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Companies We Like: Eclipse Awards

Companies We Like: Eclipse Awards

December 17, 2010

Vancouver, BC
By: Callum Ng

It is a bit of a trip to get out to the Eclipse Award offices, located in the heart of Strathcona’s commercial district. You have to follow Hastings up to Main, turn north, and enter that lovely area of the eastside where history and adversity meet with environmental consciousness and business creativity.

Certainly, upon entering the Eclipse Awards warehouse, it is clear that this business belongs in the aforementioned geography. Upstairs, I met with Toby Barazzuol, a longtime employee of Eclipse Awards, and a big, friendly guy.

What is Eclipse? Well, in a business directory they might be ‘Corporate Awards Manufacturers’, but Barazzuol thinks of it differently “We focus on the human side of recognition”, he says, “we want people to feel appreciated and valued, it’s all about happiness.” Human Recognition, that sounds better.

Truth be told, Eclipse Awards has been developing beautiful awards for years, and supplying the corporate community with meaningful recognition pieces. More than that however, and why I was interested in visiting, Eclipse Awards has taken their social responsibility to another level.

A green business through and through, Eclipse has been designing iterations of their core product line that uses reclaimed materials such as glass and wood. “We want to change people’s perception of what is valuable and beautiful,” remarks Barazzuol. “Each piece has character and a story behind it.”

Use of alternative materials, while a more sustainable practice, does not come without challenges. “We have encountered difficulties finding a consistent and reliable source of the raw materials,” says Barazzuol, which no doubt makes this an even more impressive endeavour. He also cited that not all customers are initially responsive, but that the percentage is growing, and that’s a good thing.

Here at Green Grads, we know that not everyone is as earth conscious as we are, but we know that there is a place on the continuum of green practice for all. Barazzuol feels the same, and you might say that Eclipse Awards is ahead of the curve. Recently, the company installed a green roof, right on top of their own building. During my visit, I had a chance to check it out.

Barazzuol feels that the money they invested in the roof was returned in positive media attention, and word of mouth advertising. “We could have invested the money somewhere else, but we wanted to do something different,” he says. “We did most of it ourselves, it is a good place for our staff to relax, have a BBQ, come up and take a break.”

Indeed the roof is impressive. Rows of wild plants, grasses and other foliage make up the centre, with more potted type plants along the outside. Ample room for chairs, a BBQ and an awesome view of the Vancouver harbor. Pretty nice.

I suppose I learned a lot from my visit. There are companies that do a lot for the environment like Eclipse Awards and Green Grads, but really, it starts with the little things, such as wanting to make great recognition pieces or provide clean windows every time. That consistency is what it is all about, and why I am happy to call Eclipse Awards a Company We Like.   

Check out some more photos from my Eclipse Awards visit.