Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina

Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina
December 15, 2017 Emie-Claude Lamoureux

Notable Sustainable Companies
in North Carolina

North Carolina, home to the oldest State University in the United States, is also home to notable sustainable companies. This lively and vibrant state is reaping wonderful conscious communities that are excited to get involved in the sustainable revolution. We hope you enjoy our selection of Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina!

There are many more sustainable companies that we may have missed, so if you believe you should be in the Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina, feel free to contact us and we will evaluate your sustainable initiative. We did not receive any funding or incentives to feature these companies. Our goal is to create awareness on sustainable development and encourage others to participate. Companies listed in this article are also welcome to add our eco-badge to their website, located at the bottom of this article. 

Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina   

Sustainable Furnishing Council

The Sustainable Furnishings Council is a coalition of manufacturers, retailers, and designers dedicated to raising awareness and expanding the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices across the home furnishings industry. With their help, companies reduce their environmental footprint as they grow, providing consumers with healthy furnishings.

SFC has allied with Rainforest Alliance, World Wildlife Fund, and one of the founders of the US Green Building Council as well as retailers, manufacturers, designers, and suppliers to provide the best education, promotion, and networking opportunities.


Sunburst Trout

Sunburst Trout Farms is located in Waynesville, NC. As trout is listed as a Best Choice from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, we think it is fitting to add Sunburst Trout Farms in our selection of the Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina.  In fact, farmed Rainbow Trout, whether, in an outdoor flowthrough raceway, a pond, an indoor recirculating tank, or in a freshwater net pen is rated as one of the Best Choice for sustainable fish.

In the case of Sunburst Trout, they farm Rainbow Trou in flowthrough raceways and ponds, using their own North Carolina Mountain water source which flows in at 6,000 gallons per minute enabling them to maintain up to 20 feet per minute. The water is naturally acidic which contributes to the Trout’s life.

Their Rainbow Trout contain no mercury, no PCB‘s, no pesticides, no growth hormones, no antibiotics and no mammalian by-products. 

Sunburst Trout partners with local farms to be able to grow trout throughout the year. Have a look at this episode of A Chef’s Life featuring Sunburst Trout!


Larry’s Coffee  

Photo credit: Larry’s Coffee Facebook

We love coffee and even more when it’s harvested, blended and roasted in a sustainable matter. Larry’s Coffee blends and roasts his coffees in a very unique and fair way. To start, 100% of their coffee is Fair Trade, shade grown, and organic!

What does shade grown do for the environment?

Traditionally, coffee plants used to grow under a canopy of assorted shade trees. This lets the environment stay intact with lush biodiversity.

According to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, “shade-grown coffee production is the next best thing to a natural forest.” A shade-coffee farm can imitate a native forest, which allows many different varieties of birds, plants, and insects to thrive in its lush growth.

Larry’s Coffee has also “green-o-vated” its facilities with passive solar construction, active solar systems, radiant floors, zoned heating, composting, and rainwater harvesting to minimize their impact on the planet. They offer 15 Creative Blends and 15 Single-Origin Blends, along with limited-roast favorites like Rockin’ Holiday Blend and Woodstock Blend.



TS Designs

TS Designs thinks and acts differently when it comes to custom T-shirt creations. Based in Burlington, North Carolina, TS Designs is proving that an informed consumer does care about the true social and environmental costs the fashion industry imposes.

So, why did we include them in our selection of Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina?

  • Because they use water-based inks to create breathable, durable prints that will not crack or wash away or create any harmful by-products.
  • Because they have installed a tracking solar array and a wind turbine for clean energy generation.
  • Because they compost to heat their facilities.
  • Because they are the masterminds behind Cotton of the Carolinas, an effort that harvests cotton and manufactures shirts all within North and South Carolina. The farthest distance in the entire process is 700 miles, as opposed to 16,000 miles from globally-sourced cotton shirts. They have kept the entire process local, which means all of the materials and all of the jobs remain here in the Carolinas.

TS Designs caters to a range of clients, from hardcore Green Movement organizations to any company or group looking to a better quality product that makes minimal environmental impacts.


