A short history of Prism Care Corporation, 2019’s Small Business of the Year.
Two decades ago, the commercial cleaning landscape was on the cusp of change. Expectations for what defined a safe and effective cleaning experience were beginning to evolve. Green cleaning was in its infancy with pioneers like Felix Borges, Founder and CEO of Prism Care Corporation leading the charge.
“I spoke to many people from all sectors of the JanSan industry – particularly front-line cleaning staff who are exposed to toxic cleaning chemicals every day while doing their jobs,” recounts Borges. “The need for safer options for both people and planet were clear.”
It’s this need that fueled Borges’ determination to found family-owned Prism Care Corporation in April 1999 with a mission to benefit people and the environment and to launch its first success, PrismEnvironmental®, a series of high-performance, heavy-duty cleaners designed for the commercial cleaning market. “We tirelessly researched the best natural, plant-based and sustainable raw materials, and created countless formulations to satisfy the needs of the industry,” Borges explains. At the time, Prism Care was one of only a handful of companies who offered EcoLogo (now UL ECOLOGO) products that were tested and certified for environmental leadership.
“It was not until the Canadian government began mandating the use of recognized third-party certified products in their facilities did our ideas for a safer cleaning experience begin to really gain traction,” Borges shares. “Those reluctant to make the switch jumped on board and began seeing the value of what we were doing.”
In the following years, Prism Care continued pushing the boundaries of what a natural cleaning experience could be, introducing BioFactor™, a line of non-pathogenic, bacteria-based products and in 2003, launching Eco-Max®, the company’s flagship brand and gold-standard for healthy cleaning.
“Many conventional cleaning products contain toxic ingredients that can reduce indoor air quality and cause adverse health affects, in addition to polluting our environment,” explains Borges. With Eco-Max, the company chose to leverage plant-based cleaning agents to create a significantly safer cleaning experience for people and the planet.
Eco-Max was embraced by professional cleaning services for its strong performance and full range of solutions. Its now used in major banks, airports, and other commercial and recreational facilities across the country, including institutions with strict indoor air quality standards. On the heels of strong JanSan success, in 2006, Eco-Max launched a consumer line that has since grown to over 100 SKUs of household cleaning products. Now, the brand is sold in over 1,000 Canadian retail outlets, including independent health food stores and major grocery chains like Loblaws and its banners, Canadian Tire, Sobeys and Walmart—and exported to international markets like the United Kingdom.
Prism Care has come a long way in the last 20 years, and it would seem the company’s trailblazing has paid off. Today, industry decision makers and household consumers see the value of green cleaning technology and are taking time to learn about safer cleaning practices and healthy living. “We’re thrilled at how far we’ve come. Canadians are more educated than ever and continue to ask the right questions about their cleaning products. They’re also asking about the company behind the brand and we’re happy to say, we’re making an impact there, too,” Borges shares.
Prism Care strives to adopt sustainable practices and is shaping industry trends on a global scale. For nearly a decade, the company has incorporated sustainable energy in its operations and today powers its 46,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility with renewable energy from Bullfrog Power. It has taken a leadership role in its packaging practices, using 100 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic in some of its most-used consumer products. In 2014, Borges was appointed to a Standards Council of Canada committee that contributed to the creation of ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement, a new global standard enabling organizations to implement sustainable environmental, social and economic development. During the process, he represented the Canadian committee at ISO/PC-277 international meetings held at the British Standards Institute in London, England. Borges is also currently a member of the UL Committee tasked with developing the new standard UL 3420 Sustainability of Plastic Packaging, which aims to address sustainability factors for plastics such as energy use, material efficiency, chemical hazards, recyclability, in addition to impacts of production and end of life.
Borges shares the future of Prism Care is looking bright and is in good hands with his sons Sheldon Borges, President, and Ian Borges, Vice-President – Marketing & Communications who have played integral roles in Prism Care’s journey. “We are going to continue demonstrating to Canadians and people around the world that choosing a safer cleaning product isn’t just the right choice for healthy living, it’s the right choice for the future.”
Interested in a safer cleaning experience for your business? Get in touch with Prism Care at (905) 820-2273, toll free (888) 538-3300 or visit www.prismcare.ca.