Photo courtesy of Sustainable Solutions, LLC
Location: Shepherdstown, West Virginia
Years in Business: > 10 years
NCIF Role: Working capital loan, technical assistance
Sector: Environmental services, energy efficiency
Partners: USDA Rural Energy for America Program
Impact: Job creation, energy savings

Sustainable Solutions, LLC, uses an Ecosystem Services approach to provide a wide range of natural resource management services, including   conservation contracting, prescribed fire solutions, ecological planning services and natural resource education and training. Since James Remuzzi founded Sustainable Solutions, LLC, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in 2002, the company has thrived by serving a diverse group of clients. Private landowners, federal and state agencies, nonprofits, and investor groups throughout the mid-Atlantic region count on the company to help them implement sustainable management solutions that make environmental and economic sense. ater sports, and the 11-mile “Tail of the Dragon” that draws motorists to drive along the scenic views offered by the Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee National Forest—they realized Graham County was missing something.

The Opportunity

With a growing customer base, they needed working capital for new equipment and additional staff. In addition, Sustainable Solutions wanted to “walk the talk” in their commitment to sustainability by using solar power for their new headquarters, a former gas station.

Sustainable Solutions’ proven track record of success and commitment to both environmental sustainability and economic development made them a perfect mission fit for NCIF, which was in a unique position to provide the financing and technical assistance needed to help the company grow.  

The Deal

Sustainable Solutions turned to NCIF for a blended-purpose loan [LD1] that provided working capital and funded an 8W ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) array.  NCIF used the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7a Community Advantage program—a program that aims to increase the number of SBA lenders reaching underserved communities—to guarantee the loan and help mitigate the collateral shortfall so often inherent to solar finance projects.

In addition to funding, NCIF’s Energy Initiative also helped the company obtain a USDA REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) grant that offset 25 percent of the cost of the array.

Impact

With NCIF’s funding, Sustainable Solutions hired two new employees to better serve its customers, and expects to add a third in 2017.In addition to reducing its environmental footprint and utility bills, the installation of its solar array supported green employment at another West Virginia-based company, Mountain View Solar.  James and his team love watching the meter run backward!

Sustainable Solutions’ profitable business model based on preserving and stewarding natural resources is a great example of how the triple bottom line approach can enhance a company’s success. 

Visit the Sustainable Solutions, LLC, website