NC East Alliance

NCEast Alliance Celebrates Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing – hosted by leading tire and rubber company Bridgestone

February 24, 2015

February 23, 2015 – Wilson, NC – Seeking to inspire manufacturers to run at peak performance while respecting the environments in which they operate, a showcase event, Sustainability in Manufacturing: Sharing Environmental, Energy and Waste Reduction Practices,” will welcome business leaders from across the Southeast US.  Hosted by the NCEast Alliance on March 26, 2015 at Wilson Community College, manufacturing sustainability champion Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) will be featured to highlight best practices utilized by leaders at the Wilson, NC tire production facility. Bridgestone will be followed by a panel of area manufacturing leaders from other global companies. Tours of the Bridgestone passenger tire plant in Wilson will also be available for early registrants.

Bridgestone, the world’s largest manufacturer of tire and rubber products, employs more than 2,000 people at its Wilson plant - a 2 million square foot facility surrounded by the company's 350-acre wildlife habitat and refuge.  Bridgestone is well recognized for superior quality and innovative products, including its Ecopia line of fuel–saving tires and for its commitment to sustainable manufacturing and the environment.  

“Lean and Green” practices are currently embraced by the automotive industry and by a growing number of their suppliers across North Carolina. The “Sustainability in Manufacturing” event will highlight efficiency and sustainability programs that drive business success and reduce energy use and waste going to landfills. Bridgestone will share details of its path to achieving the ISO 50001 Energy Management standard and the world’s first Zero-Waste-to-Landfill claim validation from UL Environment.

“Being a good steward of the environment and our natural resources is a critical part of doing business today,” said Michael Darr, Wilson Plant Manager, Bridgestone Americas. “We’re proud to be part of this community and neighbors with so many sustainably-minded companies, and we continue to look for ways that we can work together on these important initiatives.”

This event is the first in a series planned by the NCEast Alliance in concert with WST Industries. WSTi provides services supporting manufacturing operators across NC; specializing in the area of Operational Sustainability. 

WSTi Company President Tim Skibitsky said, “In collaboration with our manufacturing clients we are seeking to be the next generation provider of integrated and strategic solutions to support the resurgence of industry in NC. We are confident that sharing best practices at these events will stimulate innovation in engineering projects and operations management leading to a stronger, more sustainable manufacturing base for North Carolina.”

The event, sponsored by NCEast Alliance, WSTi, Bridgestone Americas, Wilson Economic Development Council, Wilson Community College and NC State Industrial Extension Service begins at 1:00 pm and concludes at 3:30 pm.

A panel of senior manufacturing operators from across eastern NC will speak about their successes related to sustainability and how this has benefited their business. An optional breakout session before the main event during lunch will feature STEM – “Strategies That Engage Minds” – an NCEast Alliance workforce development of initiative that is engaging employers and educators to fill the talent pipeline. Guests will also have the opportunity to participate in a Manufacturing Sustainability Workshop after the main event from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm. Early registrants will have the option to attend a two-hour tour of the Bridgestone facility beginning at 9:30 am.  

“To grow our economy, we need to encourage our manufacturers to replicate the actions of Bridgestone and other area companies that have achieved ISO 14001 and 50001 certification,” stated John D. Chaffee, President/CEO of the NCEast Alliance. “We, as community leaders, also need to maintain our commitment to provide the appropriate infrastructure and talent needed to sustain these companies,” continued Chaffee.

The NCEast Alliance has assumed a leadership role in identifying best practices developed locally or elsewhere and adapting these efforts on a regional scale that responds to the needs of eastern North Carolina. Such efforts include industrial site certification, workforce quality certification and STEM education initiatives in partnership with local economic development offices, colleges/universities, community colleges, public schools, chambers of commerce, and others to improve the competitive position of the region.

To learn more about, and register for the event, please go to

The NCEast Alliance is a regional, public/private, not-for-profit, economic development corporation serving approximately 1.2 million residents within several small metropolitan and micropolitan areas in eastern North Carolina from the fringe of the Research Triangle to the Atlantic Coast. The Alliance provides community capacity building, marketing/lead generation, and assists companies with site location and expansion evaluations. For more information on the NCEast Alliance, visit us at or visit one of our workforce development sites (NCEast WorkReady Communities at or STEM East at

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