Learn how this Geography alumnus applies his knowledge of ecosystems to business strategies

Scott Friedburger smailing in a suit

By Mariam Zahir

Take a look at any natural ecosystem and you’ll see many different smaller systems working together. Plant life, water, animals and even people come together to make a natural environment what it is. 

This is something Environment alumnus Scott Freiburger learned while completing his BES in Geography at University of Waterloo in 1997. This knowledge not only inspired his career as Managing Director and CEO at AET Group Inc., but also informed how the company would operate.

AET Group Inc. is a multidisciplinary environmental consulting, auditing, and scientific services company that understands how managing ecology projects requires the same kind of interconnected approach found in those ecosystems.

As such, AET Group Inc. provides expertise in waste, ecology, building sciences, energy and environmental management. The company services a variety of sectors, ranging from manufacturing, healthcare, government, and commercial – just to name a few.

Future plans for the company include an increased presence in more provinces across Canada and even international work.

“The calculated risks that we took and basically just having the vision and the passion, knowing that we do have expertise and specialization to offer is what helped us grow,” says Freiburger. “Internationally, you have other issues to deal with like culture, security, international laws and so these are things that we’re looking at and we hope to expand,” he says.

Freiburger credits much of the company’s success to the people he works with. Attracting people who share the sustainable values he learned in Environment has helped make his company successful.

“By bringing like-minded individuals on, who have leadership skills, the vision and passion for the environment, and goals, we’re able to be the success that we are,” explains Freiburger.

Freiburger has also shared his expertise with students at University of Waterloo in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) by instructing an environmental management systems course in fall 2013.

“It gives me a chance to share my years of experience, giving students the theory and helping them apply it in cases and gain as much understanding as possible,” he explains. 

By Mariam Zahir