08/09/2011

THE RACE TO THE GREEN CHECKERED FLAG

Have you been thinking green lately?  The world is in a rush to be more environmentally friendly in every part of our lives in order to conserve resources and protect our natural environment.  Being “green” is a label that garners respect around the world, and here in Georgia, local companies are working hard to work responsibly in that regard.  They are creating innovative ways to use green processes to create jobs, and these initiatives are building strong business models that lead to a more sustainable future.  These companies are in a global race to what I call the Green Checkered flag.

OTR in Rome, Georgia is developing ways to recycle tires into reusable products with no environmental side effects.  The process is fully EPA compliant, eliminates tires in our landfills, and creates a revenue stream that not only makes it self sufficient, but also profitable.   Tires are just the beginning, as they also have seen promising results by putting computer equipment and plastic bottles through the same process.

And speaking of plastic bottles, did you know that companies like Mohawk and Shaw in Northwest Georgia collect plastic bottles to make carpet for your home?   They are turning waste into work, providing “green” jobs, and leading by example by reusing products and being conscious in the way they live and work.  Other Georgia companies use the plastic chips from water bottles to extrude fiber for pillows and plush stuffed animal toys, reducing the need for cotton.

Traeger Pellets is a company that set up shop on-site at a local lumber business, and uses the sawdust from the lumber to create food-safe wood pellets for cooking on Traeger pellet grills.  These grills are gaining popularity fast, and cooking aficionados are rushing to get one, leaving their charcoal and propane grills cold and lonely.  Pellet fuel turns a waste into a warm, inviting meal.

Georgia businesses know that Georgia is a place where resources are plentiful, and with help from our state’s research and innovation institutes and universities, they can develop green initiatives that can compete globally and create positive change for the world.  These are just a few examples of companies in Northwest Georgia making a difference.  Will your company be next to join the race?

Carl Campbell
Project Manager, Existing Industry and Regional Recruitment
Region 1, Northwest Georgia

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