DKI-CRCS has been investing in sustainability for decades and has just taken new strides to improve the environmental impact of the business. Three new all-electric vehicles are replacing gas powered cars, highlighting the reality that moving towards more sustainable business practices are never-ending.
“When we look at how we run the business, we always consider whether something will be good for the business, and whether it will be good for the environment,” said Matt Douglas, Regional Business Director at DKI-CRCS.
“We have a big fleet and during busy months our crews are always on the road,” said Douglas. “These electric Chevrolet Bolts will replace older, gasoline cars used by our project managers.”
The thinking goes beyond the electrification of the fleet. Many vehicles are work trucks or vans, which were chosen for reasons of fuel efficiency over similar models from other brands.
“The vehicles in our fleet have a short lifespan compared to our building, so it’s easier to keep pace with efficiency improvements in the automotive world,” said Douglas.
The prioritization of environmentally conscious thinking spreads across the entire operation. Most changes have not only met both the better-for-business and better-for-environment criteria but have also resulted in better service for clients.
Frequently used materials are now delivered in bulk and warehoused at the DKI-CRCS headquarters. When crews start their day, they can get the supplies they need and head directly to a worksite. Prior to keeping those supplies in house, DKI-CRCS would have crews leaving the office, heading to a home renovation store to pick up materials before heading to the job-site. That meant more time spent on the road, more fuel burned, and less time spent helping clients.
Equipment used both on site and at the offices is kept up to date to ensure it’s as efficient as possible. Older equipment is used as a back-up for catastrophic events until it becomes too worn out to maintain. When repairs are needed, equipment is sent to a local business for service, keeping money within Durham Region. Those items that have hit the end of their life are collected in-house before being turned over to an electronics recycling program to ensure proper disposal.
One relationship that has improved sustainability and a better environment first began in 2002, when DKI-CRCS switched from harsh cleaning agents to the made-in-Canada Benefect. A broad-spectrum cleaner that is botanically derived, Benefect uses bacteria to eradicate harmful and damaging bacteria that can set in after a catastrophic event. It doesn’t require the use of personal protective equipment and is safe for clients who want a speedy return to normal.
Based in Burlington, Ontario, Benefect also produces a second cleaner with the same benign properties that is especially effective in cleaning textiles and carpet.
“We’ve been using this stuff for everything we do for years, and we do it because it works, and because it’s safer and better to work with than chemically-derived cleaners. It’s the only sanitizer and disinfectant we use,” said Ryan Douglas, Project Manager at DKI-CRCS. The product is so safe and effective, it’s the only disinfectant used by the Douglas family at home.
Many of these decisions have had a positive impact on the bottom line – fleet improvements have led to lower fuel bills – but the improvements have also made the business run more smoothly. That in turn means faster and better care for clients.
“We work with people who want to get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible,” said Matt Douglas. “To be able to make decisions that make that possible while also being better for the planet and for the business makes those decisions very easy.”