Ecosystem’s founder, Andre Rochette, shared his insights on Ecosystem’s growth and international expansion in an interview with Les Affaires, a Quebec-based media outlet. The article, available here in French, is part of a special feature on the 300 most important SMEs in Quebec and reveals how Ecosystem entered the Ontario and US markets over the last two decades. Along the way, Ecosystem encountered some obstacles it has since overcame.
The company’s first exposure to the Toronto market was through a bid invitation for a real estate project in the early 2000s. There, they discovered a high demand for services related to energy efficiency, waste reduction, and energy infrastructure upgrades. Seeing the potential of Toronto’s large number of buildings and clients, Rochette decided to open an office there.
Geography played a pivotal role in Ecosystem’s expansion strategy, focusing on densely populated cities within a short flight from Quebec. New York first emerged as a prime choice. Today, the company’s engineers can also be found in several North American cities, including Boston, Washington, Columbus, and San Diego. Ecosystem’s approach involves setting up offices in cities where regulations encourage decarbonization, ensuring economic stability, and adaptability for the company.
Expanding internationally posed workforce challenges, with the need to find individuals who understand the company’s culture and the science of building. The most challenging aspect was ensuring that the right people were chosen here in Quebec to establish a presence in the region. A significant responsibility rests on their shoulders: starting the office on the right foot before a local team gradually takes over.
“We let the people on-site make daily decisions, but culture is non-negotiable,” emphasized the entrepreneur.
Ecosystem has learned from experience and now has a rigorous process for conveying its vision and culture to recruits. While Ecosystem faced higher construction costs and stricter regulations, the ease of doing business in the United States surprised Rochette, presenting significant potential for a Quebec-based company. Ecosystem actively targets cities with restrictive regulations promoting energy transition. Rochette believes that real action is needed in the field of energy transition, beyond mere talk. As carbon costs rise and standards evolve, Ecosystem’s solutions developed over the years are increasingly relevant, allowing clients to benefit from their experience and expertise.