Sustainability Resources for Industry

The manufacturing sector is the heart of Tennessee’s economy. The Office of Sustainable Practices recognizes the importance of this sector through the Tennessee Green Star Partnership (TGSP), which is a voluntary recognition program that recognizes industry in the state have made commitments beyond simple environmental compliance. Through many years of working with Tennessee manufacturers that are committed to sustainability and that exhibit continuous improvement throughout their entire operation, we have developed this resource page to help others navigate sustainably in their own facilities. Below are links to web pages and resources that are devoted to various assistance programs and resources. This content is organized by environmental media/sustainability opportunity area, and the resources are general so they should be applicable to most facilities. If you have more specific sustainability or pollution prevention technical assistance needs, please contact

OSP’s Business Team provides technical assistance and guidance on waste reduction, recycling, and reuse strategies for all businesses. For assistance with questions, please contact Vaughn works primarily with Tennessee industry to assist with reduction, recycling and repurposing and reuse of discarded materials. He can provide technical assistance and industry contacts throughout the state to facilitate materials solutions, recycling or repurposing, including limited assistance with logistics and regulatory requirements.

Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)

The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) provides assistance to help Tennessee small businesses understand and comply with environmental regulations. Check out their website if you have regulatory questions.

It is important to note that:

  • They are non-regulatory and do not have regulatory authority.
  • They serve as a liaison and the information disclosed is protected under the Clean Air Act.
  • They are here to aid through outreach opportunities and materials.
  • There is a Agribusiness section of their website that provides resources in that sector.

The University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS)

The University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS) delivers technical assistance and training to businesses and communities throughout Tennessee. UT CIS has the real-world experience and expertise to give businesses and communities the tools they need to grow, succeed and create good jobs. Their service areas include:

  •  Manufacturing Excellence – This portion of UT CIS’s webpage highlights workplace development, advanced manufacturing solutions, quality services, business growth, etc.  
  • Economic Development – You can find information on asset-based planning, performance consulting, and the Tennessee Certified Economic Developer Program in this section.
  • Energy Efficiency & Environmental Management – This section contains links to EHS training and information on environmental management and energy efficiency.
  • Health, Safety & Emergency Preparedness - You will find OSHA links and information on business continuity and emergency response and preparedness here.

Tennessee Chamber of Commerce

TN Chamber of Commerce - The Tennessee Chamber serves as the primary voice of diverse business and manufacturing trade interests on major employment and economic issues facing public policy decision-makers in Tennessee. They cover environmental/sustainable practices, economic development, labor laws, education/workforce development, transportation, taxation, workplace safety, workers compensation and trade issues plus much more.

Pathway Lending - Energy Efficiency Loans

Pathway Lending – Energy Efficiency Loans - Loans that move businesses forward by cutting operating costs, improving cash flow, and boosting the bottom line. These low-interest loans overcome the upfront barriers to implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Tennessee. With over 200 projects financed, Pathway Lending is the leader in Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy financing in Tennessee. Common projects funded include: lighting, solar, HVAC replacements, cool roofs and air compressors.


EnergyStar has great information on benchmarking performance and industrial energy management.

Tennessee Tech University: Industrial Assessment Center (TTU-IAC)

Tennessee Tech University: Industrial Assessment Center (TTU-IAC) – Tennessee Tech University will send a team of engineering students and a faculty member armed with the latest energy monitoring devices to determine how your industrial or water treatment facility can reduce energy consumption. Within a few months, your company will have a thorough energy audit at no expense. Check in with Michelle Davis to see if you are eligible at

TVA EnergyRight

TVA EnergyRight for business and industry’s webpage includes helpful content that can lead you in the right direction regarding energy solutions. Here you will find information on incentives and who you need to speak with to receive them.

The Best Practices Magazine is free to subscribe to and contains great information on energy savings in the form of:


Urban Green Lab Workplace Division builds a community and culture of sustainable workplace behaviors in businesses large and small throughout Nashville. UGL’s Corporate Sustainability Roundtable is bi-monthly meetings at rotating companies to explore sustainable workplace education challenges and opportunities, and interact with sustainability experts and vendors. To learn more, contact Nicole Brose at


Green|Spaces is working to advance the sustainability living, working, and building in Chattanooga through their advocacy and incentive campaigns, education and training classes, and design competitions. They house many resources on their website including Green Building Certifications, Rating Systems, and Standards.


Clarksville – Montgomery County Green Certification Program is an additional effort to sustain the community’s resources and was put into place to help organizations learn and implement best practices in the area of environmental stewardship. Their website is full of helpful resources and information.

Pollution Prevention (P2)

The Pollution Prevention (P2) website provides tremendous support for any facility that is trying to reduce, eliminate, or prevent pollution at the source.

Tennessee Materials Marketplace

The Tennessee Materials Marketplace connects businesses to develop and scale new reuse and recycling market opportunities. The Materials Marketplace can be used as tool for companies to explore real-time data on waste and by-product materials and make decisions on infrastructure and process investments; or as a tool to help find new solutions for hard-to-recycle materials.

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)

The Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Program is a resource of pollution prevention case studies and a way to learn about the toxic releases that are being reported by industrial facilities.

  • If you are reporting TRI data, you can see your information and look at other commonly requested TRI information with this link TRI Data and Tools.
  • If you have trouble figuring out how to navigate the database, please use this informative webinar that gives step-by-step direction from Ezequiel Velez, the TRI Coordinator for EPA Region 4.
Catalyst Newsletter

The Catalyst is an electronic newsletter that highlights the voluntary efforts of public and private entities in Tennessee. Our goal is to seek out and help market sustainable best-practices, funding opportunities, original articles, and current events in the sustainability space.

The State of Sustainability Podcast

This podcast provides examples of sustainability initiatives that are happening throughout the state and develops a casual conversation about environmental stewardship that the average person can understand and replicate. New episodes drop on the 15th of each month. You can listen to all of the episodes on any platform that you usually listen to podcasts.   

This Page Last Updated: March 14, 2024 at 11:22 AM