By Nancy Dahlberg
Conservation is good for business. That’s always been the ethos of EcoSystems, the Miami-based company founded and run by brothers Richard and Lawrence Lamondin.
EcoSystems is a water and energy conservation firm helping commercial real estate owners invest in and scale climate-friendly business practices. Their customers are big players in the multi-family housing industry.
“Look at the top 50 owners and management companies of multifamily in the country, that’s who we target. Sure, replacing one toilet, one light, in the grand scheme that isn’t all that much. But when you do that for a 150,000 unit portfolio, that’s enormous impact,” said Lawrence.
EcoSystems announced today it is a Certified B Corporation, a milestone acknowledging EcoSystems’ commitment to uplift people, enhance communities and protect the environment. To earn the designation from B Lab, EcoSystems underwent a rigorous third-party assessment, which measured the company’s impact in the following areas: governance, workers, community, environment and customers. As part of the evaluation, company founders must also make a legal commitment, changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not simply shareholders. Today, just 6,000 companies around the world are B Corps; Florida has 37.
“Since day one, we’ve run our business with conviction to dovetail profit-generation with mission-driven purpose. The B Corporation certification validates this work, and we hope it inspires others to integrate purpose and profit for the good of all,” said Richard.
EcoSystems’ business model focuses on demonstrating the impact of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and conservation programs on the bottom line. Through this work, EcoSystems’ is enabling their partners in the multi-family housing industry to realize financial savings while conserving water and energy to reduce their carbon footprint.
“40% of all carbon emissions come from buildings and obviously, most of that waste comes from older buildings, which is the vast majority of them. And so, from the very beginning, that’s where we’ve been focused – it’s the least sexy but the most impact,” said Richard. “We act as a consultant, a distribution platform and implementers. You can get as many fancy reports as you want, but if you don’t execute on any of it, you haven’t made a single ounce of impact. Since our DNA is actually deploying these projects, we approach it from a much different angle than many.”
EcoSystems has been expanding its consulting services, getting involved early in setting conservation strategies and goals. Then they implement the work, what they call their Green GC service. They also deliver property level insights down to every single appliance and light fixture.
Over the years, EcoSystems has saved over 6.4 billion gallons of fresh water, prevented a quarter million metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, and conserved 252,000 Kwh of energy, the Lamondins said. Add to that impact: $80 million in utility bills saved.
As the ESG movement has gained steam and demand for eco-friendly communities has been increasing, EcoSystems has grown too. The company, which has been bootstrapped since day one, employs about 55 people and works in 35 states. In the last five years, EcoSystems has more than tripled its revenue.
“Where we’re going is being that sustainability department for the whole industry,” Richard said. “Whether you need help on strategy goals, you want to deploy EV charging across your portfolio, you want solar, whatever it is, we either can deploy for you or we can project manage it for you or we can design it for you.”
They are proud to be building their company in Miami, and note that the support systems for entrepreneurs have grown a great deal in recent years. The Lamondins are Endeavor Entrepreneurs and part of the LLC (Local Leaders Collective) and are happy to see more accelerators available for early-stage companies. Still, they have a larger vision for their hometown.
“Miami should be a center for climate technology,” Richard said. “I think everyone woke up to it when the Army Corps of Engineers proposed that wall and everyone freaked out about that but I think we could be a model in a few different ways. I would love to see more vision on climate and on climate jobs.”
Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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