WINNIPEG (March 1, 2013)—When it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship, Emterra Environmental in Winnipeg stands out from the rest, according to the Chamber of Commerce’s 4th Annual “Spirit of Winnipeg” awards.
At a gala dinner held March 1, the Chamber bestowed the top honours in the large business category on Emterra for using innovation to drive economic and environmental objectives. It cited Emterra for its investment of $23 million dollars to upgrade its recyclable material recovery facility with state-of-the-art recycling processing equipment, including adding optical sorting technology which will enhance efficiency and ensure more materials are captured for recycling.
Emterra also received recognition for adding to the environmental health of the community by introducing a fleet of nearly 60 new waste and recycling trucks that are fuelled by compressed natural gas (CNG) and for building Canada’s largest CNG re-fuelling station.
“I am overwhelmed by the privilege of being here tonight in the company of such innovative creativity,” said Emmie Leung, founder and CEO of Emterra Group, acknowledging the other finalists in six categories.
When she accepted the award, she quoted well known US management consultant and education, Peter Drucker, who said: “Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurialism.”
Leung said that philosophy inspired Emterra to innovate.
“Emterra’s ‘recycling first’ mission…and waste-to-resource business model…drives us to find new, economically viable, and environmentally progressive ways to manage waste,” she said. “Our mantra is not only to find ways to recycle more, but also to recycle better. This awards program shines the light on the creative spirit, sparks ideas and inspires us all to think outside of the ordinary.”
Emterra provides waste and recycling services to more the 80 communities in three provinces, representing 10% of the Canadian population.
In addition, Emterra’s fleet of collection trucks across Canada feed commercial, industrial, and residential recyclables into its 12 MRFs, which process and market the materials. Seventy percent of these recyclables are shipped to markets in North America, which further invests in and strengthens domestic sustainability. Emterra is the only Canadian waste management company that operates three single stream recycling MRFs: Burlington, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Surrey, BC. These operations provide jobs for more than 800 Canadians. In the fall of 2012, Emterra took its first step into the United States setting up a recycling and waste resources recovery business serving over 2000 municipal and commercial clients in the vicinity of Flint, Port Huron and Bad Axe, Michigan.
This summer, Emterra will commission its fourth single stream MRF, a world-class operation that will be located at the Global Transportation Hub in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Emterra’s drive for innovation and its indomitable entrepreneurial spirit have been the impetus for its steady development and growth over its 35-year history from a one-person enterprise when Leung started her first company, International Papers Industries, to collect cardboard and newspapers from Vancouver back alleys and curbsides to a multi-million dollar conglomerate. Emterra Group’s family of companies comprise Emterra Environmental, Emterra Environmental USA, Emterra Tire Recycling, and Canadian Liquids Processors Limited.
“We are immensely proud to be recognized for our innovation and entrepreneurial spirit by our peers in Winnipeg. It is an honour and a privilege to be selected as a winner in the Spirit of Winnipeg awards,” Leung said.
Paulina Leung I Emterra Environmental I 905-336-9084, ext. 130 I Mobile: 416-939-7916 I Paulina.Leung@emterra.ca I