With a purpose to bring a unique blend of engineering and science to front-end project delivery, an innovator, Stuart Torr founded Integrated Sustainability in 2010. The goal was to help clients effectively plan projects by establishing technology selection, but also better understand social and environmental trade-offs as they realized opportunities in an integrated approach to water, energy, and waste management. Stuart believed that industries needed a specialized group of consultants with a blend of business management, technical expertise, and environmental awareness to challenge conventional solutions provided by multinational consultancies.
Integrated Sustainability has seen some transformational change since 2010. In the first 5 years, the company grew to 80 specialists in Calgary. Since 2015, this growth has continued with offices in Vancouver, Houston, and the Caribbean, providing services to a broad group of customers including government, municipalities, oil and gas, mining, pulp and paper, and agriculture clients. The company has become especially known as sustainable infrastructure specialists with a reputation for innovative and courageous solutions. These are the values that drive Integrated Sustainability today as it helps customers manage risks effectively by building more resilient and sustainable infrastructure for the future.
Aligning with Modern Tech Advancements
Integrated Sustainability is consistently looking for different and innovative methods to provide better service and solutions. Stuart says, “As entrepreneurs, we strive to be on the frontlines of leading innovation and technology. We do this by investing in research and development and working with companies that are developing leading-edge technologies that have the potential to be transformational. We have also used advanced technology to improve efficiencies in project delivery.” An example of this would be the use of real-time survey data in the company’s construction performance. The team uses technology to drive accountability and provide greater client transparency. They also continuously bring new ideas to the table that directly impact the environment and the communities where the projects are implemented.
Integrated Sustainability has incubated software and hardware development in a company called Random Acronym. The company has built data platforms to make faster decisions and found solutions to transform methodology in data collection. Data collection, data cleansing, and dashboard interpretation has become a significant differentiator in being able to move fast and efficiently ahead of competition.
A Progress Focused Work Environment
When it comes to creating a positive work environment, Stuart believes that a corporate culture sets the drive, ambition, and heartbeat of every organization. At Integrated Sustainability, the management deliberately created a culture of people that would have the drive, inquisitiveness, vulnerability, and commitment that would set the company’s quality of product and performance apart. Stuart wanted Integrated Sustainability to be recognized as a group of determined first movers who challenge the status quo and look for new ways to solve problems, all while caring about the environment, its people, and the relationships that it has built throughout the years. Employee empowerment has been key to Integrated Sustainability’s culture, but the company has also created a family culture focused on vulnerability, diversity, inclusion, and listening to different perspectives.
Stuart mentions, “Our team is encouraged to pull together, speak out, and most importantly, be respectful of each other. Everyone is encouraged to be a leader, and in that fashion, we care for our people, their engagement, and their success. As we continue to grow, we are committed to providing a welcoming work environment that embraces vulnerability, diversity of thought, and expertise.”
Lead with Humility and Tenacity
Stuart thinks of two distinct characteristics that are particularly important to the early stages of building a company: humility and tenacity. Both characteristics are critical in business leadership. One needs an abundance of humility and patience to gain insight into critical decisions. He or she also requires self-awareness and patience to respectfully listen to his/her mentors, clients, and staff. Every decision has consequences and requires leadership. Leaders also need an abundance of tenacity and passion to help lead and inspire their team through every challenge. He opines, “At the start of any company, you are required to be engaged in every part of the business.” He further adds, “It is necessary to lead from the front, and at other times, one needs to jump in and has to lead from the trenches with unwavering commitment.” He believes that a bold vision requires tenacity and endless perseverance.
Engaging in Community Services
From the start, management at Integrated Sustainability believed it was essential to be engaged in community projects, not only for the company’s benefit, but for the benefit of its people as they grow in their careers. For this reason, the company supported the incubation of a not-for-profit group called ‘Energy for All’ that operated international projects from Integrated Sustainability’s offices in Calgary. Stuart thinks the synergistic relationship has allowed the staff to engage in projects to provide technical support for community development projects all over the world. Many of the staff have travelled to support these projects, allowing them to experience different cultures while using their skills to help make a difference in the communities that the company has worked in.
Expanding while Exploring more Opportunities
Integrated Sustainability is built with an inspired and talented group that wanted to push the envelope while making a difference. Stuart states, “We see tremendous opportunity in the growth of our business model through geographical expansion and future acquisition and continue to build on our entrepreneurial foundation by adding transformational opportunities to our portfolio.” While the company continues to offer the consulting and engineering services that it is well known for, it has expanded its portfolio offering to include lump-sum, full turnkey infrastructure development. This shift extends to both front-end financing and post commissioning operations of infrastructure projects.
As per Stuart, Integrated Sustainability has built an exceptional team with both technical and commercial experience to deliver projects from concept development through to execution and operations. The company has also explored project execution models by partnering with its customers through fixed price, turnkey delivery, and own-operate commercial models.
He asserts, “This innovative approach allows for integrated savings and project efficiencies throughout the entire supply chain, enabling customers to realize substantial value. Growing the team with our own construction specialists, construction equipment, and operating crews was the missing piece to round out our “Concept to Completion” delivery model.”