Ideas in Action
lead to visioN
When PUT INto words
lead to actioN
That Affect changE
Our business philosophy has taken us to a few places that we weren't expecting. Its been a challenging fulfilling adventure fueled by our desire to be different, to effect change, and to ultimately leave this world better than when we entered it. What's even more exciting is what started as a small idea, has grown x2, x3, x10 times with more people seeing our vision of true success.
Keep in mind this is uncharted territory and we are far from perfect, however that shouldn't stop us from trying. Here are a few of the ways we are making a difference:
Our staff brought forward a charity located 40 minutes south of Tahsis that was in dire need of some serious electrical upgrades. Their distribution was wired overhead and was a patchwork of additions by volunteers dating back to the early 1900's. This location was actually the first hospital on the west coast and has helped hundreds of people located in these remote communities. Now it is a retreat center and also a kids camp focused on serving the communities in the Remote North Island area. Ask anyone up there and they will know about Esperanza!
Over the course of 5 days we were able to completely demolish their overhead services and re-feed their entire distribution underground. We also repaired multiple minor electrical repairs and fixed some grounding/phasing issues on their generator and pelton wheel hydro-generated power (yep we thought it was pretty cool too.) The distribution upgrade involved new electrical switch gear/panels/disconnects, adding kiosks, feeders, communication conduit, etc. At the same time it could not be "partially completed" as they are off grid and would be left without power.......no pressure. Add to that much of this equipment required tractors, cranes and such, as the rolls of wire were the size of small cars and the remote location had zero tolerance for incorrect material shipments. With a a wing and a prayer we ended up installing over $45,000 dollars in material over 5 days thanks to the support of staff at both Osprey and Esperanza. We may have got a little fishing in too and got their power back on safely.
Boat Ride from Tahis
The Generator Shack
Check out that wire spool!
What we got rid of!
Loading up at the dock
January 2015 and 2016
Camp Imadene is a beautiful non-profit facility just west of Cowichan on Mesachie Lake. As an extremely well run non-profit camp, donating our time there is always effectively utilized by their local maintenance guru Paul Zalinko. Every summer they host 1000's of kids giving many of them the highlight of their summer in a safe, positive environment where they can discover who they were meant to be and how far they can go.
If you have ever wondered what 20 electricians can accomplish in one blitz of a day, this is a good example. We typically receive a list of items they would like and then we procure donations for needed material from our business partners (no pressure wholesalers wink* wink*) and/or purchase as needed. Then we descend upon the camp as a well-oiled machine and complete as much as we can while onsite. This year a few highlights were upgrading the entire dorm area with new lights, heaters, plugs, switches, and smoke detectors, installing new plugs and lights for the conference room, and dozens of other small "to do's" that were required. As always they fed us very well! We are very fortunate to be part of such a great organization. If you are looking for a great kids camp, this one's a "gooder"!
Osprey Staff @ Imadene
New Hall LED Lights
Dorm Complex Upgrade
NANAIMO FOOD SHARE SOLAR PROJECT
When the Foodshare Centre Nanaimo approached Osprey for a Solar Proposal, our staff immediately saw this as an opportunity to give back in a meaningful way. What's so beautiful about this project is that it was 100% spearheaded and completed by staff and not senior management. Osprey supported our staff logistically, but in the end the install and labor was 100% donated on the weekend to ensure Foodshare maximized their budget for solar production.
(left) Paul Manly produced a video for FoodShare briefly outlining this project.
LOAVES AND FISHES: NANAIMO FOOD BANK WAREHOUSE RENOVATION
When Peter Sinclair, Executive Director for Loaves and Fishes, approached us for a quote on their proposed purchase and renovation of this very old "heritage?" warehouse, we saw our very first non-profit project.
Once we identified scope and schedule we figured we could complete demo and re-wire most of the warehouse, and install new service with minimal cost over two weekends. This included new LED fixtures, distribution upgrade, office reno, highbay lights, security lighting, power receptacles and more. In the end, 100% of the labor was donated and nearly 90% of the material donated as well with the help of our suppliers, Wesco Nanaimo, EB Horseman, and Torbram Nanaimo. When approached with the opportunity to donate their time, our staff blew us away with their commitment and follow through to make sure this food bank put its resources into feeding people and not "wiring".
What we love about LAF is they absolutely demonstrate the values of LEAN thinking that we ourselves are working to emulate. In their endeavour to eliminate waste, they actually re-purpose other company's wastes, and innovate. To this day Nanaimo Food bank continues to be the most innovative food bank in BC with many other NGO's taking notes on their continued success. Recently they completed further renovations and this building is now completed and optimized for sorting and shipping. If you are looking for a quick, painless way to give back they are always looking for volunteers!
Working in the dark to get light
Unloading the scissor lift
We are actively educating and promoting alternative energies.
We treat our staff with respect and encourage a healthy lifestyle work/balance (we LOVE vacations!)
We have pursued and completed multiple passive design construction projects which are proving to be the leader in environmental construction through energy conservation and design.
We measure success differently: Profit + People + Planet = Success.
We recycle all our cardboard, foam, ballasts, lamps, wire, copper, wood and paper.
We are instituting LEAN business practices such as the ones that have propelled companies like Toyota (for instance) to be one of the most effective waste-free and profitable manufacturing companies in the world.
Every year we sponsor a local hockey team as we believe sports are inherently "good" for kids and our community.
Every year we sponsor the Pacific Salmon Foundation through their yearly fundraiser. Many of our staff are avid fisherman who carry a deep sense of our responsibility to the local environment.
We are not just pursuing Solar as an effective business strategy - we are doing it because it also inspires our people and changes our planet: There is no better feeling in the world as an electrician than when you turn on the new PV system, the solar panels begin working and you see the meter spinning "backwards". We feel this is an untapped local market that is going to explode and that our customers just need to know how and why to do it. Yes it makes financial sense NOW. Yes it makes environmental sense NOW. Yes it is affordable if structured correctly, AND yes we can make it look "sexy".
Every year we take on a few charity construction projects that directly give back to the community in meaningful ways and inspire our staff, customers, and suppliers. See below for a few of our success stories.
We have invested with a new start-up alternative energy venture called "Regenisis" with a vision to recapture lost kinetic energy wasted from manufactured wind sources. This is currently in Research and Development stage with the engineering department of the University of Arizona.
We have supported financially and with our time multiple local charities (see below) and with LuminAID, a successful non- profit dedicated to eliminating gas and kerosene lamps in Africa by 2020. This is accomplished by using a simple LED lantern, selling it through social enterprise, and helping developing nations recapture up to 15% of their income by using LED Solar technology instead of kerosene.
Further Info and Links
Below you will find a few links to articles, stories and websites that inspired us.
LuminAID Solar Lanterns Helping Third world family recover on average 15% of there income by using solar-powered lanterns while empowering them through social enterprise. WIN. WIN. WIN!
The Story of Stuff - Great video showing our current model of consumption is affecting our planet and people.
Social Capitalism - A new idea that is revolutionizing how we look at business. Spearheaded by a bank founded by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.
Loaves and Fishes Nanaimo - British Columbia's most innovative food bank.