Agriculture / Business / Construction / Education / Energy / Government / Green Landscapes / Non-Profits

Disclaimer: The information on the businesses, products, and organizations presented herein is provided for informationalpurposes only. The technical descriptions and details expressed do not constitute an endorsement by the South Carolina Sustainability Network. We have highlighted various examples in which sustainable practices can be noted.  Thereare no guarantees, either expressed or implied, regarding the completeness of this information.

Caw Caw Creek Pastured Porks  - Emile DeFelice conducts his farm according to agricultural practices that promote diversity and preserve the environment.  The pigs he raises are allowed to roam freely and are rotated through pasture and woods.  Neither waste lagoons nor confinement housing are used, so the pigs do not need supplemental medications the typical factory farmer would use to maximize production.  Farming practices also strive to minimize waste by returning manure to the soil as a fertilizer.


Happy Cow Creamery  -  Tom Trantham's dairy farm in Pelzer, SC has been recognized nationally for its sustainable agricultural techniques.  Trantham began his farming career as a typical dairy farmer who applied chemicals and mowed his fields before letting his cows graze. In the late 80s, realizing a need for change, he began experimenting with a rotational grazing system.  He stopped using chemicals and fertilizers in the paddocks and allowed the cows to graze on the top half of the uncut plants.  Each day they are rotated into a different paddock to allow the plants to grow.  He perfected a profitable, environmentally safe, grazing system for dairy cows that earned him the national award, The Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture.  Trantham dubbed this grass based system, 12 Aprils. Due to interest in this technique, Trantham now offers his as a training site for others to learn about his sustainable practice in addition to the dairy production. newsarchive/2003_V23_I1_JanuaryFebruary.pdf

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  • Bank of America- Headquartered in Charlotte NC, Bank of America adopted the Equator Principles, a set of standards that link financing with socially responsible development in emerging markets.  Under  these criteria, a customer must recognize their social responsibility and pursue certain environmental management policies concerning their project to receive a loan.  The IFC established this program and encourages banks around the world to participate.
  • Owens Corning  -  The three Owens Corning facilities in SC wanted to become ISO certified by 2001, so they enlisted SCMEP for help.  JumpStart programs tailored to meet their specific needs targeted the environmental processes used by each facility and their impacts.  They set goals to reduce negative environmental impacts and educated employees on how to implement the new programs.  Each facility received ISO certification by their target date.
  • Omnova  -  After several courses conducted by SCMEP on lean manufacturing and value stream mapping, Omnova, a company specializing in chemicals for textiles, graphics, paper coatings, and construction, revamped their production strategies to increase efficiency.  The courses provided tools for increasing production from existing equipment and procedures, which showed Omnova how to increase cycle time for a savings of $63,000 and 240 hours per year; how to improve yield; and how to get more finished product for every pound of raw material, worth another $13,000. The reduced environmental impact and inventory reduction was worth about $60,000.
  • Nucor  -  Nucor received the Best Industry Recycling Program Award given by the Business Recycling Assistance Program for their efforts to reduce waste.  Their achievements include recycling 2.8 million 

  • tons of scrap metal per year as well as marketing one of their by-products as an aggregate in concrete production.  They also developed a recycling program in conjunction with Darlington’s Special Needs and Disabilities board.

Lexington Medical Center  - Lexington Medical Center was recognized with the Best Industry Recycling Program Award for the service sector by the Business Recycling Assistance Program for its efforts to recycle and reduce waste not only at its main campus, a 300-bed facility, but also 29 affiliated physician practices and seven community medical centers. For 10 years, the hospital has aggressively looked for ways to reduce waste as well as disposal costs and achieved success through a comprehensive program that incorporates waste prevention, reuse and recycling. Not only has Lexington Medical Center avoided more than $9,000 a year in disposal fees, but revenues generated through its recycling program, more than $2,500 in just the first nine months of 2002, have benefited its employees’ emergency fund.

  • Dei Tec Co  -  Dei Tec Co. is an example of a S.C. business that manufactures a product that can 

  • be used in efforts to incorporate sustainable practices.  Dei Tec Corporation produces renewable oil filters for light duty vehicles. The purpose of this environmentally friendly product is to reduce oil consumption, solid waste generation, and ground water contamination. 

