Industry: Sustainable Forestry
Project: State-of-the-art highly efficient lumber mill
Bienville Lumber Company, established as a joint venture between Tolko Industries Ltd. and Louisiana-based Hunt Forest Products (HFP), is developing a new, state-of-the-art, highly efficient lumber mill in Bienville Parish, a Non-Metropolitan Persistent Poverty County. The mill’s state-of the-art equipment enables it to produce 1,000 board feet from only 3.8 tons of timber versus 4.5 tons required by traditional mills. HFP is a leader in the Northern LA timber industry and active participant in multiple sustainable forestry programs. Strongly supported by state and local officials, the mill will be a major employer in this rural area and provide vital support to the local forestry industry by procuring 1.3 million tons of regional timber per year.
Industry: Green Manufacturing
Project: Manufacturer of composite railway ties from 100% recycled plastic
IntegriCo manufactures composite railway crossties and construction matting from 100% recycled plastic that would otherwise be landfilled. COVID-19 and the subsequent supply chain disruptions caused IntegriCo to shut down production in 2020. IntegriCo resumed operations in August 2022 in a highly-distressed low-income community in a Persistent Poverty County. IntegriCo is working in conjunction with Parish officials to expand capacity, including adding a second shift to double production capacity and divert 6.6MM pounds of plastic from landfills per year.
Project: Manufacturer of carbon-negative green chemicals
Solugen, through its Nobel prize winning team of scientists, has developed a proprietary process to produce high performing, cost competitive carbon-negative specialty chemicals. Solugen uses bio-based feedstock, primarily corn syrup and sugar, to make chemicals with no emissions. After years of R&D, Solugen is scaling up its first carbon-negative manufacturing facility in an area of Houston, TX that suffers from aging infrastructure, a slowing economic growth rate, and vacant properties which have fallen into disrepair. Solugen’s products help address the 3rd largest source of global CO2 emissions, the emissions from chemical production, which were estimated to account for 925MM tons of CO2 in 2021.
Project: Manufacturer of biodegradable plastics
Meredian Bioplastics and its parent company Danimer Scientific have been pioneers in creating more sustainable, more natural ways to make biodegradable plastic products. Meredian is building its largest production facility to-date near its existing headquarters in Bainbridge, GA. The Project will create a large number of quality jobs and substantial economic activity within a Non-Metro Persistent Poverty County. The added production capacity will allow Meredian to produce the quantity of biodegradable plastic packaging necessary for its large customer partnerships, such as Mars-Wrigley, helping to address the global plastic pollution crisis and reduce reliance on single use plastics.
Industry: Efficiency Improvements
Project: Expansion and modernization of manufacturer of high-quality wood millwork such as doors, moldings, and trim
Woodgrain is a family-owned producer of high-quality wood millwork and their 25 year old millwork manufacturing facility in rural Marion, VA is one of the largest employers in this Non-Metro county. Woodgrain utilizes 99.9% of procured renewable wood fiber and is committed to optimizing local timber natural resources while reducing waste. Woodgrain purchased a second site in Marion which created additional high-quality jobs, improved employee working conditions and increased millwork production capacity by 60%. Woodgrain also purchased an outdated sawmill in nearby Independence, VA out of receivership, preserving one of the rural county’s largest private employers and maintaining a vital purchaser of locally harvested timber. Woodgrain modernized the sawmill to increase efficiency and timber yields.
Project: Manufacturer of automotive components pivoting from combustion engines to electric vehicles (EVs)
Nemak is a leading manufacturer of highly complex aluminum components for the auto industry utilizing 80% recycled aluminum content. In order to remain competitive as the auto industry evolves away from traditional combustion engines towards more sustainable electric motors, Nemak’s manufacturing facility in rural Glasgow, KY needed to rapidly increase their investment in equipment to produce EV components. The new EV equipment helps ensure the long-term viability of the facility, which is a primary employer in the community. The KY plant utilizes approximately 7.5MM lbs of recycled aluminum per year.
