Notable Sustainable Companies
in West Virginia
In recent years, West Virginia has been getting a bad reputation in terms of sustainable development. We’re here to prove everyone wrong, and showcase how the media has missed featuring incredible sustainable development, happening right in the heart of the Mountain State!
There are many more sustainable companies that we may have missed, so if you believe you should be in the Notable Sustainable Companies in West Virginia, 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.
Top Sustainable Companies in West Virginia
Mountain View Solar
Mountain View Solar started in the custom home building industry. Over the years, they became known as one of the Eastern Panhandle’s premier builder of custom green homes.
Building homes designed to use less energy inspired them to move into the clean energy market. In 2006, MTVSolar made the official transition to renewable energy systems. Today, they are one West Virginia’s largest solar installation companies. They run installations in various industries; from residential to commercial and municipal projects. Along with West Virginia, they are licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Sustainable Solutions is a natural resource management company. Based in Shepherdstown, they help landowners sustainably manage their resources.
Their services include:
- Conservation contracting
- Prescribed fire solutions
- Ecological services and natural resource education and training
Private landowners, non-profits, state and federal agencies and investor groups can learn from them. The company has implemented the use of solar energy in its headquarters to make their operations more energy efficient. To be exact, an 8W solar photovoltaic (PV) array was installed for their headquarters in a former gas station. And did you know that a USDA Rural Energy for America Program grant covered 25 percent of the cost of the solar system?
Solar Holler is a full-service solar developer and installer for all West Virginians. They relentlessly pursue innovative approaches that accelerate the adoption of solar in Appalachia. Concurrently, they developed partnerships to launch one of the first solar job training and apprenticeship programs in West Virginia.
By combining deep knowledge of energy policy and finance, their team has since then achieved remarkable work. One of their very first crowdfunding projects won the Interfaith Power & Light’s National Renewable Role Model. We invite families, businesses, farms, and non-profits based in West Virginia to get in touch with Solar Holler!
Founded in 2015, Refresh Appalachia has made its place as an agriculture-focused enterprise of Coalfield Development Corporation. Refresh Appalachia works to strengthen the region’s food and farm businesses. Farmers outside of the Appalachia region are welcome to connect with them as well. We consider them to be one of the Notable Sustainable Companies in West Virginia for their inclusive approach to food security.
They provide training, market access, and distribution services for farmers. Communities thus have easier access to healthy food, as new market outlets are created to serve low- and middle-income people. Their crews, local farms and the food hub all play an integral role in advancing food security in West Virginia.
Do you work in the agriculture sector? Reach out to them here.
West Virginia Farm to School Community Development Group
Farm to school programs are some of our favourite sustainable development initiatives. They engage children at a young age to start thinking about where food comes from. A point we missed in the older generation. But these collaborations are coming back strong and welcomed with wide open arms.
Such as the West Virginia Farm to School Community Development Group, a group of West Virginians collaborate to create synergistic partnerships and advance farm to school efforts across the state. Since their debut, they have succeeded in creating a joint sponsorship of trainings, workshops, and conferences. We now see a healthy dialogue among food service staff and farmers, funding for new farm to school initiatives, media publications and much more.
Think fast! Can you name the trees on your land? Can you tell if they’re healthy and what they do for us every day? Trees give us shade, clean our air and water, provide habitat for wildlife, and beautify our landscapes.
Based in Shepherdstown, WV, Trees 101 works independently to consult and educate West Virginians to promote tree health. Anyone who pays attention to trees and their health merit a spot on our list of Notable Sustainable Companies in West Virginia.
This team strives to be low impact and carbon neutral, supporting local planting efforts to offset our carbon footprint. For example, they track the entirety of their fuel use and offset the carbon footprint by donating trees and service hours to local greening organizations such as the Cacapon Institute, Casey Trees, and West Virginia’s Division of Forestry. Concurrently, they offer a range of tree advice and consulting services that include large trees, and specialize in providing care for trees that are in the earlier stages of their lives – a critical time for ensuring the health and structural integrity for the future.
Value Chain Cluster (V2C)
The Value Chain Cluster (VC2) Initiative provides hands-on business development and coaching services to strengthen local food and farm businesses interested in expanding and seizing new opportunities. The core strategy of the program is to build resilient food and farm businesses that create real jobs throughout West Virginia by growing, buying, moving and consuming local foods.