Milliken  -  Milliken has established a stringent recycling and anti- landfill usage policy for which S.C. DHEC awarded them Best Industrial Recycling Program in 1999.  To reach the zero waste goal they have set, Milliken eliminated the use of chlorinated solvents, and reduced consumption of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons. Milliken has taken steps to convert the coal ash generated by boilers into building materials, and to convert wastewater treatment bio-solids to fuel. They also own thousands of acres of S.C. forests and use sustainable practices in managing them.

  • Energex and Shorecrest Vacation Villas  -  In March of 2003, Energex installed its proprietary 

  • guestroom energy management system in all 114 suites at Shorecrest Vacation villas at Myrtle Beach. 
    The retrofit project includes sensor deployment in 285 cooling and heating zones and the automation 
    of sliding doors throughout the time-share resort.

SMI Steel  -  SMI Steel has shown itself to be a leader in recycling policies among S.C. manufacturers.  As well as recycling scrap metals, the company has found ways to reduce and reuse many products. The Solid Waste Task Force was established to manage recycling efforts.  Some of their initiatives have been reselling aluminum cans to benefit an emergency employee fund, reusing pallets as firewood, and placing general recycling containers throughout the facility.  Their recycling programs earned them the honor of having South Carolina’s best industry recycling program awarded by B-RAP.

  • Felters  -   With the help of SCMEP, Felters employed lean manufacturing techniques to reduce both the manufacturing time of felt products and waste in the production process.  They focused on applying 
    these techniques to the company's sewing areas and the fabrication (die cutting) department in order to 
    improve product delivery times to customers and reduce non-value adding costs.  As a result of these 
    practices, they reduced their waste and saved time and space.

BMW  -  Over the past few years, BMW has implemented several production practices that contribute greatly to environmental sustainability. In 2003, they launched an alternative energy program that converted methane gas from Palmetto landfill into energy used by the process area of the plant.  BMW cut the energy required to manufacture each vehicle by 50%.  They also reduced the amount of hazardous by-products by 30%.  In addition to this project, BMW has undertaken many other steps beneficial to the environment.  They have a recycling program and a carpooling program.  Instead of generating waste through packaging their products, all materials are shipped in reusable containers.

View EEP’s site for a complete list of members:


KEMET  -  KEMET was the first industry in South Carolina to be certified by the Wildlife Federations WAIT program, which involved developing plant property as wildlife habitats. KEMET’s South Carolina Plants meet the criteria for membership in the SC Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP). The SCEEP is a voluntary program for companies committed to continuous environmental improvements in order to protect and preserve South Carolina’s environment. All four SC manufacturing facilities are certified under this program.

View EEP’s site for a complete list of members:


Fujifilm  -  Fuji Photo Film, Inc, preserved part of the natural habitat on their grounds with the Palmetto Walk nature trail and recreational complex.  In addition, they planted over 2,700 trees, shrubs or ornamental plants, and over 1,400 holly bushes to serve as an evergreen screen instead of erecting a chain link fence around their complex.  They also sponsor many educational programs to promote environmental awareness. They conduct presentations of environmental educational materials in each of the company's cafeterias (site-wide) and they teamed up with Boy Scout Troop 920 to develop a butterfly garden and install birdhouses along the nature trail. For their efforts, they received the WAIT certification. Future plans for Fujifilm's WAIT™ program include activities such as placing mineral licks during the summer for deer, photography field trips, planting crimson clover and tropical corn for deer, putting up hawk perches, putting up purple martin and bat houses, and maintaining the bluebird houses.


Associated Fuel Pumps Systems Corporation  -  AFCO manufactures electric in-tank fuel pumps and associated bracket assemblies for automotive producers.  The company started developing an Environmental Management system in 1998, and it received ISO 14001 registration the following year.  They have reduced hazardous wastes by more than 64%, reduced electrical consumption by 0.039 M kWh/M$ sales, and developed a 5 year plan to reduce VOC air emissions and landfill waste.  AFCO has received recognition from the Environmental Excellence Program as well as WAIT.  Their initiatives to preserve their landscape include designing a wildlife habitat on the company grounds along with a butterfly garden.