Project: Early-stage manufacturer of wind turbine blade kits
Advanced Cutting Solutions (ACS) is a locally owned and operated manufacturer of custom wind turbine blade kits in New Orleans East, an area that struggles from limited economic activity and a lack of quality employment opportunities well suited for local residents. ACS’s custom blade kits greatly increase wind turbine blade manufacturing efficiency by reducing time, cost, material waste and disposal costs associated with blade production. The project will help ACS increase hiring and manufacturing capacity from 1,700 kits in 2022 to 2,500 kits in 2023, enabling ACS to satisfy new customer contracts.
Project: Early-stage manufacturer of affordable modular housing
Founded in 2020, Impact Housing provides real world solutions to the affordable housing crisis while emphasizing Environmental, Sustainable, and Governance (ESG) practices. Located in rural Baxley, GA, Impact owns a state-of-the-art, highly efficient, volumetric modular housing manufacturing facility designed to provide durable, affordable, energy-efficient housing for individuals earning between 80-120% of the area median income. The project will increase Impact’s manufacturing capacity to over 1,000 homes per year, increasing the amount of affordable housing units available in the Southern U.S. Impact estimates a 75% reduction in landfill waste per home compared to conventional construction.
Project: Equipment for a new 300,000 SF paperboard converting facility
Southern Champion Tray (SCT) is a 94-year-old sustainable paperboard packaging converter specializing in food packaging for the grocery, bakery, and restaurant industries. SCT constructed and equipped a new converter facility in Chattanooga, TN to meet demand for its closable food packaging products driven by increased to-go/takeout food ordering during the COVID-19 pandemic and higher customer demand for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic-based and styrofoam packaging. Paperboard packaging reduces waste in landfills and toxic materials used in the manufacturing process by being both recyclable and compostable. Each year, SCT utilizes an estimated 3,000 tons of recycled paperboard.
Project: Renovation of vacant facility to develop components for use in EV batteries
Saueressig recently developed a new technology for high-tech, specialized manufacturing equipment for lithium-ion battery electrodes. Actively recruited by the city of San Antonio, Saueressig purchased a vacant building to help support their expansion into providing innovative equipment and technology to manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries, in particular the growing electric vehicle market, and to create high-wage advanced manufacturing jobs for local low-income community residents. Saueressig’s proprietary process eliminates the use of toxic solvents currently used in traditional EV battery production and also helps produce longer-lasting, more cost-effective EV batteries.
Project: Equipment and working capital to assist a stud welding manufacturing company
Image Industries, Inc. is a second generation, family-owned stud welding manufacturer formed in 1976 that moved its operations from the suburbs of Chicago, IL to rural Clarksdale, MS in late 2019 by purchasing a vacant 142,000 SF facility. Image products are produced from steel which contains a minimum of 85% recycled content, resulting in an estimated 1 million pounds of recycled steel being utilized annually at the facility which is located within a Persistent Poverty County with a 23.2% unemployment rate.
Industry: Community Facilities
Project: Acquisition and construction of an approximately 72,000 sq. ft. skilled nursing facility
CommCare, a Louisiana-based non-profit that operates 14 skilled nursing facilities in the state, built a new, $24 million skilled nursing facility to provide vital nursing, therapy and pharmacy services to primarily low to moderate-income people. The new facility is specifically designed to carry out CommCare’s person-centered care initiatives which involves transforming the atmosphere of the traditional long-term care center to direct choice, dignity, and purpose for the residents. In addition to providing 125 full-time jobs, the project is expected to serve 112 patients annually with an estimated 80% being Medicare or Medicaid dependent.
Project: Manufacturer of plastic products from recycled content
Petoskey Plastics is a family-owned, environmentally-focused recycler and manufacturer of plastic film, bags and resin. Petoskey was actively recruited by McKinney, TX officials to renovate a vacant facility in a Severely Distressed low-income community and to provide high-wage skilled jobs for local residents. The McKinney facility will utilize over 10MM pounds of recycled plastic content per year, diverting it from landfills.
