Headlines in the Midlands
S.C. National Guard hosts energy sustainability event
May 25, 2012
COLUMBIA, SC - May 25, 2012 - The S.C. Military Department (SCMD) held its inaugural sustainability partnering conference, billed as “The Power of Partnerships,” at USC’s Russell House University Union, May 22-23.
According to the SCMD, the event was aimed at identifying and collaborating “with civilian organizations, non-governmental organizations, other agencies and universities to identify common goals and partnering opportunities focused on sustainability.”
Keynote speaker for the program was Richard G. Kidd IV, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy and Sustainability), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment).
Other speakers included Robert “Bob” Inglis, Director, Energy and Enterprise Initiative and former U.S. Representative for S.C.’s 4th Congressional District; Trish Jerman, Deputy Director of Programs for the S.C. Energy Office; and Maj. Gen. Lester D. Eisner, Deputy Adjutant General of S.C.
Attendees were assigned to “breakout teams” wherein they brainstormed opportunities and identified common goals and challenges. These teams were organized into workshops focusing on two key operational areas: (1) Infrastructure/Utilities and (2) Training/Training Sites.
Infrastructure/Utilities teams included representatives from Duke Energy, Engenuity of S.C., Faber Entrepreneurship of S.C., Infinite Habitat at Innovista, Santee Cooper, SCE&G, Wesco Distribution, Inc., and SentinelWorks, among others.
“As a veteran and taxpayer, it is gratifying to learn and be part of the S.C. National Guard’s aggressive initiative to conserve electric, natural gas and water resources,” says William “Doc” Bartoccini, board chairman of SentinelWorks, a Charleston-based company that develops a variety of security, healthcare, Defense Dept. supply chain, and energy systems, and which facilitates the management of energy consumption. “The workshop was outstanding in many ways. One of the most notable being the partnering aspect with an emphasis on bringing together a team of private industry and Guard personnel to focus on reducing costs through energy conservation.”
Among the Training/Training Sites teams were representatives from the Appalachian Council of Governments, Congaree Land Trusts, National Wild Turkey Federation, Sumter City-Council Planning Department, U.S. Army Ft. Jackson, Upper Savannah Council of Governments, and the Environmental & Sustainability Program – USC.
Maj. Walter Ginn, with the S.C. National Guard, helped facilitate the overall event. He said, the goal was to help the SCMD reduce costs by “partnering with other agencies to leverage resources and accomplish shared goals.”
Ginn says the partnerships will help the SCMD optimize energy use and promote energy efficiency by reducing its carbon footprint and decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels. Moreover, it will help reduce its impact on the environment by focusing on energy and waste conservation, reducing landfill waste and minimizing the use and release of chemicals into the environment.
He adds, future sustainability considerations within the SCMD include solar technology (solar tubes, solar panels, solar hot water systems), wind turbines, landfill gas harvesting, a qualified statewide recycling program, and purchasing of “green” products.
- Keith Pounds, a former U.S. Navy hospital corpsman (medic), is today a S.C.-based author, journalist, corporate manager in the hospitality industry and management consultant. He holds an MBA from American Intercontinental University.