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BIZ profile: Emerge Knowledge Design Inc.

Emerge Knowledge Inc is an innovative green tech company in The Exchange District, like many businesses in The Exchange, it’s located above street level.

It’s easy to get to know businesses when we walk past them all the time, but we rarely venture up. We were curious about Emerge Knowledge, so we recently went up to sit down with President Rick Penner, a waste management and sustainability expert for nearly 30 years. Rick and his team developed North America’s leading waste and recycling data management and reporting software Re-TRAC Connect. Rick shared with us a bit more about what they do, how they’re impacting the future of waste management and his top three tips for a more environmentally sustainable office.

Who: Emerge Knowledge Design Inc.
Where: 401-250 McDermot Ave
Staff: 20
An Exchange District neighbour since 2003

What does Emerge Knowledge do?

Emerge Knowledge is an environmental technology company that delivers Re-TRAC Connect, the leading waste diversion software system that sustainability professionals trust to efficiently collect, manage, and analyze recycling and solid waste data. 

How does Re-TRAC Connect impact environmental change?

Data is the starting point. Our web-based data service allows organizations to efficiently collect, analyze, organize and report on their waste management programs. Our software helps clients manage information more efficiently. With better data, our clients are able to make more informed decisions about their waste diversion and recycling programs. Also, we have recently launched new standardized reporting options that will make it possible to more easily benchmark data between jurisdictions, a first for the industry.

Who uses your products?

There are over 40,000 total users in Re-TRAC Connect with clients ranging from the US EPA to small municipal agencies and everything in between.  

Why did you choose the Exchange District for the Emerge Knowledge office? 

I can’t image us having an office anywhere else. This is a unique, special place. The energy, the festivals, and the architecture. Everything is close by – either by foot or bike. Most of our staff live nearby and it’s important to be central. We provide 100% subsidy for bus passes too. 

I noticed a cool bike rack, tell me about that.

It’s made from recycled materials. We use recycled materials wherever possible in the office.

Your favourite Exchange District lunch spots?

Chosabi, Peasant Cookery, Red River College Culinary Exchange and Shawarma Khan. 

Best place for a Friday after work hangout?

We tend to bid adieu to the week together in the office – we have our own beer keg and foos ball table! 

Your top three tips for a more sustainable office:

1. Strive for zero waste

2. Choose materials made with post consumer recycled content

  • 100% recycled paper
  • office furnishings, kitchen products

3. Choose energy efficient office equipment

  • make the switch to energy efficient lightbulbs
  • choose energy efficient equipment (computers, copiers, monitors, small appliances)

Thanks so much for your time, Rick. So grateful for the work of Emerge Knowledge and its impact on the environment.