NC Environmental Stewardship Initiative

The Environmental Stewardship Initiative at DEQ recognizes and supports companies and facilities that go above and beyond to reduce their impact on the environment.

ESI members strive to go beyond the minimum requirements and are committed to setting and achieving sustainability goals and conservation targets.

To support and encourage superior environmental performance, DEQ provides no-cost technical assistance, including strategies to reduce water and energy usage, for all ESI members. This voluntary program also provides members with networking and outreach opportunities to learn about innovative solutions and share successes as they achieve their goals. 

$110.7 Million

Cost Savings

ESI Members saved money by implementing environmental projects over the past 21 years

16.04 Billion

Gallons of Water Saved

ESI members implemented changes to significantly reduce water usage over the past 21 years

4.3 Million

Fewer Tons of Waste

ESI members reduced the amount of waste going to landfills over the past 21 years

Benefits of Becoming an ESI Member

March 17, 2023

ESI Member Levels

The Steward level is our elite designation for organizations displaying a commitment to exemplary environmental performance beyond what is required by law.

The Rising Steward level is designed for organizations that have a mature environmental management system.

The Partner level is designed for a broad range of organizations interested in developing a systematic approach to improving their environmental performance.

Learn more about the ESI membership levels through the Become an ESI Member link below.

ESI 20th Anniversary Storymap


Click the image above to view  the ESI 20th Anniversary story map using the ARCGIS platform.  The project celebrates program and member achievements and allows viewers to explore ESI membership at 5-year intervals, learn about the five original ESI members that still are still active after 20 years , highlights member success stories, and shares member testimonials on the value of program membership.  


Benefits of Membership:

  • Networking opportunities
  • Access to free training and webinars;
  • Participation in the annual ESI Conference;
  • Partners and Rising Stewards are presented with their recognition at the annual ESI Conference;
  • Stewards are presented with their recognition at an onsite ceremony with the DEQ Secretary;
  • Bi-monthly electronic newsletter;
  • Stewards are invited to a special face-to-face meeting with the DEQ Secretary;
  • Members are appointed to a coach that serves as a single point of contact within DEQ;
  • Free assistance with EMS development and;
  • Links to your organization on the ESI website.