Check out what these entrepreneurs were able to accomplish with VC2 support:
VC2 works with groups and regional organizations located in four multi-county clusters, covering 17 counties or about a third of West Virginia. They do this work by collaborating with partners and local lead organizations to advance a network of businesses, experts, and services providers.
Keep in mind that each staff member works part-time for the Value Chain Cluster Initiative. They spend the other part of their time working for their own or other’s food and farm business. This explains why they’re so passionate about the value of local food and agriculture, creating jobs, and improving health in West Virginia.
Potomac Valley Audubon Society
Potomac Calley Audubon Society (PVAS) offers a wide range of programs and activities aimed at promoting greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world for youth, adults, and families. They developed a whole range of activities for West Virginians and visitors to appreciate such as field trips to natural areas, summer camps, monthly lectures, school programs and more.
At the same time, they have four nature preserves under their care:
Yankauer Nature Preserve: The Yankauer Nature Preserve is in Berkeley County, WV, on Whiting’s Neck Road just north of Shepherdstown, WV. At least 105 different species of plants have been identified on the preserve!
Eidolon Nature Preserve: The Eidolon Nature Preserve is located on the summit and east and west sides of Sideling Hill, west of Berkeley Springs in Morgan County, West Virginia. A total of 354 acres in size, the elevation at its highest point is about 1,600 feet, affording sweeping views to the east and west. Like much of the land in the area, parts of Eidolon were both farmed and logged in the past. Today, it is once again mostly forest with oaks and maples predominating.
Stauffer’s Marsh Nature Preserve: The Stauffer’s Marsh Nature Preserve is located in Back Creek Valley in Berkeley County, one-half mile south of Shanghai, on the east side of Back Creek Valley Road (County Route 7). This rich, diverse habitat makes Stauffer’s Marsh especially attractive to birds, and it is a favorite spot for many Eastern Panhandle birders. To date, some 167 species of birds have been identified there.
Cool Spring Preserve: Cool Spring Preserve is in southern Jefferson County at 1469 Lloyd Road, Charles Town WV. Nestled on 12 environmentally sensitive acres in southern Jefferson County, West Virginia, Cool Spring Preserve features a wooded landscape bordered on one side by Bullskin Run, a major stream with significant historical value. Much of the land is wooded and is designated a birding “hotspot.”
In 2001, SJ Morse Company, a pioneer company based in Capon Bridge, WV—a small town with a population of 355—was one of the first veneer-panel manufacturing companies in the nation to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC is a nonprofit established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests through internationally-recognized standards and accreditation services.
On a frequent basis, FSC audits SJ Morse’s supply chain from forest to final product, providing the company’s customers with confidence the wood is responsibly harvested and managed.
“Due to the demand that the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification initiative has created, my percentage of certified wood products sales has increased,” said Morse. “And I’m sharing my knowledge of the expanding environmental opportunities with others new to green building.”
In 2008, this Notable Sustainable Company in West Virginia purchased energy efficient HVAC and air compressor systems and add cutting and handling equipment to increase overall plant efficiency, with the help of National Capital Investment Fund (NCIF). NCIF also provided a range of technical assistance, including an energy assessment, helping the SJ Morse transition to a new accounting system and, as Steve contemplates retirement, help to structure a succession plan to sell the company to his employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
This project matters a lot to the state of West Virginia. In 2015, SJ Morse sold more than 112,000 square feet of FSC-certified veneer panels, enough to cover two football fields, providing an important outlet for sustainable forestry operations across the state. His commitment to transferring ownership of SJ Morse to his employees means that the company will continue to build local wealth, provide well-paying jobs and generate needed economic development activity in this small community.
Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia
Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia (WV SUN) expands access to solar by educating West Virginians about the benefits of distributed solar energy. This team helps you organize group solar installations, and strengthen West Virginia’s solar policies and its community of solar supporters.
Everyone can benefit from solar energy, especially the little stakeholders—the non-profits, homeowners and farmers that can’t afford the constant rate increases. They work with towns with long, proud histories that need new industries and new jobs. Get involved in your state’s energy future and gain yourself savings on your power bills.
Gat Creek approaches furniture manufacturing in a holistic manner, taking pride both in what they create and how it is created. Like many other companies listed in Notable Sustainable Companies in West Virginia, Gat Creek is another company that actively supports the responsible management of forests and understands the importance of sustaining biodiversity.
