By Asquith Williams, COO Charlotte Products Ltd
At Charlotte, we are proud of our history. As we look back on where we started, it’s pretty good to see that the same vision that guided our company from inception is still guiding us today.
More than 30 years ago, a visionary in the field of sustainability teamed up with three chemists to bring effective, healthy and environmentally responsible cleaning solutions to the market. Charlotte Products was born from their shared vision. Over the past three decades, Charlotte Products has grown into a global leader for sustainable cleaning innovation. All along the way, we’ve been defined by our ability to predict the cleaning industry’s needs and trends before they happen and our unique ability to match those needs with innovation, simplified knowledge transfer and expertise. We find success by constantly improving our healthy, safe and sustainable cleaning solutions.
While the vision is the same, the way Charlotte looks is quite different today than it was in the beginning. We were a tiny company when we were established in 1986. We had only a handful of staff members and were making tiny batches of cleaning products. As demand for our line of environmentally preferable cleaning products steadily increased, we launched Enviro-SolutionsⓇ and our niche product listings, which really took off.
Many of the people who started with Charlotte back in the early days are still here. I’ve worked at Charlotte for 23 years, but I’m actually the junior in the family. Mary Batley, our Director of Finance, has been with the company for more than 40 years – even before Charlotte existed! Peter McMurray in Product Development, and Jim Flieler, Vice President Sales Canada, have both been here for more than 30 years. It’s the kind of working environment that you want to stay with.
Growing Our Ontario Facility
I’ll never forget the day our very first mixing tank was delivered to the warehouse. This tank was humongous to me; it held about 6,000 liters of product! Before that tank arrived, we were mixing very small batches in tanks that were about one third the size. On the day of the delivery, we all stopped working to help move the big tank and find a place to fit it into the building.
Of course, today we have a plant and warehouse that is more than 60,000 square feet and we use tanks that hold 24,000 liters! We’ve come a long way from that small warehouse with the tiny mixing tanks we started with in 1986. As we continued our commitment to creating environmentally preferable, sustainable solutions we quickly realized how important it was to ensure our own facilities and practices were as sustainable as possible.
In 2007, we performed an energy retrofit on our manufacturing and distribution facility. In 2009, we installed our solar wall and implemented a company-wide sustainability development strategy. In 2013, we become a USDA Organic certified facility and in 2017 we were registered by the U.S. FDA. In 2018, we became GMP Certified (Good Manufacturing Practices Certified Facility).
Milestones + Accomplishments
We’ve been honored with a list of recognition and awards lately, and it’s a wonderful culmination of decades of hard work. In 2018, we won the ISSA Innovation Award for our Terrazzo/Concrete program. And just this year, we have received the Balpex President’s Award in recognition of outstanding dedication, support and service. As we look ahead to the future we feel optimistic about the market’s reaction to our product offerings and now there’s only more room for us to grow.
A lot of people ask, “Who is Charlotte anyway?” The folklore goes that our founder’s mother was named Charlotte. I’m not sure if that has ever been confirmed, but I like to think that if it’s true, we’ve made our namesake proud.