Project: Equipment to expand a manufacturer of sustainable insulated shipping containers
TemperPack manufactures innovative, sustainable, insulated shipping containers (primarily for meal kit and healthcare deliveries). TemperPack is a rapidly growing employer in a Severely Distressed Opportunity Zone in a Persistent Poverty County. Their ClimaCell products replace non-recyclable Styrofoam and plastic. ClimaCell is specifically designed to be recycled alongside cardboard, with a 93% recycling rate.
Project: Manufacturer of components used in shipping container homes
DWELLinz is a startup manufacturer of components used in affordable, durable, homes using shipping container frames. The highly energy efficient homes can also withstand category 4 hurricanes. DWELLinz will help Southern coastal areas with post-disaster affordable housing initiatives. The facility is in a Severe Distress, Non-Metro Opportunity Zone with 57% median income and 19% unemployment.
Project: Manufacturer of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC)
AAC East, LLC is a start-up manufacturer of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC). AAC is LEED certified and offers numerous superior environmental and green building benefits, in particular when compared to traditional concrete. The facility is located in a rural Severely Distressed Opportunity Zone in a Persistent Poverty County that has been designated as a priority for economic development in SC.
Project: State-of-the-art scrap metal recycling facility
For over 20 years, Audubon Metals has successfully recycled metals, in particular low-value aluminum scrap and zorba sourced from the auto industry, at their facility in Henderson, KY. Audubon Metals sought capital to support their expansion into their second location in Corsicana, TX, a rural community which suffers from a lack of high quality jobs. The new recycling facility was actively recruited by the City of Corsicana and will create much needed economic momentum in the region as the first anchor tenant for the City’s industrial park.
Project: Efficiency improvements at a hard wood lumber mill
Netterville Lumber is a family owned and operated hardwood lumber mill founded in 1968 and is the largest employer for this rural Persistent Poverty County. Netterville’s mill was damaged extensively by fire and was seeking capital to restore capacity and rebuild more efficiently, reducing energy usage by 45%.
RWDC is an early stage manufacturer of biodegradable plastic from renewable feedstock such as waste cooking oil. RWDC is located in a tier 1 priority area for economic development in GA and a Severely Distressed LIC suffering from 36.3% poverty, 42.47% median family income and 15.3% employment. RWDC’s products replace single use petrochemical plastic coatings commonly used in paper food packaging, such as coffee cups, with a biodegradable alternative.
Danimer Scientific is a pioneer in manufacturing biodegradable plastics. Danimer’s products help large consumer product companies transition away from single use plastic food packaging derived from petrochemicals to renewable plastics, such as for chip bags, water bottles and straws. Danimer’s first large scale manufacturing facility is located in a recently vacated plant in an industrial park, reviving local hope for growth of the emerging technology sector in the region.
Project: Environmentally-sound, modern logging business
Mountaineer Mechanized (MM) is a startup sustainable logging business introducing modern logging systems to rural communities in Southern West Virginia. Use of MM’s advanced logging practices significantly improves worker safety, job quality and wages. MM’s methods also protect WV’s natural resources, including maintaining forest health by reducing road density, soil erosion and compaction, and stream sedimentation.
Project: Manufacturer of eco-friendly textiles
Vidalia Mills (VM) is a startup denim manufacturer producing high-quality fabrics using sustainable and eco-friendly processes. VM is located in a Persistent Poverty County in a rural, low-income community with high unemployment. VM procures its cotton from local farmers who are compliant with the E3 Sustainable Cotton program. VM’s highly-efficient equipment will make VM cleaner and more efficient than virtually all existing U.S. textile mills.
Project: Renovation and expansion of a non-profit community facility
The Norfolk Family YMCA (YMCA) is renovating and expanding its existing community facility, more than doubling its square footage, increasing membership and services offered. With more than 8,100 members, the YMCA is the centerpiece of rural Norfolk and the only indoor-recreational facility within an eight-county region of rural northeast Nebraska. The YMCA serves all age groups and abilities and is particularly committed to supporting individuals with mental and/or physical challenges or struggling with substance abuse. The YMCA does not turn anyone away for an inability to pay.
