Creating a Legacy of Sustainability in Oxford County

Sustainability and recycling aren’t just buzz words. They represent a large-scale shift in the way people think and act. Whether through transitioning to lean manufacturing, encouraging rideshare programs for employees, setting up a recycling program, or reusing formerly discarded materials, companies are taking the initiative to help reduce their environmental impact.

Oxford County’s Future Oxford Sustainability Plan is known to many of these forward-thinking, sustainably focused companies. One of which is Kevlar Development Group (KDG). Started eight years ago by Laura Murphy and her husband, Kevin, KDG is not your typical development company. “We care about the community we’re working in and what’s best for the people living there. We provide services to places that don’t have them,” says Laura.

Laura and Kevin observed a trend of people moving from busier metropolitan centres, such as Kitchener and Toronto, to smaller communities such as Innerkip. When people arrive, they soon realize there’s a lack of services in their new community. Anything from a pizza joint to an accountant is not as easily found as it was in their larger community.

That’s where KDG comes in. They develop infrastructure to support new services in the community.

Their current project is a development in Innerkip. They purchased the old Trinity School and are converting it into an 8,000 square foot plaza that will be the home to many local services. “We want to bring something to the area that will help everyone. We’d like to create a space for insurance companies, financial advisors, and pharmacists. Things that everyone needs,” says Laura.

The demolition process began earlier this year with the goal of starting construction in late spring or early summer. Similar to other projects KDG has done in the past, this project has sustainable processes at its core.

Their goal for the demolition was to reduce the amount of materials sent to the landfill. All doors and glass windows were donated for use in farming buildings. They recycled all wires, lights, and electrical panels. As much metal as possible was recycled, including duct work, the metal roof, and metal beams. The concrete from the building is even going to be crushed and reused as the base for the parking lot!

Over 22,000 pounds of metal were recycled from the Innerkip demolition.

“We’re really proud of the approach we took for this demolition. It isn’t just about getting things done as fast as possible. It’s about finding an efficient way to do things sustainably whenever possible,” Laura comments.

Laura makes it very clear that they are not your typical development company. “If you see us on site, come over and say hi! Ask us questions.”

Future Oxford is committed to preserving the quality of life, community well-being, environment, and economic viability found in Oxford County. For more information, visit www.futureoxford.ca.