View EEP’s site for a complete list of members:

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Dewees Island  -  The natural island resources and pristine environment at Dewees Island have been spared the impacts of over development through the implementation of sustainable construction and landscaping practices.  The island, located just north of Charleston, is home to a housing project begun by Dewees Island Development Company.  However, the company undertook the project with the goal of protecting the natural island ecosystem through minimized external intrusion.  They limited development to 150 home sites that would incorporate conservation in land use and xeriscaping to create a manicured surrounding consistent with the natural habitat.  Xeriscaping also preserves groundwater and minimizes the need for fertilizers.  Each home had to comply to strict standards, some of which included structurally insulated panels, rainwater harvesting, permeable pavement, low- VOC paint finishes and adhesives, low-flow plumbing fixtures, small-diameter sewer lines, and shared wastewater treatment systems.  Construction crews are instructed to minimize the amount of lumber they cut, and waste reduction policies are strictly enforced. Electric vehicles are used to travel about the island.  Before construction, the climate was studied so energy efficiency could be maximized through the orientation of the house.  Homes are oriented to collect cooling breezes, have overhangs and use strategically planted vegetation to reduce air conditioning expenses.  92% of the island was conserved and efforts to enhance efficiency netted a total of 60% energy savings, 70% water savings, and 60% household waste savings. Dewees Island Homes are built to exceed Energy Star standards.


Cox and Dinkins  -  A Civil Engineering firm based on the outskirts of Columbia, Cox and Dinkins followed the LEED guidelines in constructing their new office building in 2003.  The green-friendly procedures were implemented due to a desire for greater efficiency.  The firm saw a decline in energy consumption over 30% causing a significant reduction in operating costs.  This was in part due to the pendant lights included in the buildings design.  They reflect off ceilings and reduce glare and shadows.  As a result, wattage per square foot of demand is reduced.  There is also direct access to natural light for 75% of office occupants and sensor activated/deactivated lights are in located in all offices.  A high efficiency irrigation system with a multiple program clock and rain sensor override allows for independent drip watering of shrubbery and overhead watering of lawns.


Kennecott Ridgeway Mining Company  -  The Kennecott Mine, located near Ridgeway, South Carolina, was an open-pit gold mine that began production in December 1988 and ceased production at the end of November 1999. Mine reclamation and closure activities have been undertaken at the site to create two fresh water lakes, wetlands and a 300 acre vegetated tailings area. Kennecott is teaming up with the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy to promote sustainable use at their reclaimed mine site.  They plan to develop an education and research facility that will benefit the community as well as provide research capabilities for students of mine reclamation.  The facility will host activities in order to educate people on the reclamation process, the wetlands environment, and the surrounding wildlife.  To further encourage long-term sustainable practices, the Center will be advised by a Sustainable Development and Community Affairs Committee. PRESS%20RELEASE%20-%20Reclaimed%20


Palladio Homes  -  Founded in 2001, this company is acclaimed for more than their architectural designs.  Palladio Homes was the first homebuilder in the Charleston area to receive the designation as an Energy Star Partner.  Their homes are certified to meet the EPA's guidelines for energy efficiency. Sustainable Charleston recognized them as a 2004 Sustainable Charleston Award recipient.  One of their characteristic innovations is the use of blown cellulose as insulation.  This technique helps control interior temperatures and is made from recycled newspaper and boric acid.


113 Calhoun Street  -  The 113 Calhoun Street Foundation is a private, non-profit organization established by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, Clemson University Extension Service, and the City of Charleston to undertake the development of 113 Calhoun Street: A Center for Sustainable Living.  Located in a 125-year-old house in the historic district of downtown Charleston, S.C., the center at 113 Calhoun Street addresses the sustainability needs of communities by using strategies corresponding to the essential elements that ensure communities’ future viability.  The house has been rebuilt using materials and designs that demonstrate what can be done to prevent weather damage.

