PurNat for Spotful Causes

Can a profitable business be environmentally conscious and proactive? I believe that it can. Purnat believes this as well.


PurNat is a not-for-profit organization, a reference, and pride for the protection of nature and its inhabitants. They aim to be a leader in illegal dump cleanups and forest restoration. Protecting the environment by setting up and operating a cleanup service in Canada. In only two clean up seasons, they have retrieved over 1 200 000 pounds of trash out of nature with the help of business and volunteers.

Everyone should read the book “The Responsible Company” from Yvon Chouinard, the owner of Patagonia. I think we should reduce our environmental footprint; we need to respect the planet we are living in. We all need to rethink how we do things in life, changing things doesn’t mean losing profit, it means doing it better and better certainly means better profits. We need to educate and sensitize more citizens in order make things change for a better future for our children.  


I had the chance to ask Jean-Raphaël, the CEO of PurNat, a few questions.

-What would you say is PurNats biggest strength, I mean what loophole have you been able to exploit.

We have combined our experiences to create a one-of-a-kind non-profit organization. We noticed that illegal dumping is a social problem, we are all affected in one way or another to this problem. We decided to work directly with business because they are far more open mind than the government itself. We know that businesses are always looking for ways to work on their social implications, that is where our biggest strength is. Our second-biggest strength is our expertise in cleaning up these illegal dumps, every site that we clean in unique because of the location, the inclination, the accessibility and the type of waste that is present on the site.

-What's the difference between initiatives like Greenpeace and PurNat?

The first difference is its age. We founded PurNat in summer 2013 and our first clean up in November 2014.  We are an organization that does concrete acts, and that can mobilize business and citizens. Greenpeace does it differently and totally has its place in the world of nonprofit organizations.   

-How many sites have you cleaned up to date?

We didn’t go small because that is not how we are. Like I said, our first cleanup was in November 2014, and we have retrieved over 15 tons of waste from the environment that day. Our next cleanup, 175 tons of waste with over 140 volunteers and so far we have cleaned 11 sites. We are aiming to clean over 30 sites this year all across the province of Quebec and New Brunswick.

-How do you approach big companies to come and do these massive clean ups?

Simple, we meet them and show them the cleanup project and there you go, all set! No, not that simple... We found a way that works for the benefit of nature, business, and PurNat.

How many dump sites do you find every year? And how do you mobilize the process to clean them up?

We find lots of dump sites every year, but thankfully many citizens contact us to give GPS coordinates and pictures of the dumps. Once you find an illegal dump, you will be able to take you cellphone out of your pocket and take a picture, enter valuable information of the dump site. It will then transfer to our interactive map located on our website.  

In what part of the process can Spotful be helpful?

Spotful is very useful for us. Since we make videos for all our events is useful for us since we can add interactive content to our videos like maps and contact forms to register to the next event or educational info slides. We can also add a donate channel directly in our video. This brings lots of value to our mission and for our clients.  

-What are the main goals you want to reach this season?

Mobilize more and more people and sensitize them about this huge problematic all around the world. Retrieving over a 1 000 000 pounds this season would mean the world to us.

-Is this initiative only for large enterprises? Or can individuals take part in these clean ups?

We work with businesses and mobilize their employees, but we do have cleanups open for the public all across Québec and New Brunswick. Feel free to visit our website for cleanups event.

-Mathieu Coates. Customer success manager @spotful



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