Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 4, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Keystone Environmental Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2022):
- Keystone Environmental helps employees balance their day-to-day responsibilities through a number of alternative working options, including flexible hours, shortened work weeks and telecommuting -- and the company quickly moved many employees to work-from-home arrangements and online meetings during the pandemic
- Keystone Environmental starts new employees with three weeks of paid vacation and considers previous work experience when setting vacation entitlement for experienced candidates -- and longer serving employees can apply for an unpaid leave of absence, up to one year in duration
- Keystone Environmental offers a variety of financial benefits, including profit-sharing for all employees, signing bonuses for some, year-end bonuses for all and generous referral bonuses of up to $3,000 depending on the position
Saving the planet is fun at Keystone Environmental
It’s not exactly the way Lara de Beer pictured it while she was in high school, but she’s happy to have the opportunity to help save the planet one site at a time while working at Keystone Environmental Ltd.
“You don’t really understand the realities of engineering as a young student, but here I am cleaning up dirty water and soil while doing remediation work, which is really nice,” says de Beer.
“I’ve always wanted to make things on Earth a little bit better – now I’m doing it in a different way than I imagined when I was younger, and that’s really rewarding.”
Keystone Environmental specializes in environmental engineering, contaminated sites and assessment, biology, and indoor air quality. Headquartered in Burnaby, B.C., the company employs engineers, geo-scientists, biologists, toxicologists and environmental scientists to provide environmental solutions to its clients.
As a junior environmental engineer, de Beer works with her team on a wide variety of projects, which can mean tackling an industrial wastewater treatment issue one day and conducting an environmental audit or cleaning up a contaminated site the next. That might mean being in the office, working from home, or off in some remote corner of the province doing what she loves.
The hours can be long, but de Beer appreciates Keystone’s flexible work hours program where she can bank her time and take it off when she needs to recharge her batteries. It’s part of the company’s holistic approach to employee support that emphasizes work-life balance and wellness. In addition to comprehensive health benefits, the company provides tuition support and in-house training programs.
“We prefer to promote from within and the only way to do that is to ensure that people are growing and developing in their careers,” says COO Ray Bertani.
Keystone culture encourages employees to work hard and play hard while contributing to the community at large. Thanks to a hybrid return-to-office COVID-19 policy, employees can once again hold foosball tournaments in the head office lunchroom, attend company social functions, and interact and collaborate with their peers face to face.
During the pandemic shutdown, they socialized virtually with events such as online cocktail hours and murder mystery dinners. While the COVID-19 crisis has been hard for employees, they look forward to getting back to the fun, dynamic social interactions that the company is known for.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the employees’ support for charities like the Union Gospel Mission. which helps the homeless, and Cassie and Friends, which assists the families of children suffering from juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Most recently they donated to the Canadian Red Cross to help those impacted by B.C.’s massive flooding.
“The best thing about working for the company is working with great people in a friendly respectful, work environment – we’re just a very cohesive team,” says de Beer.
“Everybody wants to get their work done while still respecting everybody’s mental and physical well-being. And we’re not afraid to enjoy ourselves.”
With just over 100 employees, everyone knows everyone else at Keystone Environmental. Managers not only know their employees’ names, but their families and what special circumstances they may be going through. That creates close bonds between everyone working at the company.
“We look at our employees as extended family and when you do that, you do the right thing by them,” says president Raminder Grewal.
“It’s more than just about dollars and cents. It’s about doing what’s right by your employees.”