In an effort to answer frequently asked questions, we have come up with 52 WEEKS of EHG. Each week we will answer a different question related to our business and operations at Environmental Holdings Group.
1. Why the name EHG?
As we grow, we want to invest in environmentally impacted opportunities. This may include purchasing buildings or sites which have an environmental liability associated with it, that makes others afraid to acquire it. EHG, in an effort to responsibly protect itself, will manage and own smaller groups which either perform remediation work in other markets or, as mentioned above, hold properties which meet this or other guidelines?
2. Why the colors Blue and Orange?
When creating a corporate color scheme it is important to pick colors that best represent your company and display a positive message. The reason we chose our colors are BLUE represents 1st place and ORANGE represents Safety – two key factors that are pertinent to our company! We always want to be the best and we always want to put safety as our TOP priority!
3. What does our logo mean?
4. Why the locations of our offices?
We have chosen locations strategically that allow us to make use of our resources, both human and equipment, efficiently. For example, our heavy equipment can easily travel from office to office keeping them utilized 80% or more of the time. As we grow we continue to seek out locations that either (1) help support a major market or (2) serve as a dedicated operational base which can grow by adding satellite offices.
An example of the first scenario is us opening a small satellite office in the growing Spartanburg SC (Upstate) market. The Tampa office is an example of a dedicated operational base which allows easy access into the major cities of Florida.
5. What is CORE?
“Core’s” sole purpose is to provide all Division’s with back office support. By having core we are able to eliminate task being performed repeatedly within one office. All accounting, payroll, hiring, legal, and similar affairs flow through to Core. Essentially anything non-field like is performed in one central location allowing each office to solely focus on finding and executing work on a daily basis.
6. What is the EHG Safety Academy?
EHG Safety Academy is one of the more important parts of EHG’s Safety program. Every quarter EHG employees gather for a day of Safety training and team building activities that is unequalled in our industry. Workers are given training on Safety topics such as Fall protection, confined space entry, fire watch and others. At the same time workers and supervisors get to spend time together and cement the ties that make us a strong team.
7. What is our EMR?
EHG has an Experience Modification Rate (EMR) of .74, best in its industrial classification.
EMR is an insurance underwriting tool originally set up to measure an employer’s workers’ compensation claims experience. If the calculated EMR is less than 1.0, the employers claims performance is considered to be better than the average governing class. Most of our clients ask for our EMR rates as a way to prequalify our company. A low EMR qualifies us for projects others in our field may not.
8. When did EHG open?
EHG was incorporated in 2004. However our management team acquired their division which was part of the Associated Group which was founded in 2001.
9. EHG is licensed in which states?
At this time we are licensed to perform work in: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Florida and Virginia.
10. What types of services does EHG provide?
Asbestos Abatement, Lead Abatement, Mold Remediation, Hazardous Material, Demolition, Concrete Cutting, Historic Preservation, Duct Cleaning, LEED Recycling, Infection Control and Soil Remediation
11. Does EHG qualify as a minority owned business?
During pre-qualifications and bid opportunities EHG is often asked this question, however EHG is NOT minority owned.
12. What is the background of our owners, BJ and Brian? How did they decide to start this business?
Both Brian and BJ began in the abatement and industrial hygiene consulting industry. During this time they worked with dozens of remediation contractors. After BJ worked for two of the largest firms in the industry, he received an opportunity to open an office. Brian was brought on at this point to handle sales. As part of the owner’s exit strategy he made an offer for profitable divisions to buyout their office. We knew from the beginning that the market needed a consultative approach to remediation work and reliable firm to handle the relating demolition activities. Fifteen years later the need is still being fulfilled.
13. What has been our most technically challenging project?
We have tackled so many tough ones over the years. Some projects that come to mind include the Savannah Acid Plant Abatement, which pretty much took place 100 feet in the air. Duke University Perkins Library required us to cut and fly thousands of feet of concrete in a very tight space. The Eastland Mall was a size-able task that required great coordination and salvage skills. But the most challenging project would have to be our first. The RBC Bank’s main office in Rocky Mount required us to remove these one ton asbestos cubes from the bank of several weekends in a critical path nature. The project was complimented by the fact that we had no crews, no supervisors, and honestly no full idea what we were doing. Help from corporate never showed up and we were left to our own devices. We quickly built a team, employed everyone’s input, worked long hours and completed the job safely and profitably!
