Smart Company: Belgard Hardscapes
Belgard Hardscapes joins A Better Way Community and the Come Alive Outside movement as a Smart Company to be a strong partner in education. To promote professional growth and knowledge, Belgard offers courses to its customers through Belgard University events across the United States. These classes help companies run their businesses by using education and environmentally friendly tactics, said Ken O’Neill, Belgard’s vice president.
“It’s truly a university. It’s a collection of courses that people pick and choose,” O’Neill said. “As you attend these classes, you’re going to run a better business and install a better product.”
With its university approach, Belgard hopes to create an educational atmosphere for contractors to learn about new products, design concepts, sustainability and business skills. “It’s not about teaching them to sell a product, it’s about being a partner with them,” O’Neill said.
Belgard partners with its customers to help them maintain clients and market to new ones, despite a struggling economy. The company encourages contractors to continue marketing with door hangers, postcards and yard signs, insuring that Belgard’s business sense will pay off in the coming years.
Thoughts of benefitting the environment plays an important role in the way Belgard is managed. Belgard — a brand of Oldcastle Architectural, Inc. partnered by CRH, Inc. of Dublin, Ireland — is a part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a key group of companies that are profitable and great stewards of the environment.
When designing new products, Belgard’s research and development department examines the entire cycle taken by a material that is used in a Belgard hardscape. The department investigates ways to increase the function of the item and decrease its impact on the planet.
Belgard not only helps reduce the impact of storm water run off with its line of permeable pavers, but it also acts locally on its properties by managing storm water run off at its own sites adhering to and surpassing local storm water laws.
This focus on the environment is important to Belgard, because its leaders know preserving the planet is essential to the company’s long-term success.
“The economy is going to come back. The question is: how are we going to do things with consumers to be a little bit smarter,” O’Neill asked. “The companies who do it smart are the ones who are busy today and are the ones who are going to be much busier in the future.”