COLUMBIA, SC (October 28, 2021) — Sustain SC honored three South Carolina organizations with the inaugural Excellence in Mitigation award, recognizing their efforts to bring economic development to our state while maintaining a positive conservation impact.
The three honorees are Boeing, the S.C. Ports Authority and Volvo Cars, each of which developed innovative projects with successful mitigation components.
“These three organizations implemented models that influenced our mission and vision to elevate South Carolina as the future of commerce and conservation,” said Rob Howell, chairman of Sustain SC. “While each of these mitigation projects was unique, they all shared the common element of bringing economic development to our state while ensuring there was a positive landscape-scale conservation impact. We commend them for their efforts and look forward to recognizing more organizations for their successful sustainability practices in the years to come.”
“I want to thank Boeing, the S.C. Ports Authority and Volvo Cars for setting such a positive example for others in our state,” said Ethel Bunch, president and CEO of Sustain SC. “These organizations are committed to changing how they do business to be a part of the solution. We are fortunate and proud to have them in our state. Now, Sustain SC is working to retain and attract other organizations with a similar ethos and commitment to sustainability.”
For Boeing’s expansion, the company invested $12 million in a high-priority conservation project and got a permit within six months. This success could be attributed to Boeing’s proactive efforts to gather the right people to discuss solutions. More importantly, they were willing to invest in South Carolina’s natural resources above and beyond what was required for them to get the permit. This project also received the EPA Smart Sector Award at a national level as the model for good mitigation.
The SC Ports Authority’s $5 million revolving fund continues to work throughout the East Cooper River Corridor buying critical conservation parcels, protecting them through an easement and selling them to a conservation buyer so the funding can continue to build the Greenbelt protecting Charleston and surrounding counties. Since 2016, SC Ports has preserved and restored nearly 3,000 acres of land in South Carolina by partnering with environmental groups, restored 22 acres of saltwater marsh and created more than 12 acres of oyster beds in Charleston Harbor.
With Volvo Cars’ heritage of caring for the environment, it was important to them to ensure that they have a conscious footprint here. Through collaboration with the Department of Commerce, Berkeley County and the conservation community, as part of their location incentive package, the company established a landscape-scale mitigation project, adding to the Charleston Greenbelt. Through their prudent ambitions, transparency, open communication and hands-on approach with the conservation community, they were able to obtain their environmental permits in record time.
About Sustain SC
Sustain SC is an economic development driven organization that sets the table for conversations between businesses and local stakeholders so that Corporate Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investments stay in South Carolina – benefiting both our economic and natural resource infrastructures.