Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and US EPA Region I recently hosted a forum with business leaders from around the state to begin a dialogue about areas for action that would encourage growth of environmentally-responsible companies and environmental products and services. The purpose of the dialogue was to explore how government can work with businesses to encourage them to go beyond regulatory compliance by linking sustainable business practices with environmental performance. The forum was held in cooperation with EPA Region 1, the NH Charitable Foundation, and Sustainable Step New England. Participating businesses included BAE Systems, NH Ball Bearings, National Grid, Osram Sylvania, Millipore, LDI Corporation, Northland Forest Products, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Pinetree Power, Grubb & Ellis, and Monadnock Paper Company, as well as representatives from the Governor's Office, the Department of Resources and Economic Development, the Office of Energy and Planning, the Small Business Development Center, and the Business and Industry Association.
The meeting helped set the stage for a new initiative that DES will be launching this year to encourage environmental leadership and innovation in the business community. This EPA-funded initiative will include a set of projects to begin later this spring to improve environmental performance across the state, including a proposal to recognize, and possibly reward, organizations that perform above and beyond regulatory requirements.
DES anticipates many similar meetings to occur in the future, with broadened participation among other New Hampshire businesses and organizations. Michael Nolin, DES Commissioner noted, "As our state and region faces more complex, pressing challenges such as climate change, energy issues, and growth pressures, the need is greater than ever for government and business to work in partnership to identify the creative solutions that will ensure a healthy environment and a strong economy."
New Hampshire is home to many businesses that are innovating to take advantage of how proactive environmental and energy practices can be good for business. This meeting was designed to bring those businesses and government leaders together to share their experiences and to see explore ways to move ahead. For more information, please contact Bob Minicucci, DES Special Projects Manager, Office of the Commissioner at (603) 271-2941.