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Karim Abraham, CEO of Kambo, On Sustainable Electrical Contracting

Sustainability, once simply a fancy buzzword, has become a driving force behind innovation and decision-making across a number of industries. From changing regulations, to clients who are looking for sustainable solutions, this transition can represent a big headache for Electrical Contractors who are hesitant to dedicate extra resources to making the shift.

But Electrical Contractors who are open to the opportunities that this drive towards sustainability represents will find that there are many.

To better understand how ECs can stay ahead of the sustainability curve, we spoke with Karim Abraham, who is the CEO of Kambo — an electrical contracting company that is leading the way in sustainability and innovation, and is reaping the rewards.

Who Is Kambo and What is Sustainable Electrical Contracting?

Kambo is a Vancouver-based Electrical Contracting company with a heavy focus on sustainability. They provide turn-key energy solutions for residential and commercial buildings, with a focus on improving energy efficiency — something that’s good for the environment and their clients’ budgets.

Kambo provides LED lighting, electrical vehicle charging station and sub-metering and monitoring services. They also specialize in what they call “sustainable electrical contracting”.

What does that term mean for Kambo?

“Sustainable electrical contracting means being a leader in implementing clean technology,” says Abraham. “It’s being ahead of the market – not being afraid to try new things.”

It’s a philosophy that has worked well for the company, which is steadily building a reputation as a leader in sustainability in the electrical contracting sphere. It has also led to economic success for both the company and their clients.

“We focus on sustainability because it is one of my personal values, and the team shares it,” says Abraham. “But it also makes economic sense. Sustainability done right should also be better financially than the alternative.”

It’s a statement that highlights how Kambo views it’s approach to sustainability: not as a liability but as an asset.

That is the philosophy, but what does it look like in practice? And how can others follow suit?

Embracing Sustainable Practices

Abraham identifies three actions that Kambo has taken to build an electrical contracting company that is truly committed to sustainability: implementing sustainable practices, adapting sustainable technologies and building a culture of sustainability.

“Something we really focus on is education,” explains Abraham of one of Kambo’s primary sustainable practices. “It’s important to educate the client about the opportunities that exist for more efficient products, and how those will be beneficial in the long run,” he says. “Especially when a technology is new, or more expensive up-front.” The benefits to clients might include a good long-range return on investment, or more immediate advantages. For example, automating climate control in a building is both a more energy efficient option and a more comfortable one for the building’s users.

Other sustainable practices that Kambo embraces include:

  • focusing on responsible disposal of material (recycling what’s recyclable, for example),
  • identifying ways that they can safely re-use products (which also generates cost savings), and
  • prioritizing the implementation of new, more sustainable technology.

Adapting Sustainable Technologies

Kambo strives to be an industry leader in adapting cutting edge sustainable technology. “Being recognized as market leaders reflects well on us,” Abraham says of one of the benefits of this kind of leadership. “It puts us ahead of the curve.”

Some of the sustainable technologies that Kambo champions are:

  • commercial solar installations,
  • LED lighting (“We don’t look at any other options,” explains Abraham.),
  • sub-metering and monitoring, and
  • controls (“We advocate for better controls on everything – not just the bare minimum.”).

Another up-and-coming technology that Abraham is excited about is electric vehicle charging, for residential and commercial settings. “It fits so well with our mission,” he enthuses. “It’s still early days and the technology is growing. We want to be experts.”

Building a Culture of Sustainability

In order to successfully implement sustainable technologies and practices, Abraham insists that building a company culture that values sustainability is crucial.

“Sustainability is a journey,” he explains. “You have to build a culture of people who believe in it.”

Building a culture within an organization is a process that requires commitment. But according to Abraham, it’s a commitment that pays off.

“I want to emphasize that sustainability in any industry is about finding win-wins,” he says. “It’s not about having to choose between sustainability and making money. It’s about finding solutions that do both -and when you do, you’re able to accelerate the uptake of these technologies.”

Work With Kambo

Do you have an electrical project that would benefit from a committed, sustainable approach? Visit kambo.com

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