Environmental Assistance

Environmental Assistance and Customer Service

Environmental Stewardship Initiative

ESI logoESI's mission is to assist organizations in reducing their environmental impacts beyond regulatory requirements and recognize those that achieve and maintain this commitment.

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Environmental Management Systems

An environmental management system provides a systematic approach to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations, prevention of pollution, and continual environmental improvement. For more information on EMSs please visit our website.

Formal EMS training is scheduled based on member interest.  Individual on-site assistance is provided upon request.

Annual Reports and Results

ESI Posters: Cumulative Data as Reported by ESI Members 2004-2011


ESI Members
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Feel free to contact a member of the ESI team by email
or phone 1 (877) 623-6748 (toll free)


DENR's Environmental Stewardship Initiative is designed to promote and encourage superior environmental performance by North Carolina's regulated community. This voluntary program is available at no cost to our members.  It provides technical assistance and networking opportunities to stimulate the development and implementation of programs that use pollution prevention and innovative approaches to meet and go beyond regulatory requirements. This program seeks to reduce the impact on the environment beyond measures required by any permit or rule, producing a better environment, conserving natural resources and resulting in long-term economic benefits.

The ESI has three levels of participation. At the entry level is the Environmental Partner, Rising Environmental Steward is the mid level of the program, and the highest level is the Environmental Steward. Each level must meet certain criteria and will earn benefits based on the level of participation. 


Download a copy of the ESI brochure by clicking here.


Any organization looking to improve their environmental performance is eligible to apply to the program. Multi-site applications are only accepted at the Partner level.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • manufacturers,
  • businesses,
  • agribusinesses,
  • service providers,
  • government agencies,
  • schools and
  • nonprofits.

Apply Now!

Applications are accepted year-round. Rising Stewards and Stewards are reviewed after five years to assess if the facilities continue to meet the criteria set for each level and overall program goals. All members are reviewed annually for continual improvement.



  • Personalized on-site EMS assistance
  • EMS Gap Analysis
  • Internal Audit Assistance
  • Root Cause Determination Assistance
  • 5S events
  • Value Stream Mapping events
  • Dumpster Dive Assistance
  • Technical and Compliance Assistance
  • Waste, Water, Energy Assessments
  • Facilitation Assistance


The ESI is continually updating the range of training classes to meet the needs of the membership. All trainings are available to ESI members at no cost.  For other interested parties, only EMS 101 is open to non-ESI members.

  • Formal EMS training is scheduled based on member interest.
    This is a series of 5 one-day modules in a group setting that provides information and exercises based on ISO 14001.  At the end of the series, members will have the framework for an EMS system ready to be implemented in their organization.
    • Module 1: EMS 101- Introduction to Environmental Management Systems and ISO 14001
    • Module 2: Aspect and Impact Identification and Ranking
    • Module 3: Operational Control and Monitoring and Measurement
    • Module 4: Establishing Objectives and Targets/Environmental Management Programs
    • Module 5: Corrective and Preventative Action, Compliance with Legal and Other Requirements and Environmental Management System Audit

The following are available on-ste by request by emailing

  • Internal Auditor Training
    This is a one-day training where we spend the morning learning techniques and the afternoon in a mock audit to practice these new skills.
  • Lean & Green Training
    • 5S
      This is a one hour presentation on "What is 5S?" and examples of implementation. This presentation is usually given in combination with an on-site event (see services).
    • Value Stream Mapping
      This is a one hour presentation on "What is VSM?" and examples of how to include the environment in the process. This presentation is usually given in combination with an on-site Lean & Green VSM event (see Services).

Pre-recorded Webinars Available:

Lean Webinar Series
"Using a Lean Approach to Improve Environmental Performance and Accelerate Sustainability."

View our Introduction to Lean Webinar. Click here

Greenhouse Gas Webinar Series

Benefits of membership in the ESI include:

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

Visitors watching polar bear at the NC Zoo Help the NC Zoo

Join the NC Zoo in helping the environment and raise money for Polar Bear research at the same time. Sign up for the Million Actions by Earth Day Campaign by going to and setting up an account under World/NC Zoological Society. For every sustainable action like turning off the water while brushing your teeth that you log, the NC Zoo received 25 cents for Polar Bear research. You can log up to 4 actions per day until May 1 so get started today.

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ESI Staff 

Angela Hall Barger is co-manager of the ESI.  Angela has over 13 years of experience working for DENR.  Prior to working with DEACS she worked with NCDENR's Division of Air Quality in a regional office for more than 7 years as a permit and compliance engineer and the the region's emissions inventory coordinator. She has 2 B.S. degrees from NCSU in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry and a B.S. degree from Lenoir-Ryne University in Pre-engineering.

Scott Fister is co-manager of the ESI.  Scott started with the ESI in May of 2012 as an Environmnetal Specialist. He came to DENR after 5 years working as a sustainability coordinator for Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. Scott holds a B.A. in Geography, and Urban and Regional Planning from Miami University (Ohio).

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