Using Waste to Turn The Rust Belt Green
October 4 2013 by Steve Rosenbaum
Mid-Market Company of the Week: Magnus International
Eric Lofquist and partner Scott Forster had backgrounds in the recycling industry and shared an entrepreneur’s dream of creating something from nothing. In 2007, the pair purchased a defunct oleochemical plant (manufacturing bases for soap and other products from plants and animal fats) and Magnus International Group was born.
Innovation is intertwined into every aspect of Magnus International Group. Lofquist & Forster did not change their industry as much as they created a sub-sector. No other company does what Magnus does, much less in the way they do it. The company repurposes natural waste products into specifically designed products for its customers. Translation – they buy discarded fats, greases, and other waste stream components, then converts these materials products into ingredients for animal feeds, waxes and alternative fuels.
How big is this business? Lofquist and Forster don’t like to talk numbers, but published accounts show Magnus has grown from $2.6 million in sales in 2007 to more than $70-million in 2011.
Magnus’ repurposing goes beyond turning waste materials into useable products, one of the company’s facilities is powered by methane gas from a nearby landfill. As for continuous innovation, at any given time Magnus is testing three to five different products, some that won’t make it past the lab stage. Forster calls it a kitchen filled with the “most unbelievable pots and pans you can imagine.”
Lofquist and Forster built a company that is family business-minded when it comes to culture and big business visionary when it comes to creating sustainable products. Most employees know the two principals and it is not uncommon for either to stop by during the third shift to check on the well being of their associates.
Read: Cleveland.com / Magnus International Group co-founders see huge opportunity in recycling other companies’ waste / May 14, 2013 – http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/03/magnus.html
Read: Smart Business / Eric Lofquist, founder, co-owner, president and CEO, Magnus International Group / June 30, 2012 – http://www.sbnonline.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=24124