How one Alberta company refuses to sweep climate change under the mat
In Calgary, Alberta, there’s an innovator setting a new standard for operations in an unlikely industry—textile and janitorial supply. Kim Caron, president of Executive Mat Service, spearheads his company’s sustainability program, one that converts everyday waste into clean energy (think paper towels turned biofuel briquettes).
We sat down with Kim to chat about how his recently bullfrogpowered company is finding new ways to make our workplaces greener.
Can you tell us a bit about Executive Mat’s Green Thumb Initiative?
Simply put, we’re turning waste that would otherwise be going to the landfill into a green fuel source.
The process is pretty straightforward. When we pick up our customers’ rental mats, we also pick up their consumed waste, like napkins or paper cups. We then bring it back to our Calgary plant and convert it into thermal energy. To do so, we shred and blend the waste materials to form biofuel briquettes; these briquettes fuel our plant’s biomass boiler. It’s a full circle process.
What motivated this initiative?
Nine billion Keurig cups likely end up in landfill each year. Up to 30% of solid waste from office towers is paper towels. That’s a huge number. Statistics like these motivate us to create change, especially because 20% of greenhouse gases can be attributed to landfill waste.
We know you feel passionately about waste reduction. Can you explain why?
In our view, waste—whether produced in our production facilities, offices, or homes—represents environmental and economic inefficiency.
A lot of businesses haven’t realized that the waste produced by a standard office can be a source of revenue. For example, one of our customers ended up saving more on reduced garbage removal services than they paid for the consumable waste products to begin with! We strive to dispose of resources intelligently, recycling those that can be used economically in a different form.
You’re the first business in Alberta to choose Bullfrog’s green fuel product. Can you tell us a little about why you made this decision?
Executive Mat Service is a leader in the development of new technologies that reduce waste streams and prevent pollution. For us, choosing Bullfrog’s innovative green fuel product for our sales fleet made sense, through the lens of both supporting innovative technology and reducing our environmental impact.
Do you have any advice for future generations?
Embrace new technology as it becomes available. Doing so will help enable such technologies to become mainstream and allow us to achieve our carbon reduction goals more quickly. To make a difference, we must develop solutions for ourselves and the rest of the world.