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From Wal-Mart through Ikea to Nissan, global consumer brands have begun to take sustainability and environmental responsibility extremely seriously. That’s one of the reasons why North Carolina has seen an unprecedented solar boom in the last year, with businesses like Apple investing in multi-megawatt solar farms.

What’s less often talked about is that this focus is working its way up the supply chain, as suppliers are being increasingly rewarded for improving their performance too.

That’s the case with Keihin Carolina System Technology (KCST), an electronics manufacturer based in Tarboro, NC. Already recognized by Honda (their customer) and NC DENR for their efforts in environmental stewardship, the company has just achieved another major feather in its cap by achieving ISO 50001 certification, a voluntary international energy management standard which so far has only been achieved by one other company in the state. Here’s how David Catt, Plant Manager, described the achievement:

“We are committed to continuous improvement in everything we do—whether it is reducing energy use or improving the safety and quality of our products. We are proud to achieve this certification and be a leader in manufacturing in North Carolina. We will continue to look for ways to improve our operations, conserve resources, and educate our employees on how we can positively impact the environment.”

Alongside its energy management efforts, according to the company website Keihin has also achieved zero landfill status, it has reduced its hazardous waste shipments by 67%, and implemented printing conservation measures which have prevented the use of over 500,000 sheets of paper.