What is the price of a sustainable future? That is the question that Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, explores in a recent interview with the Academy for Sustainable Innovation (ASI). In this interview, McKenna believes that in order to preserve the natural sustainability of the planet for future generations, “we all have to be part of the solution”, which involves “working in partnership with businesses”. McKenna gives a special nod in the interview to VeriForm, Inc., a company that she feels is an inspirational example of what happens when companies actually put “a price on pollution”.
According to McKenna, VeriForm has not only made better business decisions (cutting back on costs and improving energy efficiency), they have also lowered their emissions by 80% while “growing their bottom line by a couple of million dollars”. The overall message of the interview and the mention of VeriForm, Inc. serves to emphasize McKenna’s message that in order to fight pollution’s negative effects on the planet, businesses have to restructure the way they use energy; not only to improve their own economic growth, but to also pave the way for everyone to prioritize sustainable energy and reducing carbon emissions.
Over the last twelve years, VeriForm has saved over $2 million dollars thanks to their sustainability improvements. By embracing the provincial and federal carbon taxes and viewing them as an incentive to improve, the company has contributed towards McKenna’s vision of a low carbon economy. Between 2006 and 2008, VeriForm has invested over $46,000 in energy saving projects. Since then, annual operating costs (especially concerning energy) have been reduced significantly, with savings only expected to grow as energy prices increase. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) have also been reduced by 202 tonnes per year since 2017, ultimately reducing energy costs by over 70%.
VeriForm has proven that cutting back on carbon emissions is not only a smart business move, but also a morally-driven choice that will ensure a better future for the generations to come. Legislation such as carbon taxes and cap and trade programs should be enacted in order to mandate energy reduction and encourage, rather than deter smart asset management in order to benefit the economy and the health of the planet.
At VeriForm Inc. we care deeply about the environment, energy conservation & waste reduction. In fact, between 2006 and 2008 we invested $46,186 in over 42 individual energy saving projects and the result has been astounding: Our annual operating costs, specifically our energy costs, have been reduced by $89,152. Factoring in energy price increases, we expect to save over $1.42 million dollars over the next 10 years. In addition, we have reduced our company’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 202 tonnes per year (as of December 2017). That is equivalent to more than 10,000 trees absorbing carbon dioxide annually.
Since 2006 we have more than tripled our sales per kWh which means we have reduced our energy costs by over 70%! We used to sell $6.12 of product for every kilowatt-hour of electricity. Today in 2019, we sell over $19.55 per kilowatt hour. To read more visit our Energy Conservation & Waste Reduction page
On December 15th, 2018, Your Morning Live broadcasted on CTV brought on guests Mathew Hoffman, a Professor from the University of Toronto and Executive Director Priyanka Lloyd of Green Economy Canada. The topic of discussion was How to go green without hurting the economy and VeriForm was the main example brought up by Priyanka Lloyd. Ms. Lloyd discusses how VeriForm began their Journey in 2006 with investing about 46 thousand dollars into energy efficiency measures, and over the last 12 years have seen over 2 million dollars in savings with cutting their Carbon footprint by 77%. To view the entire video discussion please click here.
VeriForm president Paul Rak, right, shows some of the energy-saving initiatives his company has implemented during a tour Wednesday for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and MPs Marwan Tabbara, Raj Saini and Bryan May. – Brent Davis, Waterloo Region Record
CAMBRIDGE — Hours after expressing disappointment in the new Ontario government’s approach to climate change, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna visited a Cambridge firm that “gets it.”
Metal fabricating firm VeriForm has undertaken more than 100 projects in the last 12 years to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. President Paul Rak said his company has reduced emissions by more than 77 percent — even while more than doubling its physical footprint and adding 25 percent more staff. VeriForm employs about 25 people.
What’s more, the company’s ratio of sales per kilowatt hour of energy used has jumped from $6.12 per kWh to $19.55 per kWh, and Rak estimates they’ve saved more than $2 million. “That’s money in our competitive pocket.”
And the individual changes don’t have to be complex. At VeriForm, they’ve changed lights, stopped using paper towels, and placed timers and limit switches on equipment throughout the Lindsay Road facility.
