Value Louisiana Steering Committee members and Technical Assistance Partners celebrate the launch of the Initiative on Thursday, January 15th.
NEW ORLEANS, LA –– LifeCity and its partners formally launched the Value Louisiana initiative and Manufacturing Program on Thursday, January 15 at the Sheraton New Orleans. Value Louisiana is a statewide initiative that supports the growth of for-benefit organizations, which leverage market-based approaches to solve social and environmental problems – “doing well by doing good.” Over 22 organizations including the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the New Orleans Chamber, and Louisiana’s Small Business Development Center, have signed a Charter Agreement that includes a plan and strategy to support the growth of our economy through positive social and environmental impact.
Renee Landrieu, owner of Landrieu Cement and Concrete Industries (LCCI), testified to the benefits of going through the Value Louisiana Manufacturing Program, one of the projects of the Value Louisiana Initiative. “I’m excited to speak to you tonight not just as a business that believes in growing the impact economy, but as someone who has realized the benefits of the Value Louisiana Manufacturing Program,” Landrieu said.
LCCI has received 5 comprehensive assessments in different areas of business development (energy, lean, business excellence, green, health & safety), which made recommendations for various changes in operations. Landrieu has already begun implementing some of these recommendations and has realized a savings of $50,000 per year on her bottom line on one change alone, which she’s already putting towards increasing her employee’s paid-time-off.
“The Program reduces our carbon footprint as well as makes our overall production more efficient,” she said. “I believe that every manufacturer can benefit from this program and that any business can work on their business, not just in their business.”
The launch event, with over one hundred people in attendance, celebrated the initiative and program as well as and rallied support from public and private leadership throughout the City. First Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer, Andy Kopplin, applauded this initiative and its support of the city’s goal to build our economy through equity as a growth strategy.
“I’m excited about the chance to work with you, for the City to be a contributing partner of this effort,” said First Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin. “This is part of our economic opportunity strategy that will take folks through the path of prosperity. We stand ready to be a strong partner of this organization and initiative and look forward to great success in all the work that’s going to come in the years ahead.”
“This initiative is inevitable, “ said Liz Shephard, Chief Sustainability Officer of LifeCity. “90% of consumers prefer conscious companies and the crowd we see here tonight shows there is significant demand for for-benefit organizations that are driving our economy forward.”
General Manager of the Sheraton New Orleans, Jim Cook, strongly endorsed the initiative after experiencing significant savings from their green improvements. Since 2008, the hotel has reduced energy consumption by 10% and water consumption by 8%. He also discussed the hotel’s soap recycling program, which diverts unused soap to those in need – 26,000 bars in total since the start of the program.
“We’re delighted to have that in progress, but we’re not going to get to the end of it by ourselves” said Cook. “That was why we partnered with LifeCity and had the opportunity to work with somebody that could help connect us to other businesses and organizations within our city that could help us do a better job on some of those things.”
Anne Babin, President of NATCO Food Services, and Stephanie Benedetti, Director of Sales and Marketing of Lighthouse Louisiana, announced their partnership with LifeCity on the Value Louisiana cup: a compostable paper cup made by visually impaired workers of Lighthouse Louisiana. Lighthouse Louisiana, NATCO, and LifeCity have partnered to distribute this cup to restaurants, hotels, and other businesses who are interested in saving money while improving their social and environmental impact.
“It’s what our customers are demanding. It’s unbelievable the amount of chefs that continue to tell us, keep it local. Keep it green,” said Babin. “Every restaurant in the city of New Orleans and Louisiana should provide this cup…When chefs want to help, this is the first step.”
LifeCity also released a report on the 2015 State of the Impact Economy: How organizations are doing well by doing good in Louisiana. A pdf of the report is available on the LifeCity website.
The presentation concluded with a photo and presentation of the Value Louisiana Charter and a painting representing the Charter – signed by Value Louisiana’s 22 Steering Committee Members and manufacturing Technical Assistance Partners (see attached photo).
While Value Louisiana is not a membership organization, LifeCity is developing a Value Louisiana Directory, which currently lists 68 for-benefit organizations and over 200 support resources in Louisiana in the 2015 State of the Impact Economy report.
LifeCity expects support for and participation in the Value Louisiana initiative to continue to grow over the coming months due to the launch, LifeCity’s release of the 2015 State of the Impact Economy report, and upcoming strategic planning of Value Louisiana’s Steering Committee. Interested organizations and individuals can get involved and stay abreast of the initiative’s progress by visiting www.mylifecity.org/valuelouisiana.
Steering Committee and Technical Assistance Partners of Value Louisiana include:
- Algiers Economic Development Foundation
- Delgado Community College (pending approval)
- EcoUrban Landscaping
- Foundation for Louisiana
- Greater New Orleans Foundation
- Horizon Initiative Water Committee
- Joule Energy
- LifeCity, LLC
- Lighthouse Louisiana
- Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations
- New Orleans Chamber of Commerce
- Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation
- Tulane University’s Program in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
- Louisiana Small Business Development Center
- Dr. Sally Anne McInerny, P.E. at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, College of Engineering
- Louisiana Workforce Commission Occupational Health and Safety Administration Consultation
- Incline Innovation, LLC Member of Innovation Engineering Network
- Green Coast Enterprises
- Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (pending approval)
- JOB1, City of New Orleans
- Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana
# # #
For more information on Value Louisiana, visit www.mylifecity.com/valuelouisiana or contact Jessica Nehrbass at firstname.lastname@example.org.