The Association of Pacific Ports is pleased to welcome BNAC Environmental Solutions Inc. as its newest Associate Member. In joining the APP, owner Chris Richardson noted that the Association’s international reach played well into their growth strategy. “Given the success we have seen here on the West Coast of Canada, along with our global ECO-certifications for environmentally friendly industrial products, hydraulic fluids, heavy-duty cleaners and absorbents (to name just a few), we are confident that markets throughout the Pacific Rim can benefit greatly with our alternatives to toxic chemical products,” he said.
BNAC was established in 2002 following Richardson’s personal experiences in the agriculture and auto industries. “I found I would suffer adverse effects from the chemicals or solvents being used in both of these industries,” he said, noting that his initial focus on worker health and safety soon expanded to include the environment given the obvious benefits. “I would watch as workers would clean their hands with methylene chloride and not realize how toxic this chemical was and how much damage it could do to their internal organs. They just assumed it was safe because it had always been used so casually. It was at this point that I started to look for ways to expose and replace the toxic chemicals with alternatives that were as effective but not harmful.”
Richardson’s first product – Bio-Strip — was developed to replace methylene chloride and was used exclusively by Toyota for over 10 years. The success seen with Toyota (who awarded Richardson with two three-star supplier awards) led to the development of additional products and by 2004, BNAC was well on its way to developing solutions for other solvents and cleaners.
A key milestone for BNAC came in 2014 when they were sought out by Panolin, a Swiss company with over 70 years of experience in producing high performance lubricants – and over 35 years of experience in environmentally considerate lubricants. The partnership has led to BNAC being the supplier of record to companies such as BC Ferries, Global Container Terminals, BC Hydro and Metro Vancouver among many other municipalities. In addition to providing Panolin products, BNAC has developed their own suite of products for a diverse range of industries, including marine, mining, municipal, rail transportation, energy, hydropower, drilling and dredging.
“All of our products are certified green through a third-party global program operated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as eco-certifications for our lubrication line from Germany’s Der Blaue Engel, other ECO certifications, and BNAC is a Green Marine Partner,” said Richardson, pointing out that many products on the market today will call themselves “bio” or “green” but that “just having the word in the name doesn’t actually make them friendly to the environment.”
Another myth dispelled by Richardson was the argument that “environmentally friendly” means it doesn’t work as well as products with hard-core chemicals. “BNAC products have been proven to work better than Toxic chemical-laden products,” he said. “Our hydraulics, for example, are guaranteed for 30 years in fixed applications, and our readily biodegradable OECD 301B (within 28 days) bio-lubricants have been proven to surpass all the requirements for OEMs. It simply lasts longer and is a better product.”
Most recently, BNAC has been busy working with green-minded organizations to develop absorbents and was pleased to introduce a number of new products that address spills in residential, commercial, municipal, marine and industrial applications. CocoAbsorb Granular Absorbents, for example, are made entirely of repurposed material once considered a waste byproduct of the coconut foods industry. “It is a natural and renewable resource that is safe to use and effective in absorbing all fluids in varying viscosities. Richardson also noted that CocoAbsorb’s particulate structure can increase up to nine times its own mass, allowing for encapsulation and absorption of a greater volume of fluids with much less product than traditional clay-based adsorbents, saving both time, reducing waste and money.
In looking to the future, Richardson sees great opportunities ahead in working more closely with ports and terminals. In recent years, port and terminal operators have become aware of the need to address contamination levels of terminal lands, especially older terminals where toxic products have been seeping into the ground for years. “The Port of Vancouver and Global Container Terminals, for example, have undergone reviews with the goal of eliminating the impact of operations on the land,” Richardson said, adding that other ports and terminals around the West Coast have been benefiting from BNAC ECO solutions, including Surrey Fraser Docks/DP World, Westshore Terminals, Squamish Terminals and Seaspan.
Welcome to the APP!