|From a young age, AET Group Inc. Managing Director & CEO Scott Freiburger had an entrepreneurial spirt and a passion for the environment. 20 years ago, while working alongside his father on a construction project, he observed large quantities of material ending up in dumpsters destined for landfills - even the materials that were recyclable or reusable, due to poor inventory control and purchasing habits. It was at this point that Associated Environmental Technologies (AET) was born and years later renamed to AET Group Inc. through a number of amalgamations.
AET started as a company that developed solid waste management programs to help construction companies minimize the amount of waste generated during projects. Now, two decades later, AET is a leading and sought-after environmental consulting company that provides sustainable solutions that protect the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the earth on which we live, focusing on 12 core services, including: air quality, building sciences, energy management, environmental audits, environmental compliance & management, environmental mitigation, GHG management, home flood protection, natural sciences, solid waste management, sustainability, and water & waste water.
The journey to success has been one full of emotions – from excitement to anxiety, sleepless nights, and many downfalls and learning experiences. Through perseverance and hard work, a merger, and two company acquisitions, AET became what it is today.
Reaching 20 years in business is no easy feat – as many business owners would tell you, but Scott Freiburger suggests that it’s his dedicated employees and loyal clients that have made AET what it is today, stating, “a business is only as good as the people who work for it.” In addition to his client-first approach, Scott believes adaptation is another key factor to AET’s success throughout the years. “Adaptation is crucial in the business world. Just because something worked last year or the year before, doesn’t mean that a new technology or technique won’t tilt the playing field. You need to be prepared to adapt.” It wasn’t until five years into the business, after AET did adapt to the industry, that the company really kicked into high gear. In 2004, AET landed a large contract with Stewardship Ontario, which propelled AET to specialize in waste composition and characterization analyses of municipal solid waste – still a significant part of the company.
Over the years, AET has been the recipient of numerous awards including Profit 500 Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2014, 2015, 2016, & 2017, however, to Scott, the greatest success comes from the ability to contribute to a sustainable future: “Many people take having clean air, water, and land for granted. Earth is home to millions of species, but just one dominates it.
Humans continually contribute to the impacts on the planet and climate change is happening – whether it’s man-made, natural, or a combination of the two, it’s affecting us.” Through its operations, AET has pledged to be an environmentally conscious company committed to its role in a sustainable future by ensuring that the public, industries, and organizations are educated and made aware about how our decisions and habits can impact the environment.
So, what’s next for AET? Despite the recent change in government and the subsequent cuts in environmental project funding, Scott plans to continue to work towards carbon neutral operations and a net positive building, in addition to continuing to grow and expand AET through diversifying and offering new services, acquiring companies along the way and providing a more global presence.
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