Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Mar 25, 2021

Martin Stephenson By Line Goyette


As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada. Given that he took office nearly a year into the pandemic and its related restrictions, it is easy to imagine him drawing on past experience to lead Signify’s response to this current health challenge and its consequences for Canadians and Canadian business. I first asked Martin, “How has your journey led you to the position you hold now? What were the most important moments?” If I were to sum up his answer in three words, I would say automation, connectivity and sustainable innovation. Here’s what Martin told me.



“I was born in England but studied mostly in Germany as part of my time with the Armed Forces. I focused on electrical engineering, then moved on to law. After leaving the army, I moved to a systems integration company, where I first became interested in automation and then sustainability.

“I worked for Schneider Electric in the U.K. for 18 years, with a focus on process automation, energy management and sustainability. I then moved to a more strategic role that involved travelling across the whole of Europe.”

At this point in Martin’s career, he and his wife moved to Canada for family reasons (his wife is Canadian). Martin assumed the position of Vice President - Process Automation for Schneider Electric, based in Quebec and then Toronto.

After choosing to leave Schneider Electric, he formed his own management consulting firm, advising clients on innovative strategies for growth, operational health and sustainability. Martin joined Signify in 2019 as Head of North American Professional Systems and Services, and in February 2021 became President and CEO of Signify Canada in addition to his existing Head of Systems and Services role. “I’m here to stay. Canada is my second home.”

Part of the appeal for Martin is “a culture in Canada that places a lot of value on sustainability and energy management, and this matches Signify's values.”

Martin enthusiastically quotes the results of Signify’s Brighter Lives, Better World 2020 sustainability program: “In 2020, we achieved carbon neutrality for all our operations across the world and now use 100% renewable electricity. We also generated 84% of our revenue from energy-efficient products, systems and services, exceeding our target of 80%. On top of that, we sent zero waste to landfill across all our manufacturing sites. With a supplier sustainability performance rate of 99%, we were well ahead of our 2020 target of 90%. Canada is committed to reducing its energy consumption, and I want to contribute to it with sustainable lighting solutions that allow us to be more efficient.

Martin Stephenson “It is hardwired into our purpose, our strategy, and the way we do business. We need to address some important challenges of our time — climate change, resource scarcity, population growth and urbanization. They shape the needs of our customers, our employees, and the society we live in. We also want to assure a safe and healthy workplace for our employees.”*
Turning to the pandemic, Martin says “it requires us to work more closely with clients — to work with them on preparing the infrastructure for returning to work. We have the technologies to support them in this challenge, such as a comprehensive offering in UV-C to allow a safe return to work, and monitoring and mapping the flow of people in offices to support, for example, more rigorous cleaning in areas where people congregate. I see my role as an ambassador of these technologies, presenting solutions that make sense to our clients. The solutions are available now, not in the future. We have the technologies.”

Trends in lighting

“Connectivity is the game changer in lighting, building infrastructures of connected lighting, roads and streets, homes, offices. To support our clients more effectively and efficiently, we are digitizing our engagements and our processes. We know how to use technologies to create closer and more productive relationships with clients.”

Martin sees the pandemic environment in which he assumed the role of president and CEO for Signify Canada as far from an obstacle. “It’s been an opportunity to better understand clients’ needs, to explore new ways of working, to support them and the members of our team.”


Line Goyette is Managing Editor of Kerrwil Publications’ Electrical Group.

* Signify has followed up on Brighter Lives, Better World 2020 with Brighter Lives, Better World 2025, which sets ambitious new goals for the global organization.

Latest Articles

  • Prev
As every distributor knows, there is a labor and driver crisis in every market. It affects hiring ...
Real gross domestic product rose 1.1% in February, the largest monthly growth rate since ...
Wholesale sales rose 0.3% in March to $79.8 billion, with the largest increases coming in ...
According to a recent study from market research firm Graphical Research, The North America ...
ABB recently hosted Billions of Better Decisions - Empowering the Workforce with the ...
The Ontario government is working for workers by investing more than $13 million to provide free ...
In March, Southwire celebrated its 72nd birthday. In the week of May 6, its longest tenured ...
Hammond Power Solutions Inc. has announced its financial results for the first quarter 2022. ...
EFC members have an opportunity to be recognized for marketing excellence and trail-blazing ...
At the beginning of 2022, global material shortages and rapidly increasing costs havenow become the ...

