Putting a Price on Pollution - Catherine McKenna’s Promotion of a Low-Carbon Economy

May 8, 2019

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.

Watch Catherine McKenna’s full interview here:

GHG Reduction

March 21, 2019

Graph showing the positive effects of smart asset management at VeriformAt 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

VeriForm Example for CTV "How to Go Green Without Hurting the Economy"

December 18, 2018

Director Priyanka Lloyd On CTV

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.

Environmental initiatives make economic sense, McKenna says.

July 23, 2018

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.”

Link to full article:

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine Mckenna, visits Veriform.

July 20, 2018