CCI Woodwork

What Makes the World Go 'Round

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Derek DaCosta

Derek DaCosta


University of Guelph

University of Guelph


Ruben Burga

Ruben Burga

Global Goals

5. Gender Equality 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 10. Reduced Inequalities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

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· The employees who implement care and value to the raw materials used in the manufacturing process. Their morale and commitment to making quality furniture reflects an organizational structure that is hard to build, but is efficient at working together.

· The shop manager who oversees the employees and is efficient at managing the resources and minimizing waste.

· The owner and suppliers, contributing to the vision of choosing more sustainable inputs that would otherwise contribute to the degradation of the planet.

What: Their morale and commitment to making quality furniture reflects an organizational structure that is hard to build, but is efficient at working together.

Where: The impacts of the structure of the organization can be seen at all levels of the business. Firstly, from the skilled workers and then to the managers who over see and who work alongside the other, less experienced, workers. Next, the owner and front office workers who effectively communicate to their important customers (M.A.C, Estee Lauder) effectively to get the job done and on time.

Why: Starting from the bottom of the business with the employees working as skilled labour, the impacts of understanding how the business operates as well as generating enough feedback from more skilled workers allows the training time to be reduced as well as a reduction in learning curve for new employees. In addition, using a more decentralized managing process makes the employees happier because they feel like the are contributing to a purpose bigger than themselves.

After working in the same line of work for 15 years, Ed DaCosta decided he would try to limit the impact the business had on the environment. Knowing how he could improve certain areas of the business, he decided he would reduce his landfill waste contributions by 25%. Because of the chemicals and other harmful substances that the company works with, he felt it was necessary because while he has been growing as a business, so did his impact on the environment.

Having reached the point he was at in his business where he did not need to focus on “surviving” and getting business in order for his long-term success to be a reality, he decided to refocus his methods onto a more sustainable method.

When: The decision to move to a move sustainable and efficient method of production started about 15 years ago. Mr. DaCosta has since tried each year to give back to his employees who have contributed to the growth of the business as well as setting a yearly target to continuously improving the company efficiency process, and how they operate as a team.



· The dust that would have been otherwise expanded into the environment, and dispersed into the shop’s environment is collected and recycled. The wood scraps is not wasted, and is collected and recycled rather than being sent to the landfill.

· Changed all the lights in the facility into energy efficient light bulb

· Reducing the impact on Environment by switching from regular contact cement, versus the 3M water-based contact cement.

  • Decentralized workspace where all can participate in the process in getting the job done and done correctly

What Makes the World Go 'Round



As for the UN Sustainable Development Global Goals, CCI Woodwork seems to be implementing the following: 5)Gender equality; Although the typical woodworking facility is most male dominated, CCI offers positions for women and currently there are 5 women working in both the manufacturing and administrative process. 7) Affordable and Clean Energy – By utilizing the energy efficient light bulbs, shutting off equipment and lights at the end of the night or when they are not in use. 10) reduce inequality; there are multiple different cultures working for this company (12 different nationalities out of 28 employees)as well as the pay is based on skill not preference and those who have been with the company a long time get paid a share of the profits the business had made during the year. 12) Responsible Consumption and Production- Making sure they are utilizing more environmentally friendly inputs since they will be eventually sent back to CCI either to be dismantled or stored for recycling. Any waste is eventually milled down and sent to a Sawdust company who recycles the milled wood fibers and turned it into usable products (i.e skids, particle board etc.)

Overall impact

Overall Impact: By reducing the amount of waste per day, proper utilization of their resources in a sustainable fashion allows CCI Woodwork to have less impact on the environment through its daily business interactions. Customers choose CCI Woodwork based upon not only the quality, but care that they put into creating their products. This provides mutual benefits.

Transportation costs, and subsequent pollution are reduced by having multiple industrial garbage bins so that the need to empty the bins is less frequent.

Business benefit

Business Benefit: As the company has been able to find a sustainable method to their business practices, they have reaped the monetary benefits of saving money, getting the respect from their customers as well as future prospects to grow further. As they continuously reevaluate their manufacturing process, more value is spread amongst all players; not just a zero-sum game.

Social and environmental benefit

Societal & Environmental Benefit: The lights that they had changed was high pressure metal halide 400 watts where changing them from regular T5’s lights generate more output of 224 watts with a savings of around 40% of energy and 40% more light output. Since the lights are on for 12 or more hours a day, this adds up significantly.

In addition to changing a dangerous contact cement that has been known to be controversially used in the industry, in 2008 CCI Woodwork had also sponsored children in Rafiki Orphan Care Home in Tanzania, East Africa. Since this experience, they have attended and sponsored other organizations (i.e Caritas Rehabilitation Centres) that they feel add value to what they believe in as a company and as members of society.


Ed DaCosta, Owner/Founder

Business information

CCI Woodwork

CCI Woodwork

Mississauga, ON, CA
Business Website:
Year Founded: 1993
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
Founded in 1993, CCI Woodwork manufactures custom store fixtures with CNC technology using skilled labour. They have been growing in size since their inception- from $1 Million dollars to over $14 million dollars in sales in the span of 23 years. Initially, the business was renting out of building, and struggling to hold their heads above the water in terms of survival. However, though their differentiated approach in JIT manufacturing, was a choice that Ed DaCosta had made moving forward as the business grew. Focusing on custom Millwork and not entering the roll-out production line of work (i.e: places like Ikea that may compromise quantity over quality), Mr. DaCosta avoided the waste and over utilization of limited resources associated with doing business while taking care and ownership in the process.