The North Carolina Sustainability Center (NCSC) on April 21 officially transferred its role as an online sustainability community to the Sustainability Initiative at the NC State University Poole College of Management which will continue NCSC’s work through its newly launched North Carolina Sustainability Connection.
Building on NCSC’s active online community, the new North Carolina Sustainability Connection will continue to showcase the innovation and impact of sustainable businesses across North Carolina and to connect entrepreneurs, business people, communities and citizens.
“From their reporting on the ongoing solar-energy boom in our state to innovations in open source farming, NCSC has proved there’s a demand for innovation-focused news in North Carolina. The Poole College Sustainability Initiative brings the expertise and passion of NC State faculty, staff, students and alumni to continue that vision. We want to demonstrate that North Carolina has all of the assets—economic, community, and environmental—to be a national leader in advancing a sustainable economy,” said Jessica Thomas, director of the Poole College Sustainability Initiative.
The NC Sustainability Connection builds on the legacy of NCSC, which has been through several iterations over the last 16 years.
“The organization was founded as Save our State in 1998 in response to the need for practical solutions to the problem of hog waste disposal in North Carolina after Hurricane Floyd,” says Anne Claire Broughton, treasurer of the NC Sustainability Center and principal of Broughton Consulting, LLC.
“In 2002 the organization expanded its mission and became Sustainable North Carolina, which worked for eight years to raise the profile of sustainability in North Carolina and to bring sustainable businesses together through initiatives such as the annual NC Sustainability Awards and the 200-member NC Sustainable Business Council.”
In 2011, the name of the organization was changed to NC Sustainability Center (NCSC) and the focus shifted to measuring and communicating the value of sustainability to North Carolina’s economy. Under the leadership of Katie Kross and with support from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and the Park Foundation, NCSC launched a new set of initiatives to celebrate and support sustainability in all corners of North Carolina.
“NCSC focused on changing the dialogue about sustainability by making the link between environmental and social wellbeing and economic opportunity for our state,” says Maria Kingery, chair of the board of the NC Sustainability Center and co-founder of Southern Energy Management. “I’m delighted that the Poole College Sustainability Initiative will build off of that charge.”
In April of 2014, NCSC dissolved as a nonprofit, gifting all of its assets, including a website and social media platforms, to the Poole College Sustainability Initiative.
“With the addition of the NC Sustainability Connection, Poole College will continue building on the NCSC legacy, to establish North Carolina as a leader in sustainability and as a hub for companies that are creating the jobs of the future,” Thomas said. The NC Sustainability Connection will share stories of innovators from throughout the state and champion businesses and communities that are forging a path toward sustainability. The platform will spread innovation and ideas and bring people together so they can build on each others’ successes.
“The Poole College Sustainability Initiative, which launched in August of 2013, has been working to advance sustainable business practices in the classroom, in research, and in industry. The NC Sustainability Connection will further the mission of the Sustainability Initiative to build a community of sustainability practioners, innovators, and supporters,” said Dr. Ira Weiss, dean of the Poole College of Management.
Former members of the board of directors of NCSC, key faculty and administrators from across NC State University along with members of the business community met at the Poole College of Management for the launch of the NC Sustainability Connection.
Among those attending the April 21 meeting were, from the left: Maria Kingery, board chair, NC Sustainability Center; Anne Claire Broughton, board member, NC Sustainability Center, and Jessica Thomas, director, Poole College Sustainability Initiative.