Experience of the Company:
The annotated list of projects below illustrates the kinds of things that the principals of Small & Rubin Ltd. have tackled and the capabilities that they have developed:
Marketing Healthier Products
Sustainable Solutions: Small & Rubin Ltd. assists manufacturers in designing and launching new products that represent sustainable solutions to specific problems. Such products are naturally based, ecologically compatible, and health-friendly, and can be produced and used for hundreds of years without causing damage. For example, Cogent Environmental Solutions Inc. pioneered Ecogent™ "Cleaning Without Harming" natural cleaning products, which significantly reduce the risk of aquatic toxicity from residual detergent surfactants entering natural watersheds.
The Envirodesic™ Certification Program: Small & Rubin Ltd. runs a private-sector marketing and certification program, using the Envirodesic™ certification mark to develop aware consumer markets for non-polluting building materials, finishing and maintenance products, to encourage the development of specific low-emission products capable of creating healthier indoor environments, and to acknowledge those products which represent outstanding examples of the direction in which the world needs to go to achieve healthier environments and full sustainability. Examples include Cogent Environmental Solutions and Process Cleaning Solutions natural cleaning products.
Creating Healthier Indoor Environments
Healthy Building Design: The Envirodesic™ Certification Program also provides design and certification services to assist building owners and their architects in creating healthy buildings with Maximum Indoor Air Quality™. Envirodesic™ homes have been built in Canada and the United States and low-indoor pollution design has been incorporated into larger buildings such as the Queen West Community Health Centre in Toronto, and the Whitby Mental Health Centre in Whitby, Ontario.
Healthy Building Management: The principals of Small & Rubin Ltd. have participated in joint ventures to assist building owners in managing their premises in an efficient, cost-effective manner, and in such a way as to provide a healthy indoor environment, particularly through the use of non-polluting cleaning and maintenance methods and materials, and with the help of preventive maintenance practices and proactive planning and inspection. In particular, we have worked together with Urban Solutions Inc. to implement a healthy building management system for the Queen West Community Health Centre in downtown Toronto.
HealthySchools.com: The principals of Small & Rubin Ltd. developed a searchable Internet database and networking tool under contract with Technology and Health Foundation and in co-operation with Pollution Probe. The database and Internet networking site, known as HealthySchools.com, brings the field of healthy building design and management to officials who are responsible for maintaining healthy indoor environments in schools, both within Ontario and beyond. The networking system will also encourage cross-Board communication and better relationships between parents and school boards on environmental health issues.
Other Health Promotion and Social Marketing
Tools of Change and Social Marketing: One of our affiliates, Jay Kassirer, wrote the widely acclaimed workbook and Web site, Tools of Change: Proven Methods for Promoting Health and Environmental Citizenship and served as social marketing specialist for the still-flourishing Green Communities. Jay is a recognized leader in the development of social marketing approaches. He has often been called upon to help plan, implement and evaluate social marketing / market transformation communications for such organizations as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (Sustainable Communities and Partners for Climate Protection inititatives), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (Healthy Housing, and Sustainable Community Planning initiatives), and Environment Canada (Canadian Biodiversity Information Network, and Climate Change public education and out-reach).
A National Strategy for Creating Healthier Indoor Environments in Canada: Jay Kassirer is also working closely with Pollution Probe to implement a cross-Canada consultation and alliance-building process for the development of a national strategy for creating healthier indoor environments in Canada. Face-to-face forums are being combined with advanced computer discussion capabilities to develop a Canada-wide "committed action network" which will create the national strategy and move the field of indoor air quality forward. This process is based on the recommendations in an extensive report produced by the same group last fall, covering jurisdictional issues, voluntary initiatives and market capabilities in the indoor environment field. (To join the cross-country discussion, visit http://www.healthyindoors.com.)
Improving Community Health Services
Community Health Centres: The principals of Small & Rubin Ltd. assisted in the early stages of preparing a Functional Plan and funding submission for West Hill Community Services, which intends to create a new community health centre in eastern Scarborough which will deliver a new approach to primary health care services for high-needs populations including refugees, young mothers, youth, unemployed and the elderly. The building will also be a model for the application of environmental health factors in building design.
Environmental Health Centres: Along with the Technology and Health Foundation, the principals of Small & Rubin Ltd. have participated for many years in the Healthy Environments Project, which was formed to fund and create specialized environmental health clinics that will assist in the diagnosis and treatment of environmentally-related illnesses. Bruce Small pioneered the design of such clinics through work on Sunnyhill Research Centre, a facility active during the period 1978-1995 northeast of Toronto, Canada.
Healthy International Development
Environmental Health in Developing Countries: The principals of Small & Rubin Ltd. have begun to develop projects in co-operation with government and industry in developing countries, that will enable these countries to avoid some of the environmental health problems that more developed countries have experienced. A joint project was completed with business interests in Canada and Nicaragua, under funding by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and included environmentally safe building materials and avoidance of dependence on air conditioning and its attendant energy requirements.
Global Biodiversity Clearinghouse Mechanism: Jay Kassirer developed the inaugural strategic plan for the global Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) operated by the United Nations Environment Program's Convention on Biological Diversity, and conducted an independent evaluation of its Pilot Phase. The CHM is the primary global cooperation and information network on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, incorporating a range of communication vehicles from advanced Web approaches to personal contact.
Development of New Tools for Enabling Healthy Change
COMMPOST™: An acronym based on "Communications Management with Pooled Object Server Technology", COMM/POST™ is a customized searchable Internet database management and networking system designed by the principals of Small & Rubin Ltd. with the assistance of CMAC Web Design to help our clients deliver well-organized information directly to their constituencies through Internet computer connections or through trained librarians. Similar to its backyard composter counterpart, COMM/POST™ is like a large information bin designed to be filled continually with useful chunks of information, and to be turned regularly to combine its ingredients into useable forms. The bin can be accessed at will by designated users to answer questions of interest, to connect with others in the same network, and to deposit knowledge and experience of their own for the benefit of others.
Best Practices Synthesizer: Jay Kassirer also offers (through Cullbridge Marketing & Communications) a Web-based solution that helps communities of users to share and refine best practices. It enables these users to contribute to a growing bank of case studies and 'lessons learned', that are linked with evolving planning / instructional guides and worksheets. The interactive planning / instructional sections can be set up to include plenty of examples, linked to the case studies from which they are drawn. These can be presented to each user in a customized manner, according to his or her interest profile. Users can save their planning work between sessions, and can download the resulting draft plans and work summaries to common word processors for further refinement.
Technology Transfer Systems: On a larger scale, our COMMPOST™ custom Internet search engine technology can enable fast and efficient technology transfer from those who develop ideas to those who are in a position to implement them in diverse circumstances around the globe. COMMPOST™ accelerates the application of useful ideas by assisting people in acquiring or disseminating whole fields of knowledge far more quickly than would otherwise have been possible. Manufacturers are able to deliver a whole field of expertise to their customers in addition to the products that will allow them to implement it.
Committed Action Networks: The principals of Small & Rubin Ltd. have been pioneers in the proliferation of candleholder networks, the latter term being based on an acronym derived from "Committed Action Networks with Distributed Leadership Environments". A candleholder network is a collection of individuals committed to a particular type of action, all of whom are connected informally among themselves, usually by the use of Internet e-group technology. Supported by our COMM/POST™ Internet database systems and networking portals, candleholder networks can orchestrate market transformations in ways that were impossible under previous organizational structures.
For a list of products and services provided by Small & Rubin Ltd., click here.