For Immediate Release
November 3, 2014
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The membership of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) has been expanding at a rapid rate, but the organization feels there is substantial opportunity for growth.
“A lot of firms operating in Newfoundland and Labrador maybe don’t consider themselves part of the green economy,” says Ted Lomond, NEIA’s Executive Director. “But any business that strives to enhance, protect, or mitigate effects on the environment is contributing to the growth of the provinces’ environmental sector.”
Lomond explains that this contribution could be through a firm’s products and services – such as clean energy generation, natural resource extraction, or water treatment – or even its daily business operations. “Property managers are looking to decrease energy use. Producers want to reduce waste or convert waste in to revenue streams. Firms want to differentiate themselves by marketing their brands as green and sustainable.”
Lomond says that while these activities are driven by the bottom line, they also contribute green economic growth. “Our businesses operate in a wide range of industries. The environment and economy are not mutually exclusive interests. Environmental responsibility improves profitability,” says Lomond. “This can be achieved through innovative technologies or processes, more efficient operations, or simply appealing to customer values.”
NEIA is focused on economic development and the growth of the sector. A report commissioned by the provincial government in 2011 suggests that the green economy has the potential to add over 3,000 jobs by the year 2020. NEIA’s projects, activities and collaborations aim to achieve this growth.
“NEIA aggressively supports the growth of firms within the sector, providing and facilitating important programs for new and growing businesses,” says Lomond. NEIA offers supports for innovation and commercialization, facilitates international business and export development, and works with its members to enhance productivity and competitiveness.
NEIA also represents the interests of its larger corporate members. “We advocate on behalf of our members to create a policy and regulatory framework that is conducive to the growth of the sector,” says Lomond. “We also work with our members to provide training and professional development opportunities to build capacity within the workforce.”
NEIA’s membership has grown by over 30 percent since 2011, and Lomond attributes this to a growing sense of opportunity, entrepreneurship, and confidence in the province’s green economy. “The environmental sector is growing in Newfoundland and Labrador,” he says. “From construction and oil and gas to engineering to our fisheries, there are green business opportunities in all segments of our provincial economy.”
NEIA membership is a commitment to the protection of Newfoundland and Labrador’s environment, and an interest in the growth of the province’s green economy and environmental sector capabilities. Interested businesses in NEIA membership can visit www.neia.org/join for more information. NEIA is The Business of the Environment, and has over 170 members.
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