14. What are the biggest challenges EHG faces moving forward with growth?
The simple answer is — to much growth!!! We must align our opportunities with those which are best suited. As labor shortages continue in almost all markets, we must keep the best employees and constantly invest in innovative ways to perform our work as safely and efficiently as possible. We are committed to both!!!
15. What is our first project that took us out of our comfort zone?
Victory Lane Mills in Mooresville NC was the first project where we had to use our asbestos, lead, haz mat, blasting and demolition skills. This turnkey project was in a 100 year old former textile mill and had an 18 month duration.
During this project EHG was able to work with the owners, consultants and the GC to identify a cost saving strategy to dispose of thousands of cubic feet on inert debris. Instead of hauling the debris to a landfill, the owner wanted to reuse the debris onsite to fill in the basement of a large structure which had been demolished. The State of NC insisted that the debris be free of lead paint. Serving as both a consultant and service provider, EHG identified a tremendous savings by performing our state-of-the-art wet abrasive blasting of the interior wall surfaces, which contained lead paint.
The project’s value finished at over $2.5 million which at that time was over half of our total revenue for a year. If we failed or even broke even on this project we would not be in business today! In fact, due to the extensive teamwork on this project by our employees and subs, we ended up far exceeding our profit expectations.
16. What size project is EHG able to handle?
EHG is in a unique space where we have certain capacity to handle a specific project which may exceed the 10 million dollar mark. However, each project requirements will dictate how we would evaluate the opportunity. For example, we do NOT currently have the resources to perform a project that would require us to man a job of that size with a 30 or 60 day completion. If the project is staggered over a 6-12 month period, it would not be a problem.
Additionally there are numerous variables to go into deciding how large of a project we can handle. This would include bonding capacity, anticipated cash flow, retention duration, client relations, location of the project, our current work on hand and a few others which will limit our appetite for projects of significant size.
17. Does EHG have a statement of qualification?
Yes, EHG has a statement of qualifications (SOQ). In our SOQ we highlight information regarding our company history, company insurance and bonding, professional organizations we are active members of and recommendation letters. But most importantly in our SOQ we provide numerous project profiles that demonstrate our capabilities. Often this information is a required submission in order to be prequalified to bid on a project. By providing these project profiles, it allows our clients to gain a better knowledge of the extensive experience our company has.
18. Will our company ever expand to the west coast?
For us to consider moving to any new markets outside our geographical strength it would require “perfect opportunities.” A great example of a perfect opportunity would be our project in Texas. In this area we are doing great work, finding great labor and at this time the economy is robust. So in order to expand to the west coast we would prefer to have that same type of scenario as above, a client that could lead us into stable work as well as the ability to grow our resources in that market. However, it is unlikely we would be expanding to the west coast in the next 5 years.
19. What level of insurance do we carry?
EHG carries a $1 million dollar general liability with an excess $10 million umbrella policy primarily because it is required under most contracts and it protects our company from catastrophic events. Our other lines of coverage are typically inline with industry norm, which is $1 million across the board.
20. What is the breakdown of revenue sources?
Predominantly equal shares come from environmental and demolition services. Our scrap makes up 5-10% of total revenue depending on market conditions. Select and structural demolition is where we will see margins significantly expand between the two in years to come.
21. Does EHG have a SDS Booklet? What is a SDS Booklet?
Yes EHG does have a SDS Booklet. The purpose of the booklet is to provide a comprehensive collection of material safety datasheets as required by 29 CFR 1910.1200 and 29 CFR 1926.59 “Hazard Communication Standard” and is to be used in conjunction with Environmental Holdings Group, LLC’s written Hazard Communication Program. Additionally, it is to ensure that the each employee is provided with detailed information on each hazardous chemical utilized during normal operations, including its potential hazardous effects, its physical and chemical characteristics, and recommendations for appropriate protective measures.
