HollyNorth Production Supplies President and CEO Mike Kaerne has been in the movie and television production supply business for over 17 years. Coming from the auto parts recycling business where recycling was the DNA of the business model, it came naturally to him to apply the same principles of reduce, reuse, recycle to HollyNorth.
Recently the BBOT had the opportunity to talk to Mike about his commitment to sustainability both in his business as well as the community.
What got you started thinking about sustainability?
I have been interested and involved in recycling for many years – I worked in and later owned an auto parts recycling yard (auto wreckers). When I got into the film industry it just continued. The film industry is very concerned with sustainability, recycling, and ecological practices.
How did you decide what was most important to tackle first?
I started with cardboard – we receive most of our products in cardboard boxes that we wanted to dispose of properly. As the possibility of recycling more of our ‘waste’ became apparent, we added those to our recycling program. We now collect and recycle batteries, plastics, newspaper and office paper, CFL’s and fluorescent tubes, unused paints, Styrofoam, propane canisters and other items.
Do you feel this has any impact on how you do business?
It does impact such considerations as how a product is packaged, how we deal with that packaging, what effort or arrangements we must do to deal with it…so those are things we take into consideration when making a purchasing decision, we try to buy local as much as feasible.
It also has a financial impact because we assist our clients to recycle, so it does cost us easy for them to do. We offer our in-house program to help collect that recycling that otherwise becomes landfill – cardboard, paint, plastics, Styrofoam, paper, light bulbs, sometimes wood or metal.
What do you hope to achieve by making your business more sustainable?
There are many things we wish to achieve – be friendlier to our planet, be more responsible in our purchasing decisions, reduce our waste footprint, be a good community example, just to name a few.
What are your next steps and goals?
Find ways to reduce our use of heating (natural gas) and electricity. We have installed timer light switches in some areas and are going to install programmable thermostats next.
You have been a member of the Pledge for a Sustainable Community since its launch 2 years ago. What was your motivation for joining and what have been its benefits?
Yes, HollyNorth Production Supplies has been a proud member of the Pledge for a Sustainable Community for 2 years now. (bbotpledge.ca) The Pledge is an initiative of the Burnaby Board of Trade and provides tools, resources, workshops and opportunities to help make Burnaby a greener, more sustainable community. Those resources help educate our staff (and our customers) in order to improve and increase our green initiatives. We think the Pledge is a tremendous asset for the community and businesses alike.
Find resources to become more sustainable and promote your green initiatives today. BBOTPLEDGE.CA