EASTON, Pa. - Ways the state government could help businesses lower their carbon footprint was the main topic of a Senate caucus hearing Wednesday afternoon. It was held at Lafayette College.

"Given the situation we have today, coming out of COVID, we have so many issues relative to supply chain," said state Sen. Bob Mensch, a co-chair of the Senate Economy, Business and Jobs Caucus.

That, plus efforts to go green, are presenting different challenges for all kinds of Pennsylvania companies.

"Recycling strings is very difficult," said Frank Untermyer, the director of supply chain at C.F. Martin & Co.

The Senate Economy, Business and Jobs Caucus heard from some of the Lehigh Valley's most prominent businesses at its hearing. The goal was to get ideas for bipartisan legislation on how the state could help companies lower carbon emissions, while increasing job opportunities.

"We're just trying to figure out what we can do to keep it growing, keep them operating and expanding," said state Sen. Lisa Boscola, a co-chair of the Senate Economy, Business and Jobs Caucus.

Propelling the Keystone State to compete in a global economy is key.

"It's very important that we have strong, feasible federal emissions regulations and that we avoid adopting that state patchwork approach," said Catie Kawchak, the federal and state government relations director at Volvo Group.

"I would suggest a public-private partnership," said Patrick Witmer, the corporate vice president of corporate affairs at B. Braun Medical Inc. "One of the particular issues is health care waste: all of plastics and all of the materials."

"Let's not only incentivize, but also require companies and developers like MCS to invest in solar," said Richard Master, the chairman and CEO of MCS Industries.

"If PennDOT requires more projects to use concrete with green cement, the cement industry's manufacturing process will quickly change," said Lorraine Faccenda, the Lafarge Cement Whitehall Plant Manager. "The result will be lower greenhouse gas emissions."

Wednesday's testimony will be shared with all the other state senators.

The event ended with a networking opportunity for Lafayette students.

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