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Certified Schoolyard Habitats  - Both Marshall Primary School in Belton S.C., and Satchel Ford Elementary School in Columbia S.C., have received certification from the Wildlife Federation for their schoolyard habitats.  The Wildlife Federation sponsors the Certified Schoolyard Habitats to promote environmental awareness among students.  Marshall created a garden that students can use to study pond life, wetlands, and indigenous plants.  K-2 students along with FFA students and after school scouting troops are responsible for the upkeep of the garden. In the garden one can find migratory birds, a variety of insects and animals, and an area for herbs and vegetables.  At Satchel Ford Elementary, nature also plays an important role in the student's education.  A series of gardens including a Carolina fenced garden, an herb garden, a pond, and a memory garden provide the opportunity for students to gain hands on experience about their surrounding environment.  They plant and care for the vegetation, learn about the needs of wildlife, and study the possible impacts their actions could have.


Litter Trashes Everyone Puppet Show  -  PalmettoPride is a non-profit organization comprised of state agencies, corporate sponsors, civic organizations, and citizens dedicated to eradicating the practice of littering.  As a part of their efforts to reach elementary school children, they created a puppet show on the importance of not littering. This entertaining educational program, features the Columbia Marionette Theatre's marionettes and hand puppets to emphasize environmentally friendly behaviors.  The show travels to elementary schools across the state and plans to do 200 performances through the course of a year.


What they're doing to conserve:


Darlington School District - With the help of the S.C. Energy Office, Darlington School District was able to incorporate multiple energy saving devices in their school buildings.  They received a ConserFund loan that provided the resources needed to enact two of the energy efficiency projects.  The first project targeted reducing energy consumption from heating, ventilating, and cooling equipment.  An energy management system was installed district-wide on all HVAC units to regulate temperature.  The reduction in energy costs resulted in an annual cost savings projected at $94, 650.  Their second endeavor concentrated on energy conservation at Hartsville High School.  The school district replaced the school’s existing windows with smaller, energy efficient windows.  A specialized insulated wall structure that helps prevent exterior climate changes from influencing internal conditions was used to cover the remaining open areas.  Energy costs were reduced with a predicted savings of $8,281.  Throughout the life cycles of these projects, over $2 million will be saved.


University of South Carolina


    USC's University Housing has migrated all of its administrative and computer lab computers to new, state-of-the art PCs, each with a flat panel LCD monitor in an effort to reduce overall energy consumption.  LCDs use approximately 30% less power than CRTs and consume 74% less electricity.  In terms of kilowatts-hours/year, CRTs average 273.6 while LCDs figure around 64.1 per computer.  It is predicted that if all of the 15, 528 computers at USC were converted, the university would save $325, 466 to $976, 400 per year in electricity depending on hours of usage per day. 


University Housing is also converting their means of transportation.  Housing currently uses three Neighborhood Electric Vehicles called GEM cars that do not require gasoline for energy. In addition to eliminating the need for foreign oil by using the GEM, it is also a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV).  The GEM is an electric vehicle that travels up to 25 mph and is street legal, and because of its size can go almost anywhere on campus.


University Housing's West Quadrangle is a 500-bed Living Learning complex. The $29 million project will integrate technology, design, sustainability and learning as it seeks LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification as a green building. The complex will be among the first LEED certified buildings in South Carolina and one of only few certified green residence halls in the world.


Bikes - 

    Clemson University

Clemson Agricultural Program  - Clemson University’s Agricultural Program emphasizes agricultural research, teaching, and public outreach endeavors.  Sustainable agricultural practices have always been supported at Clemson, and in May 2000 the Calhoun Field Laboratory (CFL) Sustainable Farming Project began.  The eighty- acre field site is used to develop and demonstrate farming systems and strategies that are ecologically, economically and socially sustainable, and that will strengthen local food systems. Some of the goals that the faculty and students are working to achieve are the validation of environmentally sound production practices, development of site-specific, precision agriculture technologies, validation of sound pest management strategies, and development of genetically modified organisms to increase plant resistance to disease.


LEED Construction - Clemson University will construct all new buildings to LEED standards. Currently, the fraternity housing area and the advanced materials science building are under construction and expected to receive LEED Silver certification. 


