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A conversation with Michael Redding and Bryan Dexter

Let’s start by getting the pronunciation of Loureiro right—picture yourself sitting on the beach with a wide brimmed hat that we call a sombrero on to keep the sun out of your eyes. That sombrero rhymes with Loureiro (lo-rare-o)—and they may just be the people you call when you get back to the office to discuss some of your business’s building or waste management needs.

loureiro_engineering_cut_sheet_0_0.jpgWe sat down recently with Michael Redding and Bryan Dexter, who’ve been with the company 5 and 8 years respectively, to learn more about Loureiro and the services they provide to industry, government, developers, education and healthcare, architects and attorneys. It’s not easy to describe what they do given the diversity of their work. Loureiro is an engineering firm that builds relationships with clients by developing simple, accurate solutions that their clients can rely on.  This includes everything from site planning and property development, energy efficiency and waste management, employee health & safety to regulatory compliance. From speaking with Michael and Bryan it is clear that no matter what service you may be seeking, you will find a true partner with their team. Some of their projects are big and complicated and deal with terms that you don’t hear every day- if ever- so having someone who can help guide you through the process and keep it simple is key. As a team they are there to help educate you so that you can make good business decisions. Our recent conversation focused mostly on the waste management and recycling part of the business, given it would have taken hours to cover all their services. But first a little background.

Loureiro started in 1974 in Connecticut.  The Clean Water Act had been passed by Congress in 1972 with the purpose of restoring and maintaining the nation’s water through pollution prevention and assisting wastewater treatment plants. Many towns and sites found themselves in need of help to clean up their water and waste sites. Loureiro was started in part in response to this need and continued to diversify from there. Loureiro recently helped the City of Laconia develop a solution to a dilapidated section of the downtown that was spilling trash directly in the Winnipesaukee River and flooding store fronts; the solution also sparked an attraction for visitors.  When Congress passed the Superfund Act in 1980 the EPA was authorized to identify parties responsible for contamination and hold them responsible for cleaning up the sites. Loureiro became aware of a growing number of properties that due to historically poor practices found themselves with considerable contamination that needed cleaning up. Two environmental cleanup sites that Loureiro assisted with in NH are the Woods Woolen Mill in Hillsborough and Allied Tannery in Concord.

Jumping forward a decade to the 1990’s the manufacturing industry was changing its operational perspective to begin to look at ways to manage their waste better and to find ways for greater efficiency. In response to the increasing client environmental health and safety and waste management needs, along with the desire to expand its geographic footprint, Loureiro opened the NH office in 2004.  WorkWaste, which is a subsidiary of Loureiro, was created at this time to meet their clients’ demands and to fill gaps they found in the industry.  Since then Loureiro has expanded its footprint into Massachusetts, Rhode Island, DC and North Carolina. 

WorkWaste specializes in regulated and non-regulated waste, recycling and resource management in New England. Over the last ten years recycling and finding ways to mitigate waste has taken a more prominent position in companies, particularly large businesses. Waste disposal is expensive so companies are taking a closer look at ways they can minimize their waste, which supports sustainability and their bottom line.  WorkWaste is able to track trends and options for their clients, which due to the sheer scale can amount to significant savings. As someone who is most familiar with a personal compost and weekly recycling it was fascinating to learn more about the broader waste management and recycling arena and the ways that a company like WorkWaste can help businesses be intentional in their efforts to bring about meaningful change.

Many of us pride ourselves on what we are able to do on our own in an effort to make a difference. When one is talking about large scale operations it is helpful to have someone with expertise to assess one’s individual situation to be able to determine the best steps to take. When working with a service company like Loureiro/WorkWaste who handles hundreds of situations you know that you have the benefit of their collective experience to help with your situation.  

This quote from Gandhi strikes us as one apt for our understanding of the service that Loureiro and WorkWaste bring to their work and their clients.

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.”

Loureiro has a deep commitment to their clients, but also their employees. They became an ESOP (Employee Stock img_20160819_120430068_0_0.jpgOwnership Program) in 1996 which gives employees a sense of ownership and the ability to contribute to and affect the long term efforts of the company. October is national ESOP month and you will find the employees of Loureiro serving in the community during an employee volunteer day. The last couple of years they have supported Easter Seals, helping with grounds work and lending their expertise on a construction project at one of their special needs facilities as well as helping at a fundraiser for their Veterans Count program. They also volunteer at The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill which is staffed almost exclusively by volunteers, helping plant garlic and build community gardens. The NH staff is young and likes to find opportunities for fun in what can be a busy week- which can be seen at their Friday fun days where they may play Frisbee golf or wear PJs to work and start the day with a bagel breakfast.

When asked what inspired them to become members of NHBSR Michael and Bryan responded that they were impressed with the diversity of the NHBSR membership and the camaraderie that they experienced at the spring conference. While other professional organizations have a strong base of support they found themselves seeing the same people each time, so were happy for the chance to connect with and share ideas with NHBSR members from different industries. They really enjoy the opportunity to engage in pragmatic conversations around social responsibility.

We hope that you will have a chance to talk with Michael and Bryan in the year ahead—they will both be at the Sustainability Slam on October 20. They are passionate about their work and their desire to advocate and help affect change for their clients.

They both welcome the chance to speak with you if you have any questions. They can be reached at: Michael Redding, mjredding@loureiro.com,  (603) 621-5713. Bryan Dexter, brdexter@workwaste.com, 603-621-5709.