Rain Water Solutions

Rain Water Solutions manufactures and distributes the 65-gallon Moby rain barrel. They also design and install above and below ground rainwater harvesting equipment.


Rain Water Solutions wants to educate and engage with their community on the importance and value of (in our opinion) the most precious resource on earth; water. A resource superhero right in the heart of North Carolina, protecting landscape investment and preserving water as a natural resource.  They work with residents, local and state agencies, public and private institutions and more to develop custom rainwater harvesting solutions. Moreover, their first design was made from 100% recycled plastics and it was manufactured locally in North Carolina.



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Southern Energy Management

Photo cred: @slowfarmnc

Since 2001, Southern Energy Management has grown to include offices in Morrisville, Charlotte and Wilmington, NC, and Greenville, SC, contributing to their local economies and serving as a leader in the sustainable energy industry in the Southeast.

A pioneer in clean energy and green building consulting, Southern Energy has achieved the following sustainable developments in North Carolina:

· Installed more than 7 megawatts of solar power, including residential, commercial, utility and military solar systems across North Carolina

· Partnered with more than 150 home builders, helping them construct 2,000 Energy Star and green-certified homes

· Partnered with military bases across the Southeast, conducting performance tests that help improve the energy performance of U.S. military buildings

· Helped customers avoid more than 225,000,000 lbs of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere through solar and building science projects

Southern Energy Management headquarters are located in Morrisville, North Carolina. They offer a wide array of services including Energy Star and green building consulting and verification and solar system design; installation and commissioning for residential customers; Energy audits; benchmarking; and much more.



There are over 800 towns and cities around the United States that have partnered with Raleigh-based company WasteZero to reduce the amount of municipal solid waste that is dumped and burned in landfills. It was a no-brainer to include them in our selection of Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina, especially since they launched an innovate payment model for municipal solid waste; their pay-as-you-throw program, called WasteZero Trash Metering™.

Under WasteZero Trash Metering™, residents dispose of their garbage in customized, imprinted, plastic trash bags (produced from recycled content in WasteZero’s South Carolina manufacturing plant) that they purchase from local stores. Paying for each bag of trash they throw away gives residents the incentive to create less waste and recycle more.

Read a few of their success stories here:


Next Up: Top 15 Sustainable Initiatives in Washington, DC

Spotlight Solar

Spotlight Solar makes aesthetic solar mounting equipment, popularly named solar trees. Unlike utilitarian solar “racking” equipment, Spotlight products are designed to be seen and touched, making a statement of clean energy advocacy.

Using a creative spirit, Spotlight allows solar to be visually appealing while promoting environmental stewardship. These solar trees complement other sustainable investments, adding image value and property differentiation, and accelerating the adoption of solar energy by raising awareness.



Like our Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina? Click here to sign up for our eco-newsletter and stay up to date on North American sustainability


ECO, which stands for Eastern Carolina Organics, is a farmer-owned, staff-owned, and woman-owned wholesale distributor based in Durham, NC. As a key connector between more than 100 family farms, local and national retailers and food businesses, ECO made our list of Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina.

By pooling diverse harvests from several growing regions around the state, ECO supplies a steady stream of high-quality, seasonal food choices throughout the year. The company started in 2004 with the goal of helping transition tobacco farmers into organic vegetable production to meet an increasing need for local and organic produce in the marketplace. Since then, ECO has put more than $20 million dollars in the pockets of farmers.


Seal the Seasons

Seal the Seasons lives and breathes local food, sold locally. They start by freezing local family farm produce in season to make it available every season of the year. No matter the time of the year, you know that their food is local. They sell New Jersey produce in New Jersey, North Carolina produce in North Carolina and Florida produce in Florida.

Seal the Seasons proves that local food systems year-round work for consumers, farmers, and the larger community. Find a store near you here:


All Green Recycling

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, All Green Recycling provides services to recover precious metals and e-waste management. They have the expertise to recover precious metals including gold, silver, and platinum.

Every region needs committed teams like All Green Recycling to ensure that hazardous waste does not contaminate local landfills and that electronics are properly recycled. Extracting metals from the land is very taxing to the environment, and those metals should be recuperated whenever it is possible. And smartphones, laptops, even wires,  contain a host of valuable metals that need to be kept away from landfills.