College of Charlestonw


As part of the Sustainable Universities Initiative, the College of Charleston has renovated a historical building that is home to the department of political science following green design.  Some of the alterations include replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, installing motion sensors, and recarpeting with 30% post consumer recycled carpet.  The project is designed to determine the most cost-effective green building techniques for buildings on campus, measure the before and after effects of the implementation of green building practices, and then use this information in teaching, outreach, and research activities for the students and faculty of the College of Charleston and throughout the community.


Furman University


In recent years, Furman University has undertaken several green building projects.  One residence facility, known as the "Eco-cottage," is dedicated to environmental sustainability.  The students in this residence monitor their resource use and waste production and compare these measures with those of another complex. They create a "personal impact assessment", a quantitative measure of the energetic impact of each housing unit. Ultimately, they report their findings to Facilities Services and to the entire Furman Community, presenting a list of the most energetically effective measures identified by their study. The eco-cottage is powered by solar panels.  Hipp Hall, completed in 2002, is the first building in SC to be green-certified.  It received a gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for its environmentally beneficial innovations. The building's energy-saving features include a radiant energy barrier that improves performance of the roof and wall insulation, a fly ash concrete foundation, carbon dioxide monitors that help modulate outside air flow based upon the building occupancy, and sensors that switch off lights when rooms are not being used. Mary Pat Crozier, Furman's construction manager, estimates that the building's features save the university $15,000 per year in energy costs.


USC- Aiken

Lander University

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Myrtle Beach Center  -  Santee Cooper wants to incorporate the use of solar energy at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.  Their design allows for a 24 foot Rain Canopy lined with solar cells to be erected in the Convention Center’s plaza.  The solar cells would generate five-kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to light 50 100-watt light bulbs.  As of June 2004, this plan has yet to be approved by the City council.


Green Power Program  -  The Green Power program is the first initiative in SC to provide electricity from renewable resources.  Santee Cooper is working in conjunction with Mid Carolina Electric and Palmetto Electric Cooperative to provide customers with the option of purchasing electricity designated as green power.  The renewable energy source is methane gas produced at the Horry County Solid Waste Authority Landfill. The generators are located on a non-active part of the landfill. The methane gas from the decomposing garbage will power three 1,400 horsepower engines that turn generators that produce 3.3 megawatts of electricity.  The predicted benefit per month from one person switching to green power is comparable to planting an acre of trees in national forests, not driving for nearly 3 months, or recycling 10,215 aluminum cans and 1,177 pounds of newspaper.


GOFER- Give Oil for Energy Recovery program  -  The Give Oil for Energy Recovery program is a statewide collection project sponsored by Santee Cooper.  The GOFER program provides collection centers for used oil in every county with industrial pickups are scheduled as well.  Santee Cooper then reuses the collected oil for energy production at their Jefferies Production Center.  Since its initiation in 1990, the GOFER program has recycled 14,500,000 gallons of oil.

  • Bio Diesel - Aiken, United energy distributors using soybeans
  • Landfill Energy Usage  - As a Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) State Partner with the EPA, South Carolina’s Energy Office works to develop landfill gas energy projects throughout the state.  Landfill gas is 50% Methane, a fuel source that can be used to generate electricity and in doing so reduce green house emissions.  Following a survey to identify potential landfill candidates, several counties undertook landfill projects that would reduce gas emissions.  Two of the LFGE projects in Spartanburg County and Richland County involve sending landfill gas to nearby industrial users.  Another project in Horry County works with a state-owned utility to convert landfill gas to electricity from an onsite plant that became operational in October 2001. As of October 2002, 15 additional sites are in various stages of development throughout the state.

Soybeans as Biodiesel Fuel Source  -  The United Soybean Board established a soybean checkoff whose goal is to increase soybean usage across the U.S. In South Carolina, the checkoff directly assisted in opening a public alternative fueling station, which provides soy-based biodiesel E- 85 (85% Ethanol and 15% gasoline) in Aiken SC. The facility is operated by the United Energy Distributors and services diesel engines for the public and private sector.  In comparison with petroleum-based diesel fuel, soy-based biodiesel reduces unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. One study predicts that if soy-based biodiesel demand increased by 200 million gallons, total cash crop receipts would increase by $5.2 billion per year by 2010.

