Greater New Orleans Inc. (GNOINC), the regional economic development arm for the 10-parish region, announced that they have launched a Sustainable Industries Initiative to position metro New Orleans as a hub for businesses that tackle environmental challenges. The goal of the Initiative is to build and grow companies that create products and provide environmental-minded services.
“Our region has the assets, experience, and brand that give it a competitive advantage in sustainable industries,” said GNO Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht. “Whether in coastal restoration, waste remediation, or next-wave oil and gas, southeastern Louisiana is perfectly positioned to help the rest of the world solve its environmental challenges efficiently and even profitably.”
To develop the initiative, GNO, Inc. contracted a global professional services consulting firm to perform to assess emerging sustainable industries and technologies and to evaluate their alignment with regional capabilities. Based on the study, 13 sectors emerged as strong “fits” for southeastern Louisiana. The sectors include:
– Coastal restoration and protection: Restoration of wetlands and implementation of preventative measures;
– “Green” hazardous waste management: Collection, transportation, processing, recycling and disposal of waste in a sustainable manner’
– Advanced biofuels: Plants and equipment to support biofuels derived from plant cellulose or algae;
– Disaster mitigation and management: Services, products, and research and development for prevention and management of natural and manmade disasters;
– Wastewater management: Removal of contaminants and pollutants from used water, sewage or stormwater runoff;
– Clean technologies for oil and gas: Processes, products and expertise for ensuring a cleaner, low-carbon oil and gas industry;
– Waste to energy: Plants and products to create electricity or heat from incineration, thermal or nonthermal treatment of waste;
– Sustainable Agriculture: Organic agriculture is a $23 billion market with double-digit growth;
– Bioengineering: Genetic engineering, microbiology and other biotechnology techniques to create biological compounds;
– Waste heat recovery: Capture of waste heat, usually from industrial sources, to generate useful energy;
– Sustainable aquaculture: Farming of aquatic organisms under controlled conditions in both freshwater and marine conditions;
– Biorefinery development: Manufacturing of components for biorefineries; and
– Wind turbine component manufacturing: Manufacturing of large components for on and offshore wind turbines, such as blades, nacelles, towers and controls.
GNO, Inc. will collaborate with the region’s universities, local and international companies, and government partners to implement the program. Through partnerships with the New Orleans Startup Fund, a nonprofit venture fund focused on business creation and innovation in the Greater New Orleans region, and the recently launched Louisiana Sustainability Fund, a private capital fund that will invest in clean technology and sustainability in Louisiana, the initiative will also provide access to capital for local innovation in sustainable industries.
Sustainable Industries is the third initiative GNOINC has launched under CEO Michael Hecht’s watch. The first, the Digital Media Alliance has seen widespread success (see here and here), while Green N.O. is still getting off the ground.