Did you know…

Almost every smartphone contains as many as 60 elements, from the thin, conductive layer of indium tin oxide on a smartphone’s screen to the lithium in the batteries. As with all electronics, a phone’s micro-electrical components and wiring mainly comprise copper, gold, and silver, while tantalum is used in micro capacitors. Elsewhere in the phone, neodymium–iron–boron magnets are commonly used in microphones, speakers and vibration units. Phone composition has changed little over the years, save for increasing levels of indium tin oxide with soaring smartphone demand.


Marshall Bergfarm

With recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) facilities in both eastern and western North Carolina, Marshallberg Farm is the one of the largest producers of Russian sturgeon and Osetra caviar in North America. Our farm adheres to U.S. environmental standards, proudly producing superior quality Osetra malossol caviar and sturgeon meat through sustainable aquaculture of Russian sturgeon.

When it comes to Surgeon, look for Seafood Watch’s “Best Choice” farmed sturgeon and caviar, which list indoor recirculating systems as one of the best choices worldwide. Marshallberg Farm shows environmental stewardship as their tanks and water treatment facilities are designed to recycle water so as to minimize wastewater and to produce caviar and meat of the highest quality. They do not use growth hormones, antibiotics or preservatives.

What’s more, their sustainable aquaculature facilities adhere to the strict U.S aquaculture regulations of zero effluent discharge; they produce fertilizers by recycling wastewater with woodchips for a community-supported agriculture (CSA) garden and promote aquaponics in holding ponds for growing vegetables.



Raleigh’s Windlift is an innovative engineering and computer programming company focusing on airborne wind energy, on and offshore. In 2016, only 1% of worldwide electrical energy produced is from solar, and only 4% is from wind. That’s because traditional renewable technologies still require government subsidies to be competitive. The United States and other countries mandating a shift to renewable energies will need lower cost options to meet environmental goals.

That’s where Windlift airborne wind energy (AWE) offers a way out of this cycle. Requiring far less concrete and steel than traditional wind systems, Windlift’s AWE systems use tethered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that harvest electricity anywhere there is wind, on and offshore. At this time, a prototype has been delivered to an expeditionary group in the U.S. Marine Corps, through a contract project funded by the federal Small Business Innovative Research program.


Harvest Wave  

Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash

Here’s another Notable Sustainable Company in North Carolina that focuses on clean energy. Durham-based Harvest Wave is an emerging company in the renewable energy sector with technology to capture energy from ocean waves and convert it into power, which can be supplied to homes around the world.

The exciting sustainable startup envisions the system to be used in commercial-scale wave farm power stations. The goal is to eventually sign on global strategic partners in this arena to adopt the technology on a wide scale, through licensee arrangements.


Compost Now

We couldn’t go through our selection of Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina without featuring a composting champion! Compost Now does the works of awesome sustainable initiatives, including, but not limited to:

  • Wrangling routes and slinging soil to further the composting movement since 2010.
  • Providing simple & clean solutions to their state. just put your food scraps in the bin. Every week they replace your bin with a clean one.
  • Drop off compost when it’s needed!
  • Support the local food movement by sharing your earned compost with your local community garden.
  • They accept most compostable materials. Even bones, meat, dairy, and pizza boxes.
  • Reduce trash. Compost Now members divert over ⅓ of their waste from the landfill — that’s over 500 pounds per household!


We hope you enjoyed L’Autre Couleur’s Notable Sustainable Companies in North Carolina!

L’Autre Couleur is a responsible content marketing & design agency that represents companies making a difference in positive impact & sustainability. We offer end-to-end full service in digital marketing services, ranging from content writing & web design, to social media and public relations campaign management.

To work with us on content writing or digital marketing projects, feel free to contact us.

This was the 14th post in the Notable Sustainable Companies series; one for every State in the United States. By the end of 2017, you can expect a Notable Sustainable Companies article for every State in the United States! To stay updated on the up and coming initiatives, subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on Facebook. Also please comment if we have left out any important sustainable companies in North Carolina that you believe should be part of our list of top sustainable companies, or if you have any thoughts/comments on the article.

Check out some of the sustainable companies happening in your neighbouring country.




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