Rak said the measures began in 2006 after his daughter was born. Around the same time, he watched the climate documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and bought a Prius. “I started a few projects altruistically, never meaning to save money,” he said.
“They’re taking very practical measures,” McKenna said after a tour Wednesday. “You can go and do right by the planet, and also do right by the bottom line … It’s a great example of a Canadian company that really gets it, that really gets that the economy and the environment go together.”
McKenna, who remains minister of environment and climate change following Wednesday’s cabinet shuffle, said she tried to explain that sort of business case in a morning meeting with her provincial counterpart Rod Phillips. Ontario is ending its cap and trade system for reducing emissions and has scrapped hundreds of green energy contracts.
In a subsequent statement, McKenna said she was “disappointed to see the new government in Ontario has no plan to help families, schools and businesses reduce emissions, save money and create good jobs. Climate change doesn’t stop with a change in government.”
For his part, Phillips tweeted that he made it clear to McKenna that his government “will never accept the Trudeau carbon tax.”
In Cambridge, McKenna said businesses like VeriForm have proven that environmentally-friendly initiatives make economic sense. “You can do this and there would be a business case here even if you really didn’t care about climate change,” she said. “It’s actually a small-c conservative ideal.”
A huge thank you goes out to you, our customers and vendors, for making our story possible. You’ve made it possible for VeriForm to commit to innovation, growth and sustainable business philosophies, which has lead us to this remarkable milestone…..20 years of being in business, from 1997 to 2017!
At VeriForm, we’ve survived roadblocks and recessions. But what’s allowed us to keep the business resilient is our commitment to 3 core principles while working with you:
We believe in supporting our local community so that the impact lasts long past our company’s existence. Our partnership with the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and many other non-profit organizations like the Food Bank and Meals on Wheels keeps us linked to our neighbours. In fact we strongly believe that a business must have heart that goes beyond just “making a profit.”
At VeriForm, we take our environmental footprint seriously. VeriForm is among global leaders like Google, Nike and HSBSC that have committed to making their entire operations carbon neutral. Becoming Canada’s 4th company to achieve ISO 50001 certification helped us integrate energy management into our overall efforts and possible to commit to a 5% annual reduction in our carbon footprint year over year!
We are in fact the first manufacturer in the Waterloo region to deliver on this promise by cutting our annual CO2 emissions from 242 tonnes to under 61 tonnes. That is a 75% reduction all while expanding our business space by 146%, which makes it all the more incredible that our staff achieved this reduction. And since 2015 we have purchased carbon offsets from Canadian sources to make us carbon neutral!
We are committed to empowering our employees and local community through the power of education. We see it as the greatest opportunity to bring value to society and influence the future, for the better. Not only do we pay for our staff to take classes after work that do not need to be work related, we also support the non-profit Suzuki String School of Guelph through volunteering and generous financial support, since 2011, to enable children for financially strapped families to attend weekly classes.
VeriForm’s vision for the future is deeply rooted in our 3 pillars of focus. We believe that investing in our customers, employees and local community will in time help to build a better, more successful world for future generations. The future starts now, at VeriForm.
VeriForm opened for business on August 1st, 1997 in the old Savage Shoes building on 1144 Industrial Road in Cambridge. Seven years later, we purchased our current 20 Lindsay Road site and in 2007 we expanded that site from 11,400 to 26,000 square feet.
Now we would not have been able to achieve these milestones, and survive over twenty years in business if it were not for the amazing relationships we’ve built with clients, suppliers, and many other good people in our community. In fact, while we serve our customers there are four core principles that are a key component of our business model:
Serving the Local Community,
Supporting Sustainability and the Environment
Developing and Providing Education for our Staff
Supporting the Education of Young People in Waterloo-Wellington Regions
TIG welding is the most versatile kind of welding. TIG welding is precise and can be used for most types of metal: aluminum, stainless steels, carbon, magnesium, titanium, cobalt, nickle, copper alloys, niobium, as well as tungsten.
Here are the most commonly asked questions involving TIG welding.
What is tig welding?
TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas.
Technically it is called Gas Tungsten Arc Welding GTAW and also known as Heli-arc welding. Heli-arc welding historically, is a nod to the Hobart “Heli-Arc” machine from the 1930s developed to weld magnesium.