Project: Manufacturer of unique plant-based natural dyes
Stony Creek Colors (SCC) is an innovative, early-stage manufacturer of plant-based indigo dyes for the denim industry. Traditional petroleum-based fabric dyes are a major cause of textile industry water pollution. SCC’s all-natural dyes are made from renewable plant resources, not toxic chemicals, and SCC’s natural indigo dye will offset approximately 145 railcars of hazardous chemicals per year. About 20 regional tobacco farmers grow indigo for SCC, providing a necessary diversification crop. Located in a dormant tobacco factory, SCC is leading the revitalization of a once-prominent, but now largely vacant, industrial corridor.
Project: Construction of a new K-12 LEED platinum public school
The Jones County School District (JCSD) is constructing a new K-12 public school located in rural Trenton, NC. The JCSD serves approximately 720 students, 79% of whom received free or reduced lunch and 57% of whom are minorities. The JCSD struggled to maintain and operate their aging education facilities, resulting in a financial drain on already limited resources for this rural community and forcing students to attend schools in poor physical condition. The new K-12 public school is designed to exceed LEED platinum standards, will be one of the “greenest” school buildings in the U.S., and will save the JCSD thousands per year in operating costs.
Project: Expansion of a carbon fiber recycling facility
Carbon Conversions (CCI) is the only commercially viable recycler of carbon fiber in the U.S. CCI creates vital jobs for Lake City, SC, a region which faced 20.7% employment. Due to its strength and light weight, carbon fiber is increasingly replacing metals in the aircraft and automotive industries. There are currently few options for recycling carbon scrap, so it frequently piles up in storage facilities or landfills. Recycling carbon fiber uses 95% less energy and generates 95% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to manufacturing virgin carbon fiber from petrochemicals.
Project: Manufacturer of innovative wastewater treatment product
PeroxyChem’s flagship large scale facility will produce an innovative peracetic-acid based wastewater treatment product, VigorOx WWT II, for the city of Memphis and surrounding communities. VigorOX replaces chlorine gas, a common wastewater treatment chemical which is highly toxic to both humans and aquatic life. This cost-effective solution can help cash-strapped cities across the nation that are struggling with the need to replace chlorination systems.
Project: Startup manufacturer of a renewable substitute for carbon black
EnviraPAC constructed their first commercial scale manufacturing plant in a rural community with high unemployment and poverty rates. EnviraPAC developed a biomass-based, renewable substitute for carbon black, a petroleum-based carbon filler used by the rubber and plastics industries. EnviraPAC’s biomass-based alternative will offset approximately five tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of carbon powder it supplies to the market.
Project: Manufacturing facility modernization and solar panel installation
Husqvarna Group expanded and modernized its plastics components manufacturing facility located in a rural low income community in Nashville, Arkansas. This included a solar power generation plant of 1.3 MW that significantly reduced the CO2 footprint of the facility.
Project: Re-opening and modernizing a manufacturer of fuel-efficient auto parts
Nemak is a manufacturer of lightweight fuel-efficient auto parts. Nemak’s older plant used obsolete technology and was forced to close a year earlier. Nemak wanted to reopen and modernize the plant as well as reduce air emissions. Nemak is the second largest employer in a rural community that has experienced thousands of job losses in the textile industry and suffered from high unemployment. 95% of the aluminum raw material used by Nemak is recycled and the company is expanding its production of electric vehicle components.
Project: Manufacturer of steel laminations for high-efficiency motors
Euro USA manufactures steel laminations for high-efficiency motors used in a variety of products, including electric vehicles. Expansion of the facility increased the number of high-quality manufacturing jobs in a severely distressed rural community which had high poverty, low incomes and high unemployment.