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Greenville Energy Improvements  - Through its relationship with Rebuild South Carolina, Greenville County became familiar with the benefits of energy-efficiency investments. The Greenville partnership is a model for simple steps counties can take to find additional fiscal resources.  After the South Carolina Energy Office conducted a free energy audit, the county implemented a lighting retrofit of Greenville County Square, with an internal financing arrangement that uses future energy savings to pay for the improvements. With cost-saving projections showing a short payback period, the county’s Capital Improvement Finance Committee showed interest in reinvesting the savings into more energy efficiency improvements. This is the primary reason Greenville County chose to conduct lighting upgrades.


S.C. Welcome Center Recycling  - DHEC's Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling, in partnership with the S.C. Department of Transportation, S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism and local recycling programs, provides recycling containers at many of the S.C. Welcome Centers.


Sewage Treatment through Phinizy swamp nature park - Southeastern natural sciences academy -


US Postal Service  -  The USPS has the nation's largest fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles. Instead of gasoline, they run on electric batteries, compressed natural gas, ethanol, and biodiesel fuel. Solar power is a feature in some post offices around the USA, and this is a trend that will increase in coming years. Instead of disposing of undelivered mail in landfills, they take mail with bad or unreadable addresses - or mail that can't be forwarded - and recycle it into copy paper, envelopes and boxes.


DHEC and Mungo Homes  -  DHEC’s Department of Solid Waste Reduction teamed up with Mungo Homes to explore alternative uses for gypsum wallboard, a material that makes up about 15 percent of the total waste generated from new construction and about 1 percent of the total waste generated in the United States.  Scrap wallboard was ground to powder and applied to the soil before landscaping at new home sites.


SC Department of Corrections  - In May 2002, the S.C. Department of Corrections secured a $42,500 ConserFund loan agreement with the S.C. Energy Office to upgrade its administrative headquarters with T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts. The benefits of using the more energy efficient T-8 lamps in buildings result in electrical cost savings for lighting, which conserves valuable resources. If used with an electronic ballast, as in the administration headquarters building, an additional 7-10 percent efficiency can be obtained with a projected annual kWh reduction of 325,668.


Rebuild SC - Greenville government buildings


SmartRide  - In a partnership with the Department of Transportation, Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) offers commuter service traveling from Camden to the Columbia Metro Area. Central Midlands Regional Transportation Authority also provides commuter service from The City of Newberry with stops in Little Mountain and Chapin and then on to Columbia.  For $20.00 per week, commuters can take the bus to and from Columbia.  These public transit systems should not only reduce the stress of the daily commute, but also, by reducing the amount of traffic in the Columbia area, gas will be conserved and air quality will improve.  In the near future, commuters may see such programs as the "Commuter's Choice", a federal tax incentive program to encourage usage of public transit.  Stipends given to employees for bus fare would be tax deductible and employees who utilize the transit system would be guaranteed access to a vehicle during the work day should an emergency arise.


Barnwell County Library- LEED


Edisto Island Interpretive Center  -  A joint venture between the S.C. Departments of Natural Resources and the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, the Edisto Island Interpretive Center opened in 2004 as home to multiple services, programs, and exhibits emphasizing the valuable resources of the ACE Basin estuarine reserve.  The "green-building" was constructed using sustainable technologies in order to reduce impact on the surrounding environment.  Included are a rainwater collection system that stores water for restrooms, a geothermal HV/AC system that uses natural heat from the soil, cement fiber siding, and permeable concrete to prevent water run off into the marshes.  The National Estuarine Reserve Research program gave a grant to help fund the facility.

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Sewage Treatment through Phinizy swamp nature park - Southeastern natural sciences academy -

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Government / Non-Profits / Education / Business / Energy / Construction / Agriculture / Green Landscapes / Successes / Resources

Disclaimer: The information on the businesses, products, and organizations presented herein is provided for informational purposes only. The technical descriptions and details expressed do not constitute an endorsement by the South Carolina Sustainability Network. We have highlighted various examples in which sustainable practices can be noted.  Thereare no guarantees, either expressed or implied, regarding the completeness of this information.

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This page copyright ©2004, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.