Environmental initiatives make economic sense, McKenna says.
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.”
Over 20 years of doing good business – and creating a legacy for our planet, children and community.
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.
Over 20 years of doing good business - and creating a legacy.
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
What is Tig Welding and How to Tig Weld?
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.
What is tig welding used for?
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
- Metal Furniture
- Most Notably Automotive Transport Industry
- for any vehicles including cars, trucks, hot rods, choppers, professional racing teams, as well as auto hobbyists and enthusiasts