Project: New community facility serving low-income people
The Salvation Army of Birmingham (SA) constructed a new Center of Hope to expand their service offerings, including emergency and transitional housing, workforce development, education services, life skills training career center including GEDs, meal services, and an administration building. Over 13,000 people benefit from SA’s services annually and 100% of these are low‐income individuals. SA’s operations divert thousands of tons of waste per year from landfills, including recycling about 2.8mm pieces per year of various consumer goods. The Center also incorporated numerous LEED efficiency features.
Project: Insulation manufacturer using recycled glass
Knauf, a manufacturer of insulation to increase energy efficiency, expanded their existing manufacturing facility to meet increased demand. Lanett is a rural community which suffered from high unemployment and thousands of job losses due to the decline of the U.S. textile industry. Knauf’s fiberglass insulation is manufactured with about 50% recycled glass content and their unique biomass-based ECOSE technology eliminates the use of formaldehyde and phenol, significantly improving indoor air quality (benefiting consumers) while also reducing manufacturing plant emissions (benefiting employees and the local community).
Industry: Clean Energy
Project: Biomass power plant using poultry litter and wood waste
NC Renewable Power (NCRP) retrofit a dormant coal-fired power plant to a 25MW renewable energy power plant utilizing locally sourced poultry litter and wood waste. The NCRP plant is located in rural Robeson County, one of NC’s poorest areas and a region dominated by large scale poultry production. Water runoff from poultry litter pollutes local waterways. NCRP’s use of poultry litter helps local farmers and removes a significant amount of poultry litter from the community. NCRP is only the second utility scale power plant in the U.S. utilizing a high percentage of poultry litter.
Project: Public transportation headquarters and service center
Lextran, an affiliate of the public transit authority of the Lexington area, consolidated its operational and administration services into one location to include a new LEED silver certified corporate headquarters. The new facility consolidated all operations into one location, increased bus maintenance bays, and provided a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station. The Project provides more efficient public transportation services to almost 5 million riders per year, approximately 68% of whom have yearly household income below $20,000. Additionally, the new facility hastened the conversion of Lextran’s bus fleet from diesel to natural gas, reducing harmful emissions.
Project: New campus for non-profit community center
Goodwill Industries of Southern Piedmont (GISP) constructed a new LEED Silver certified non-profit community center, the Goodwill Opportunity Campus (Campus). The new Campus enabled GISP to expand their services by over 65%, including job training. GISP provides services to over 15,000 individuals per year, with over 1,800 being connected with new jobs annually. GISP recycles and diverts millions of pounds of consumer goods and electronics from local landfills annually.
Project: Biomass advanced manufacturing facility
American Process (API) is a biomass research, development and demonstration facility located in an economically-depressed rural community with high unemployment. API provides high quality skilled jobs to the predominantly blue-collar local workforce. API’s proprietary process cost-effectively breaks down biomass into cellulosic sugar for the production of bio-fuels and bio-chemicals and nanocellulose. Nanocellulose is an incredibly versatile material that could replace a variety of petroleum-derived plastics with biomass, including those used in paints, cosmetics, construction materials and auto/aircraft parts.
Project: Manufacturer of food ingredients from citrus waste
Fiberstar utilizes citrus waste to manufacture natural, healthy food ingredients using their proprietary, patented-process. The facility is located in Hendry County, a rural area that consistently has one of the highest unemployment rates in FL. Fiberstar’s products are utilized in food production to improve health, quality and cost savings. The products are produced from citrus-based waste generated during orange juice manufacturing. Fiberstar’s purchase of the waste provides a valuable additional revenue stream for the local citrus industry, a major employer in the region, that has suffered due to a bacterial disease affecting Florida’s citrus trees.
Project: Recycling center and cellulosic ethanol production
Synergy reopened and modernized an shuttered recycling facility to provide 1) municipal waste recycling, and 2) ethanol produced from expired sugar-based beverages, such as soft drinks and alcohol. Synergy is located in a rural low-income community with very high unemployment, and the closure of several major employers.
Project: Sustainable timberlands and protected wetlands
Lyme purchased thousands of acres of timberland in rural Dixie County, Florida and added environmentally-beneficial working forest conservation easements (WFCEs). The WFCEs permanently protect the land from development and ensure that it continues to be a productive, working forest supporting local jobs, and providing vital product to local mills. Lyme’s socially responsible approach includes certified sustainable forestry practices and fair logger contracts. The project’s location preserves a continuous conservation corridor of 196,000 acres, protecting regional ecosystems.
Project: Renewable fuel train transload terminal
Blendstar constructed a new biofuel transload terminal in a low-income community in Birmingham, AL. The terminal provides efficient and cost-effective distribution of alternative fuels and is vital for the industry, providing a lower cost structure, promoting more domestic production, and reducing the potential for foreign biofuels to enter the market.
Project: Sustainable timberland and forestry products
Beasley is an innovative sustainable forestry company whose operations include sawmills, wood pellets (for renewable energy), timberland and environmental remediation products. Beasley is the 2nd largest private employer in a rural county which suffered from high unemployment. Beasley owns thousands of acres of timberland and is committed to good environmental stewardship by participating in the Sustainable Forest Initiative program.
Project: Non-profit education facility for children
Thinkery is a non-profit LEED Silver educational museum for children. ACM offers “Open Door Access” providing free admission to anyone regardless of their ability to pay. The Thinkery includes numerous education programs addressing environmental sustainability, such as water and energy conservation. The facility includes exhibit galleries on green values, recycling, use of repurposed materials and locally grown / sourced food.
Project: Manufacturer of biomass-based plastics
Danimer is an innovative manufacturer of sustainable, renewable plastic products, primarily for the consumer food packaging industry. Danimer provides skilled jobs in a rural, economically depressed community. Traditional plastic products are derived from petroleum. Danimer’s renewable and sustainable bioplastics are biodegradable and/or compostable, reducing landfill waste and pollution, particularly for low value, single use plastic items such as drinking straws and snack chip bags. Danimer products are also safer, healthier non-toxic alternatives for coatings on beverage and edible products containers.
Project: Family-owned sustainable timberland
Jordan Lumber is a family-owned and operated sustainable forest products company with timberland, sawmills and chip mills. Founded in 1939, Jordan is the fifth largest employer in a rural county suffering from high unemployment. Jordan manages its timberland in accordance with Sustainable Forestry Initiative (“SFI”) standards, which address reforestation, water quality protection, wildlife conservation, visual quality, biological diversity, and efficient use of forest resources. Jordan’s best practices include continually growing more trees than are harvested each year.
Project: Innovative seafood waste processing facility
Gulf Coast Agricultural and Seafood Co-Op (GCASC), is a non-profit first-of-its-kind facility turning seafood processing waste into fertilizer. The innovative LEED Gold plant is powered by self-generated methane biogas and solar energy. The Co-Op was formed by 23 local shrimp and crab companies having difficulty disposing of their seafood processing waste after their previous facility was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. As a result, Co-Op members were forced to pay high fees to haul waste 50 miles, burdening the Co-Op members, many of whom were also struggling due to the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill. The new facility provided Co-Op members with a cost effective and eco-friendly solution.
Project: Repair and manufacturer of gears and wind towers
Broadwind Energy’s Abilene facility manufactures and repairs various energy industry components and equipment, primarily gearboxes and towers for the wind industry. Broadwind is a US-based energy and infrastructure-focused company with hundreds of employees that supports the need for domestic renewable energy. The Abilene facility provides a valuable additional revenue stream for the company, strengthening their product and service offerings. The project helped to support local economic development goals of establishing Abilene as a hub for the wind industry.
Rex Lumber is a family owned and operated lumber company which purchased and renovated a closed lumber mill. The mill closure had a significant impact on this small, rural community, including the loss of 150 jobs. The new, majority women owners modernized the mill, introduced sustainable forestry practices to their supply chain, implemented efficiency improvements that reduced harmful air emissions by 40%, and increased yield-per-tree to industry-leading levels.