TARBORO – N.C. Energy and Natural Resources Secretary John Skvarla was on hand Wednesday to recognize Keihin Carolina System Technology for the plant’s environmental efficiency.
The plant has become one of just 20 companies in the state to reach the highest level of the Environmental Stewardship Initiative, a program designed to promote and encourage superior environmental performance.
“I am very excited,” plant manager David Catt said. “I am very excited because this is a team accomplishment. That is how we operate here.”
In order to make it to the steward level, companies must display a commitment to exemplary environmental performance beyond what is required by law, Skvarla said.
The extra effort put in by companies such as Keihin are appreciated, Skvarla said, because it allows the DENR staff to focus on doing their jobs.
“Our job is to protect the environment,” Skvarla said. “Our job is to get companies into compliance. We do not want to have to play good guy, bad guy – we want everyone saying ‘The environment is our goal, operating efficiently is our goal and improving the economy is our goal.’ They can all work together. I have got to get companies comfortable with the fact that they need to participate in programs like this.”
Keihin started looking at improving its efficiency in 2011, sustainability and efficiency coordinator John Foster said.
Since then, the company has eliminated 98 percent of waste that would normally go to landfills, in addition to changing incandescent light bulbs to newer, more efficient LED lights.
“I think it is very important, because, No. 1, the further we go along, if we keep on doing what we are doing now, there will be further damages to the environment through carbon release,” Foster said.
“The more we can save on energy and waste going to the landfill, the better we can be. Overall there will be cleaner air, which is healthier for people’s kids and their grand kids. We need to keep pushing that going forward.”