 

CEW-31-UNEnvironment-WorldAccreditation-400.jpgClimate change poses very real risks to people and the environment. Extreme weather events like the destructive storm we just saw in Ottawa that left thousands without electricity for days, and damaged homes and critical infrastructure, are a stark reminder that we must take action, now.

Countries around the world agree – achieving a more sustainable future is a top priority. Commitments like the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the landmark Paris Agreement and the ISO London Declaration, bring nations into a common cause to undertake the ambitious efforts it takes to tackle one of our time’s most critical challenges.

Read More


 

BirdRecently, Bird Construction Inc. was pleased to announce that it has been selected to lead the design and construction of a state-of-the-art, net-zero plant protein processing facility for Phyto Organix Foods Inc. in Strathmore, Alberta. The value of the progressive design-build contract is approximately $125 million.

Bird will lead the design and construction of the facility and the 3D connectivity to the processing equipment. The 100,000 square foot facility will be the first net-zero plant protein processing facility in North America, employing industry-leading technology solutions to recycle and reuse water, leverage low emission energy sources, and reduce overall energy consumption. 

Read More


 

 

Statistics CanadaReal gross domestic product rose 1.1% in February, the largest monthly growth rate since March 2021. Inflationary pressure remained in April 2022, when the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.8% year over year, a slight increase from March 2022 (+6.7%).

After surging by nearly 340,000 in February, employment rose by an additional 73,000 in March as Omicron-related restrictions eased, and was little changed in April. After reaching a record low of 5.3% in March, the unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 5.2% in April.

 

Read More


 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
As part of its ongoing modernization efforts, Southwire has announced the installation of new ...
Supporting its long-term modernization strategy and building on its goal to remain generationally ...
Franklin Empire Inc., the largest independently owned electrical distributor in Canada, and MONTONI ...
Franklin Electric Co., Inc. is pleased to welcome Kyle Carron to its Industrial & Engineered ...
Adding continued investment in Canada to its core foundation of innovative Design, installation ...
AD and Torbsa Limited are announcing an agreement to merge the two groups. The ...
AimLite is proud to announce that its Products Warranty has been awarded certification by the ...
Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) is acquiring the award-winning data management ...
S&C Electric Company recently announced Anders Hultberg as its new president of S&C ...
43 years ago, Steve Silverstein bought a table saw and a delivery van and began a revolution in the ...
 

 

AD and TORBSAAD and Torbsa Limited are announcing an agreement to merge the two groups. The merger is expected to close July 1, 2022. Established in Ontario in 1966, Torbsa is a shareholder-owned group made up of twenty-seven independent building supplies distributors, with 48 locations across Canada.

Rob Dewar, president of AD Canada, discussed how Torbsa's strong leadership and financial success made the buying group an ideal match for AD. Rob Dewar, president of AD Canada, discussed how Torbsa's strong leadership and financial success made the buying group an ideal match for AD.

 

Read More


 

IDEAThe Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA), in collaboration with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), announces the launch of the Harmonized Data Model (HDM) Advisory Council.

The Harmonized Data Model (HDM) initiative is defining a unified data model in IDEA Connector that enables manufacturers to easily syndicate to multiple formats and empowers distributors’ eCommerce experiences with more consistent, normalized product data.

 

Read More


 

 

AimliteAimLite is proud to announce that its Products Warranty has been awarded certification by the National Lighting Bureau’s (NLB) Trusted Warranty Program. The NLB Trusted Warranty Program recognizes excellence in lighting companies that meet objective quality standards and practices regarding their warranty administration.

In order to obtain that certification, AimLite was assessed based on five criteria: formal warranty process, warranty language, length of business/warranty insurance, technical evaluation, and claims review evaluation. By complying with the five evaluation criteria, AimLite clearly demonstrates its commitment to providing quality products and services to its customers.

Read More


 

EIN FE LEED 400

Franklin Empire Inc., the largest independently owned electrical distributor in Canada, and MONTONI are excited to launch the construction of the company’s new headquarters designed to support future growth. This family-owned 4th generation company is also celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. In summer 2023, Franklin Empire employees will move into their new facility of nearly 190,000-square-feet, conveniently located along Autoroute 40 at the junction of Autoroute 13 in Saint-Laurent and close to the Ericsson and VSL campuses developed by MONTONI. The building, which will be targeting a LEED certification, will triple the firm’s warehouse space and double its office area, while improving the customer experience and providing employees with a work environment adapted to the new reality of today’s job market.

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2022 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil