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Partnering to Improve Our Waterways: ESG With EJ

Reflecting on their business heritage on the banks of Lake Charlevoix, Michigan, and company values that encompass the protection of their community, environment, and waterways – the origins of EJ in the Asia Pacific region are apparent in their local approach to sustainability.

“The original foundry was started in 1883, surrounded by lakes, fishing, and natural forest. We have well-understood corporate values and two of them are environmental responsibility & community involvement. These strong values carried over into the Australian business,” says Simon Bottomley, the Regional Director and General Manager for EJ in the Asia Pacific.

With the EJ grate systems providing a vital first line of defence for improving stormwater outcomes, their involvement in local Australian water projects extends back to 1985. EJ is a reputable leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of access solutions for water, sewer, and drainage – with Australian production based in Brendale, Queensland.

Establishing a partnership with Stormwater Shepherds in 2022, Simon outlines that the relationship is based on a shared vision for a cleaner water future that incorporates EJ company values and provides valuable business – building opportunities.

"When we were approached by Stormwater Shepherds, we were impressed at the reputation of the group in the stormwater industry – and other sponsors like SPEL Stormwater."

"The passion (for the environment) is combined with a sensible and balanced approach to green initiatives that works for our business."

ESG in Australia: Taking a Sustainable Approach

Involvement with Stormwater Shepherds has helped break the ice when it comes to community-based discussions outside the day to-day business. Outlining a shift in the local business landscape, and the growing demand to show that businesses are investing in a sustainable future, Simon explains,

“What we are seeing around Australia is a lot more focus on ESG (environmental social governance), and businesses like to align themselves with businesses with similar values. Particularly in our industry, we are hearing about a number of councils, specification engineers, and contractors that are holding those values close.”

“They like to work with businesses that demonstrate a care and concern for achieving real ESG outcomes – it’s easy to say these things… but you really need to demonstrate that you are serious about it and doing something tangible.”

Direct action has been a key outcome from the ongoing environmental efforts by EJ, with local clean-up events providing valuable opportunities for team building and a sense of achievement.

“We have found clean-ups to be a good team-building opportunity, allowing our team to work together, do something for the community – while helping out and contributing to a greater purpose. Everyone was proud of being involved.”

Reflecting their desire to communicate these commitments with their customers, the flexibility of Stormwater Shepherds’ sponsorship has been beneficial – the ongoing partnership is showcased through product stickers, vehicle signage and brochures.

“It is about positioning the EJ brand in the Australian market as something reliable, and credible - and shows care for our local environment and communities."

"We see Stormwater Shepherds as a great way for us to be involved and demonstrate that we are doing a lot more than just talking about it. Actions, not words.”

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