The Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute (BRSI) executes projects that produce measurable results
and lead to a more sustainable economy and environment in Western North Carolina (WNC).
By leveraging partnerships with organizations and experts, BRSI implements project-focused
strategies to make this region one of the most sustainable in the nation.
BRSI’s Green Restaurant Initiative is but one example of a project conforming to this vision and
with measurable results. In collaboration with Asheville Independent Restaurants, BRSI obtained
funding to implement energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy measures
at 16 restaurants. The installation of energy efficient lighting, solar hot water systems, high
efficiency water fixtures, and waste heat recovery devices is projected to yield a 10% reduction
in annual energy consumption of approximately $43,000 annually. Clean energy upgrades were
made in support of all participants achieving rigorous third-party green certification through the
national Green Restaurant Association, with the goal of establishing Asheville as “America’s
Greenest Dining Destination.”
Other projects, include:
- Replicating Asheville’s successful Green Restaurant Initiative in other WNC communities
- Developing a Green Hospitality Coalition to extend the success of the Green Restaurant
Initiative in WNC’s hospitality sector
- Launching a Sustainable Tourism Network in WNC to assist businesses in attracting the
burgeoning population of tourists interested in sustainable venues.
- Residential energy uplifts
- Regional sustainable inventory
- Promotion of energy efficiency and renewables in WNC
Tax-deductible donations to BRSI are focused on projects that convert knowledge into action; a
provision of operational support ensures such projects are completed efficiently and effectively.