22. What is our commitment to safety and the environment?
EHG is a leader in it’s field because of our uncompromising dedication to the health and safety of our employees, and a strict compliance to environmental regulations. We are constantly implementing and reviewing work practices to ensure that we minimize any risk that our employees may face. We also continually invest in advanced technology to replace labor-intensive procedures with safe, cost-effective and efficient mechanisms. EHG carries the highest rated insurance and bonding protection available to remediation companies, allowing companies to contract with us, knowing that their projects are being secured to the greatest extent.
23. Does EHG own its own equipment?
EHG takes a reasonable approach in building the volume of capital equipment we own. The first criteria requires a special need that will keep the equipment in use for at least 80% of the working week. The second criteria is to purchase equipment which we have invested a considerable amount of funds, like an excavator that has been on constant rent for 8-10 months and we get to utilize a portion of rental fees into the buy down. Operations keeps a full list of all equipment.
24. Does EHG have a salvage program?
We have progressively evolved into a company that captures 90-95% of all ferrous and nonferrous metals on our structural and interior demolition work sites. We are also successful in reselling select mechanical components such as chillers, compressors, and newer equipment. While we, from time to time, resell select furniture and appliances it is not something we feel is a full time sustainable division. This is primarily due to the costs with handling, holding, and reselling the items in an efficient manner. Overall, with the current bottoming of the metals market withstanding salvage plays a significant role in our companies overall profitability.
25. Does EHG provide new construction after demolition is complete?
EHG provides limited build back services. This includes minor reconstruction activities such as installing ceiling tile and small quantities of flooring and drywall. All of which are typically related to our remediation efforts where we remove selected impacted items due to environmental concerns.
26. What is the strangest thing we have seen on a project?
Some of the more “strange” things we have come across are:
- Confederate Solider remains
- Hissing Geese
- Walking out of containment to find the crews clothing stolen
- Gutting out BRAND new furniture, fixtures, and buildout of offices spaces after the Great Recession
- Finding money behind safes
27. What is EHG’s bonding capacity?
EHG bond needs are handled by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company has an A.M. Best Rating of “A++”. EHG is financially sound and has the ability and financial capacity to bond single projects in the $10,000,000 range with an Aggregate Capacity in the $20,000,000 range.
28. What associations are EHG a member of?
We strongly believe that one of our competitive advantages is in our commitment continuous education within current industry trends and technologies. In doing so, we belong to the following associations; Environmental Information Association (EIA), Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), Carolina Section of American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Carolina’s Association of General Contractors (CAGC), Carolinas Environmental Information Association (CEIA), National Demolition Association (NDA), Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Duct Cleaners of America (NADCA), and ABC Carolinas.
29. What are EHG’s Core Values?
Safety, Empowerment, Leadership, Performance, Education
These are the core values of EHG, the fundamental beliefs of our company.
30. At this time how many employees does EHG have?
Currently, EHG averages 275 employees (including staffing companies we team with).
31. Does EHG participate in third party prequalification?
Yes, EHG subscribes with global resource companies such as Textura, Browz LLC, and IS NetWorld. These third party prequalification services allow participating corporations centralized compliance information including verification of licensing, insurance, safety, quality, environmental and financial scores and other information to subscribing companies.
32. What is EHG thankful for?
While EHG has a tremendous amount to be thankful for, our best attribute is our commitment to a strong safety culture. Every aspect of having a safe work environment is built around a steadfast commitment to our employees wellbeing. We commit resources year in and year out to insure that we are in front of trending issues, and we also are diligent in insuring that we address accidents from a holistic view.
33. Describe one of our most interesting projects we have managed?
One of our projects that we found interesting was the Lake Norman House project. This was a project were we had to demolish and abate a house that was located on an island. Interesting fact about this project was we had to BARGE our equipment over to the island and then chip all of the wood on site for ground covering of the island.
34. List one of the biggest changes we have seen within our company?
One of the biggest changes we have seen within EHG is the evolvement of its employees. EHG has a great team with multidisciplinary backgrounds which truly makes us a full service contractor.