevention (P2) grant from the Environmental Protecting Agency. Additional support for the September 13th workshop provided by Jacksonville Onslow Economic Development Executive Director, Sheila Knight and staff.