Mechanically strong and visually appealing, TIG welding is becoming increasingly critical for industry and has attained a new popularity in recent years.
In the automotive and aerospace industries the process has helped reconfigure components making them lights thereby reducing fuel consumption and savings on ever-higher fuel costs.
It is a particularly effective and economic way for welding light gauge metals (under 3mm thickness) and for welding metals difficult to weld with the conventional welding process.
How does tig welding work?
In TIG, metals are fused together by heating them with an electric arc established between a non-consumable (does not melt) tungsten electrode and the workpiece. The molten metal, tungsten electrode and the welding zone are protected from the atmosphere (the air around it) by a stream of inert gas through the welding torch. The resulting welds have the same chemical integrity as the original base metal.
TIG welding is similar to oxy-acetylene welding in that you use a filler material for build-up or reinforcement.
Can you TIG weld aluminum?
The process is well suited for aluminum and is most frequently associated with the process. However the process can be used to weld almost all metals and metal alloys in use today.
Such metals include the following:
Aluminum and aluminum alloys
Magnesium and magnesium alloys
Low alloy steel and carbon steels
Copper and copper alloys
Nickel and nickel alloys
Joining carbon and alloy steels
Reactive materials (for example, titanium and tantalum)
Exotic alloys and aluminum are being used more than ever to build vehicles.
What kind of gas do you use with a tig welder?
Shielding gases are used to protect and cool the welding area from atmospheric gases, heat transfer, not to mention help start and maintain a stable arc.
Normally for TIG welding Aragon is used. Helium may also be added to increase penetration and fluidity of the weld pool.
What kind of gas do you use for tig welding steel?
An argon/ hydrogen mixture is the preferred gas for manual TIG welding for stainless steel (of austenitic grades). The hydrogen helps to collect oxygen close to the weld pool for a cleaner weld surface, and minimizes the need for a post weld clean.
Where is tig welding used?
Gas Tungsten Arch Welding or TIG has found applications in the:
Aerospace industry – aircraft
Sheet Metal Works
Most Notably Automotive Transport Industry
for any vehicles including cars, trucks, hot rods, choppers, professional racing teams, as well as auto hobbyists and enthusiasts
VeriForm received its 6th brake press earlier this year, making VeriForm the largest bending shop in Ontario and possibly the Eastern USA. With over $1 million in brake press tooling, VeriForm can form practically anything your engineers can design.
Metal fabrication is the process of constructing structures from raw materials by processes like cutting, bending, and assembling. Metal fabricators (companies specializing in the process) are known as fab shops. Metal fabrication is a “value-added” process because additional value is added through various stages of production.
Machine shops and fabricators, are very similar with the expectation that fab shops concentrate on welding and forming of metals.
Metal Fabrication Process
Metal fabrication begins at the planning stage. Fab shops employ many different experts, including iron workers, welders, boilermakers, blacksmiths, and professionals that convert raw materials into their final products. Since metal fabrication is the overarching process, it involves many different processes, including specialty techniques, which can involve:
– punching, welding, forging, casting, brazing, shearing, drawing and spinning
as well as
– die cutting, hydroforming, finishing, shrinking, roll forming, spinning, stretching and stamping
Even higher levels of specialization include electrical and hydraulics services
Standard raw materials used include plate metal, fittings, castings, formed and expanded metal, sectional metal, flat metal, and welding wire.
Future of Metal Fabrication
Where is the future of the metal fabrication industry headed?
The key to success in a volatility market in this industry is keeping up with rapidly changing demands of customers while maintaining high output capability, with machinery that is becoming more sophisticated. Its is about learning to balance capacity with variability.
For metal fabrication shops this means
continually optimizing machinery and the manufacturing process
keeping an eye on the customer base and economic trends
innovating new ways to support customer demands and variability
increasing streamline practices
focusing ability in reliably to product out-capacity output
Veriform since the beginning has made modern investments, streamlining our manufacturing process from top to bottom, to meet the demands of our diverse customer base without cutting corners. All this while, trying to help preserve the environment. This has helped us cater to your needs at any given time.