Investment expected to create at least 175 new jobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. – April 8, 2011 – Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Lowcountry Economic Alliance today announced that Be Green Packaging LLC, a manufacturer of “green” packaging, will locate its new manufacturing and distribution facility in Jasper County. The company plans to invest at least $7.3 million and expects to generate at least 175 new jobs over the next five years, with the potential of more jobs and investment added during that time.
Be Green Packaging, a fast-growing green packaging business, will locate its new manufacturing and distribution facility in Jasper County in an existing building located at 4427 Grays Highway in Ridgeland, S.C. The company will manufacture and distribute consumer, industrial and food-grade packaging from this new plant.
“What makes this great is that we said we weren't going to just focus our economic development and job creation efforts on the cities but also the rural areas that need it the most. Be Green Packaging’s decision to invest more than $7.3 million and create 175 new jobs in our state is exciting news. We're working every day to make our state the most competitive in the country for business development so that we will continue to see investments like this one,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.
“Green jobs and industry is more than a ‘slogan.’ Green jobs are jobs that help protect ecosystems and assist in biodiversity, reduce energy and water consumption, minimize waste and pay living wages and provide healthcare benefits for its workforce. Be Green Packaging felt this region and especially South Carolina, which has a long and rich tradition in the paper and pulping industries would be ideal for this 21st century business. The people of this state have the heritage, backgrounds and experience that will provide our company with the skills and resources for producing products made from sustainable plant fibers. The local agricultural community will benefit from Be Green as the crops and byproducts they grow in this region will be used as feedstock in our packaging material,” said Ron Blitzer, co-founder and CEO of Be Green Packaging.
Be Green Packaging has been manufacturing in China since 2006 and distributing from one of its Boston warehouses. The additional capacity of products made in the U.S. will further support the company’s U.S. and global customer base, which includes: Whole Foods Market, P&G’s (Gillette Razor Company) 7-11 and South Carolina-based Sonoco’s facility in Poland. The company will continue to manufacture in China to its ever-rapid expansion in support of its global demand. The Port of Charleston can anticipate increased container traffic as Be Green shifts imports of containers from Boston and New York to South Carolina for distribution throughout the U.S., according to the company.
Robert Richman co-founder, chairman and President of Manufacturing said that the community of Jasper County and the Lowcountry would benefit from the educational programs and curriculum Be Green will help to develop in sustainable packaging. “The Eco-Social commitments set us apart from our competition and help build a strong foundation for our relationships with our customers, our employees and the community at large.”
According to Richman, “At the end of the day this community will provide a national example of profitable U.S. manufacturing and jobs, it will assist the entire nation in developing sustainable environmental manufacturing protocols, which we refer to as Cradle to Cradle manufacturing protocols coined by Virginia eco-architect William McDonough and Michael Braungart versus the Cradle to Grave mentality of old.”
“We welcome Be Green Packaging to the Palmetto State’s business community. This announcement serves as another indication that our state has a business environment that attracts new investment and creates new job opportunities for South Carolinians,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.
“The County Council is excited to welcome Be Green Packaging to Jasper County,” said Jasper County Council Chairman Leroy Blackshear. “The 175 jobs that Be Green is bringing to our county are critically important to our residents and the health of our community.”
“We are proud that Jasper County, the Alliance and the S.C. Department of Commerce all worked together swiftly to make this project happen to the benefit of Jasper County and the region,” said Lowcountry Economic Alliance board member Kim Statler. “Be Green certainly falls within the four business sectors we have targeted for the Lowcountry, and we look forward to attracting additional ‘green’ companies to this region.”
Be Green Packaging expects to move forward in two phases with the facility. The company will begin ramping up its first phase distribution, installing equipment and preparing the building, in the next two months. Manufacturing is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2012. David Brown of Hilton Head Island is a key advisor to the company and has known CEO Ron Blitzer for over 25 years. Brown played a leading role in bringing Be Green Packaging to the state.
“The State of South Carolina should be very proud of the way this state government has secured this business with Be Green Packaging. Palmetto Electric Cooperative played a key role in attracting Be Green to this community. They were looking to do business closer to home, but the benefits of doing business in South Carolina and the hospitality of the people of this region overwhelmed the competition,” Brown said.
The company will begin hiring for the new positions in the coming months. They will be relocating only one person from their California headquarters. The goal for the company is all about local: local jobs, local resources local business local community and local schools. The company will be posting job information on its Web site April 30, and its new Web site will be launched this Monday April 11 at www.begreenpackaging.com.
“Our first task will be to find local talent to organize a job fair and begin the process. We have quite a few details to button up first, but we want to start this exciting process by the end of April,” according to Brown.
A formal welcome ceremony will be held for Be Green Packaging at the Palmetto Electric facility in Jasper County at a later date.
Be Green Packaging LLC, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., manufactures well-designed, high-quality, industrial- and food-grade, tree-free, GMO free, compostable packaging. The company’s products are made from annually renewable plant fibers and are offered at competitive prices. For more information about the company, please visit www.begreenpackaging.com.