On the heels of the APEC 2011 meetings  in Big Sky, Montana, Secretary Gary Locke and Senator Max Baucus visited West Paw Design  today, a Montana-based manufacturer of eco-friendly pet toys, beds and apparels. Touring its sustainable manufacturing facilities, Locke praised West Paw for its green manufacturing methods and efforts to export its products to foreign markets. Promoting green growth among businesses  of the Asia-Pacific region is one of the key goals of APEC 2011.
“West Paw exemplifies the kind of green growth and aggressive exporting that we need from small- and medium-sized businesses to reinvigorate our economy,” Locke said. “It is the export successes of companies like West Paw that are going to help our economy grow, create jobs and meet President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years.”
West Paw, which exports its products to 28 foreign markets, showcased its best sustainable manufacturing practices to more than 70 participants during the tour, including APEC trade officials and private sector representatives from the 21 APEC economies.
West Paw Design integrated sustainability into its manufacturing processes and product design by using recycled and organic materials. The company has 46 employees and has more than doubled the size of its manufacturing facility in 2010 in order to handle the growing demand for its products. It has utilized several federal government resources to help boost its exports, including the Commerce Department’s U.S. Commercial Service , Manufacturing Extension Partnership  and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration .