Customer Relationships: Community first

November 11, 2019 -  By
Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services cares not only about its clients but also about the wider community. (Photo: Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services)

Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services cares not only about its clients but also about the wider community. (Photo: Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services)

There are so many ways Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services puts an emphasis on customer relations that at first Terry Nicholson wasn’t quite sure where to begin. But as the company’s vice president got to talking, it became clear just how much the Markham, Ontario-based company values not only its clients, but its entire community and the role Clintar plays in the wider world.

“We believe in community first and want to establish ourselves as a brand that cares,” Nicholson says. “If people see they are working with good corporate citizens, that may help retain customers and perhaps attract new customers as well.”

Terry Nicholson

Terry Nicholson

Environmental sustainability is a driver behind almost everything at Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services, a $71 million company that provides 55 percent snow and ice management, 40 percent maintenance and 5 percent installation services to a 92 percent commercial, 7 percent government and 1 percent residential clientele. The company is always seeking out new and better ways to do things, including converting to battery-powered equipment and running a hybrid fleet; incorporating new, eco-friendly snow and ice management tools and technology; and helping clients meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification standards.

“Environmental sustainability has always been part of the way we operate,” Nicholson says. “We can’t continue to do things the same way in 2019 as we did when we started in 1973. You have to evolve and meet the current needs.”

But the company’s environmental efforts expand far beyond the day-to-day operations. In August, the company launched Clintar CARES, an ongoing nonprofit initiative with a goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. In partnership with organizations and universities throughout Canada, the program will, among other things, challenge a nonprofit academic research lab to develop new products and services to help Clintar become greener.

Clintar held a fundraiser and donated $30,000 in 2018 to Make-a-Wish Canada. (Photo: Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services)

Clintar held a fundraiser and donated $30,000 in 2018 to Make-a-Wish Canada. (Photo: Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services)

It will award scholarships to students at Canadian universities in the fields of environmental sciences, energy management and landscape architecture, as well as encourage employees to gain certifications surrounding environmental initiatives. The annual Clintar Case Competition will bring students together for a two-day summit challenging them to create solutions that will influence real-world corporate sustainability efforts. The program is broad and aspirational, and Clintar is excited to get started.

“It’s a brand-new thing,” Nicholson says of Clintar CARES. “We hope to get our name in front of these new, young leaders.”

Of course, Clintar shows customer appreciation in traditional ways, too. The company hosts an annual fundraiser for Make-a-Wish Canada, last year donating $30,000 to grant wishes for three children with life-threatening medical conditions. It is an active sponsor of The Brandon Prust Foundation, which focuses on improving the lives of children. And you can always find Clintar supporting local charities and events that reinforce environmental sustainability and education. Because without a sustainable planet, any other efforts will be for naught.

Clintar’s main priority is to evolve to meet current sustainability needs. (Photo: Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services)

Clintar’s main priority is to evolve to meet current sustainability needs. (Photo: Clintar Commercial Outdoor Services)

“First and foremost, taking care of the planet is the right thing to do,” Nicholson says. “It is part of our generation’s responsibility to protect the planet for the next two and three generations.

“We all understand that no one person can do it alone, but if everyone does a little bit, the world will be a better place when we are all gone,” he adds. “Even though we can’t do it all right now, doing what we can is better than doing nothing.”

This article is tagged with and posted in 1019, Cover story, Featured

About the Author:

Emily Schappacher is a freelance writer based in Cleveland.

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