Reid’s Automotive Recycling has been doing business in Burnaby for over 20 years. With a staff of nine, the heart of their business is re-purposing automotive parts, Alloy Wheel Refinishing and recycling of end of life vehicles. As one of Burnaby’s longstanding small businesses they wanted to better understand what the driver was to becoming more sustainable as well as its challenges and opportunities.
Teresa Reid, co-owner of Reid’s Automotive Recycling Ltd had this to say:
What got you started thinking about sustainability?
Re-purposing automotive parts, Refinishing Alloy Wheels services and Recycling of end of life vehicles is at the heart of what we do as a business.
The concept to reuse auto parts from vehicles came into play shortly after the first automobile rolled off the assembly line.
People love their cars. Therefore, It is important for us to help retain the quality of our customer’s vehicle with the supply of an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer )Part. In plain language; an auto part made for your vehicle by the company that built your vehicle. Our product offers consumers a green and cost effective alternative to buying new.
From a sustainability perspective, the real challenge for our company is based less on what we do, but how we do it and more importantly asking ourselves how can we do it better.
By asking ourselves this question we decided to adopt a zero waste mindset and thus started to look for ways and means to achieve our goal.
Participating on the board of directors of AREA (Automotive Recyclers Environmental Association) put the wheels in motion.. It’s been 16 years on the board has been a tremendously rewarding experience environmentally and from an industry stewardship perspective with our BC Auto recyclers leading the way across the nation.
But from an individual business standpoint the ability to carry our committment to all aspects of our operations was a little more challenging as the ability to acquire knowledge, access tools resources, and networking opportunities was limited.
When we first learned about “The Pledge for a Sustainable Community” we were thrilled. I must admit that this was the driving force to join the Burnaby Board of Trade.
How did you decide what was most important to tackle first?
We decided to tackle energy reduction first and went through LiveSmart for an assessment and reduction strategy.
Then we realized that we needed a more in depth assessment of our operations. The BBOT provided that opportunity with a bursary provided by Vancity to become Climate Smart certified. We are very appreciative for the opportunity and have participated in two sessions to date.
Do you feel this has any impact on how you do business?
Absolutely. Climate Smart is like personal environmental fitness trainer for our business that identifies areas of concern and offers solutions to help our company achieve desired results.
What do you hope to achieve by making your business more sustainable?
We’d love our business operations to be as green as our product.
What do you think are your greatest challenges or obstacles in becoming more sustainable?
As a small business owner, time and manpower are definitely the greatest obstacles we face.
What are your next steps and goals?
Upon completion of Climate Smart certification; we intend to share the results and recommendations with our staff and work together towards optimal GHG reduction and waste diversion.
Our goal is also to continue to be proactive in creating awareness on the importance and value of reuse. The real contribution towards a greener world is created by our customer with every purchase they make.