London Inc. Weekly 08 • 02 • 2019

Elemex introduces new stone cladding system 

Photo: Elemex, headquartered on Admiral Drive, has launched Stonitex, a new natural stone cladding system

LONDON-BASED ELEMEX has announced the launch of Stonitex, a new natural stone façade system. The new product makes natural stone available in an innovative cladding option that employs thin reinforced panels within a rainscreen system.

Elemex has been integrating sintered ceramic, aluminum composite and aluminum plate for years, but have just added granite to their offerings of architectural surfaces. Using their proprietary Unity integrated attachment technology, granite can now be installed on the same attachment platform, allowing for multi-panel design freedom.

In order to develop the product, Elemex partnered with Polycor Inc., the world’s leading natural stone quarrier. Founded in Québec City in 1987, the company now employs nearly 1,100 people and owns over 50 quarries and 17 manufacturing plants across North America and Europe.

Utilizing Polycor’s 10mm granite, Elemex says the lightweight, 100 per cent natural Stonitex panels will expand the possibilities of using natural stone and a combination of materials for architects, offering design versatility while retaining timeless durability.

Elemex employs about 150 people in London. The company’s new-age cladding has been used in projects at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Fanshawe College, the London Roundhouse, the downtown Century Building and on the company’s own 34,000-square-foot facility on Admiral Drive.

Elemex is part of an integrated collection of companies owned by twin brothers Phil and Bob Macdonald. Their father, John, created J.A. Macdonald Ltd. in 1963. It continues operating today, installing ceiling and wall systems, both interior and exterior. A quarter century later, the family founded Ontario Panelization, which supplies and installs a variety of exterior veneers for businesses and public buildings.

Also in the mix is Woollatt Building Supply, which has operated for more than 100 years and provides dozens of products to builders in London and beyond.

Elemex was created to sell cutting-edge facade surfaces and systems to customers across North America, largely south of the border. The company is building a network of licensed installers, but primarily sells custom facades and supporting systems directly to builders.


Moderate economic growth forecast for London region

Photo: The Conference Board of Canada predicts economic growth of of less than two per cent for London in 2019

DESPITE REAL GDP growth of just 1.4 per cent projected in Canada for 2019, some cities are showing strength in certain sectors, contributing to one of the strongest jobs gains on record Canada-wide.

These figures are the latest in the Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook 2 released yesterday. The outlook report provides detailed economic insights for 16 Canadian Metropolitan Area (CMA) economies.

While some cities are expected to post growth rates of 2.9 per cent or more, double the national average, London, Windsor and Waterloo Region—the major Southwestern Ontario centres—are all expected to run more moderate growth rates of two per cent or less, the board said.

“We found many of the metropolitan areas are boasting low unemployment rates,” said Alan Arcand, lead researcher and associate director with the Board’s Centre for Municipal Studies. “While this is helping to drive up wage growth, it also raises the issue of labour shortages.”

Another common theme throughout the report is the ongoing trade uncertainty that continues to loom over export-oriented manufacturing industries. “Key sectors in many of the report’s metro areas are showing only modest growth as a result of trade tensions,” he said. This is expected to persist as Canada and the United States have yet to ratify the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).


London Chamber adopts Women’s Empowerment Principles

Photo: The London Chamber of Commerce is the first Canadian chamber to sign on to the Women’s Empowerment Principles

THE LONDON CHAMBER of Commerce is the first Canadian chamber to sign a CEO Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are the initiatives of UN Women and UN Global Compact. It consists of a set of seven principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

“As part of the Chamber’s ongoing efforts to recognize diversity in the workforce and through the volunteer contributions of its board of directors, committees and task forces we have now added the United Nations Global Compact for Women’s Empowerment Principles as a companion piece to our diversity policy,” said London Chamber CEO, Gerry Macartney.

He adds that the statement “equality means business” has never been more true or relevant in today’s environment, and the business case for WEP is quickly building and gaining traction. 

While not a hardened approach, the Chamber states WEP should be viewed as a general framework when initiating dialogue with stakeholders about their role in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment and can act as a valuable platform to share best practices and encourage collaborative partnerships across stakeholder groups.

Anyone interested in learning more about WEP are invited to attend the Women’s Economic Empowerment Community Building event, scheduled for October 5, 2019, at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn. Featured as one of the panelists at the event is Courtney Hance, Chamber president and founder and president of The Branding Firm Inc.


Green Economy London: Narrow window for sustainability funding applications

Photo: Marianne Griffith, hub manager at Green Economy London

GREEN ECONOMY LONDON is reaching out to inform area SMEs they have a tight timeline to apply for recently introduced federal funding to improve the sustainability of operations and their bottom lines. 

The Government of Canada’s Climate Action Incentive Fund Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises Project stream covers new sustainability projects undertaken by businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Eligible projects range from retrofitting a fleet of trucks to use biodiesel and purchasing energy-efficient industrial equipment upgrades to adding solar and insulation to an office building.

There is a total of $72.4 million earmarked for Ontario businesses.

“Combining a 25 per cent incentive on equipment and the additional cost savings from energy reduction or from generating renewable energy makes now a very opportunistic time for businesses to become more energy efficient,” said Marianne Griffith, hub manager at Green Economy London.

Green Economy London is currently working with local businesses such as German Solar Corp. and Booch Organic Kombucha to explore taking advantage of this energy efficiency incentive. It currently supports 20 local businesses in London and surrounding area by providing services and workshops to help businesses set and achieve their sustainability goals.

“German Solar Corporation has been following this initiative with interest,” said German Solar’s Dennis German. “For any business who is considering a solar project now or in the future, this is an opportunity to seize the moment and utilize some of the millions of dollars that were raised from the carbon taxes in this province. This capital was meant to stimulate alternative energy technologies that reduce our environmental footprint.  Renewable energy is one way to capture a portion of this grant.”

The Climate Action Incentive Fund will provide $20,000 to $250,000 to offset up to 25 per cent of the cost of qualifying projects in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick. This funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and applications for funding are open until October 15, 2019, or until funding is exhausted.

Eligible projects include:

  • Switches to low emitting fuels in buildings, agriculture, industry, and transportation;
  • Building and vehicle retrofits that save energy by improving efficiency or reducing waste;
  • Improvements to the energy efficiency of industrial and agricultural processes;
  • Low emission fuel production or renewable energy production for own

For more information regarding eligibility and process, contact Marianne Griffith at Green Economy London: 226-977-1139 or greeneconomy@londonenvironment.net.


Featured Business Event

Rise Individual Lending Program Information Session | August 14, 2019, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Small Business Centre has partnered up with Rise Asset Development to provide training, mentoring and financing of up to $10,000 to help qualified and eligible individuals achieve their business goals. The Rise Individual Lending Program provides access to low interest business loans to launch or grow your small business. Eligible individuals must be unable to access traditional bank financing for their small business, and must self-identify as having experienced mental health and or addiction challenges.

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