Using exclusively locally sourced material and production, their team avoids oil-intensive shipping, deforestation and the unmitigated pollution that’s allowed with overseas production. Sustainability is a continuous improvement process within this organization that was started over 15 years ago. Impressively, they are one of the founding members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council and hold Silver Exemplary status.
Purchasing from Gat Creek means you endorse sustainability. For instance, their domestic hardwoods are harvested from the Appalachian Forests by suppliers that meet strict state and national standards for land & timber management. These “Best Management Practices” have helped the Appalachian mountain region consistently increase its population of hardwood trees over the past 50+ years. They don’t use any lumber from South America, Eastern Europe or Asia, where deforestation still runs largely unchecked. Over 98% of their raw materials are sustainably sourced and over 95% of their raw materials are locally sourced within a 500-mile radius of their factory!
In 2014, Gat Creek converted their entire facility to LED lighting, reducing their lighting-related electrical use by 70% and overall electrical usage by 25%. All together with tracking 100% of their waste streams, i.e. we monitor everything coming into and going out of our facility, from wood to water to AA batteries, this notable company assures all materials are used wisely and disposed of properly. They have reduced their emissions of HAPs by a whopping 90+% and their overall VOC emissions by 40+% over the past 15 years.
- Gat Creek is also the first recipient of the West Virginia Environmental Leadership Award for minimizing waste, liquid and air emissions from our facility.
- For performance in reducing hazardous wastes, they were recognized as a Top Environmental Steward by the WV Department of Environmental Protection.
- In 2006, the Business for the Bay Foundation presented them with the Environmental Excellence Award for outstanding pollution prevention activities, projects, and outreach to help protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
Scrappy Pappy’s Recycling
Does your company recycle? Do you recycle at home? How much waste do you think you produce? Scrappy Pappy’s Go Green Recycling Program is one of those important initiatives that focus on the end of a product lifecycle. This locally owned waste management company is based in Wheeling, West Virginia and has been dedicated to recycling solutions for over 25 years.
Their ultimate goal is to provide comprehensive recycling solutions to businesses and communities within the Ohio Valley and streamlining the process.
Materials they recycle include:
- Glass bottles/jars (all colours)
- All plastics (#1-7)
- Cans Aluminum/Tin
- Electronics (TV’s for a fee)
- Air conditioners
- All metals
- Miscellaneous: lawn owners, automobile, wire, etc.
Grow Ohio Valley
Too many people, in too many neighborhoods (including communities in the Ohio Valley), are living in food deserts. As its name showcases, Grow Ohio Valley works to fashion a new economic landscape, one that offers a healthier environment.
Picture this: vacant city lots ready to be used as gardens, children who think it’s weird eating junk food, grocery stores and mobile markets flourishing with locally-produced foods and collaborating with local farms. School cafeterias serving delicious wholesome meals made with vegetables harvested from the school’s garden, in fact in this landscape, gardens are dominating communities!
Pretty fantastic vision right? If you want this to become a reality, get involved with Grow Ohio Valley, they have some really thrilling projects. From urban farming to a mobile farmers market, there is always a way for locals to get invovled.
As their video explains thoroughly well what they do, we’ll keep this short! Sustainable Williamson, is a project of Williamson Health and Wellness Center and the town of Williamson. In whole, they are a living-lab platform working through vibrant, community-driven processes to breathe life back into central Appalachia.
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy
Alright kids, listen up. The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy promotes, encourages and works for the conservation – including both preservation and wise management – and appreciation of the natural resources of West Virginia and the Nation. These guys are actually one of the state’s oldest environmental activist organizations, dating back from 1965!
Without even knowing it, these old-timer experts were instrumental in the passage of the Eastern Wilderness Areas Act, which created the first Wilderness areas–Dolly Sods and Otter Creek. Their commitment is strong. Did you know they began a campaign that lasted over 35 years to protect Canaan Valley and saw the successful establishment of a National Wildlife Refuge there?
Protecting clean air, clean water, forests, streams, mountains, and the health and welfare of the people that live here and those who visit, is what the Highlands Conservancy is all about.
We hope you enjoyed L’Autre Couleur’s Notable Sustainable Companies in West Virginia!
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 West Virginia 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.
- Top Sustainable Companies in Washington, DC
- Top Sustainable Companies in Pennsylvania
- Top Sustainable Companies in Virginia
Use this code to embed the badge on your site: