Category Archives: Join Conversation

Petzl Lets You Climb (and so much more) with Confidence!

By Steve Klass, Executive Director, P3 Utah

Night hiking with Petzl headlamps

Night hike? No problem. (c) Dan Patitucci

Most of us know Petzl products not for support of vertical and emergency professionals or their wonderful company philanthropy but for helping us play. The sport contribution of Petzl is immense, from supporting caving to mountain climbing and anything human-powered in between. Ascending or descending, there are special devices for every sort of rope control you can imagine. Headlamps have been designed for a full range of activities. Check out all the anchors for rock and ice:   serious gear here. Viewing the equipment available makes even urban bound flower gardeners and sidewalk exercisers like me want to stretch out and do something new.

Petzl makes a descender for everything.

A descender for everything.  (c) LaFouche

And remember, all this stuff is made to the highest safety standard with great care given to waste reduction, energy efficiency and care for both the humans producing and distributing these items and for the communities impacted by supported recreational activity. Join us April 23 to tour their Platinum LEED building and hear about their workplace and conservation practices and local and global philanthropy.

Petzl ice screw

Petzl ice screw.  (c) Guillaume Vallot

Petzl North America Headquarters Tour
April 23, 2015  2 – 3:30 p.m.
2929 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, UT 84119
RIght off Trax!



Petzl Positioned at the Pinnacle of Pragmatic Philanthropy

By Steve Klass, Executive Director, P3 Utah

In the last decade, Petzl philanthropic effort has grown to contribute to global sustainability in three key areas:

The Petzl Foundation is a great example of how triple bottom line “conscious” companies develop service foci that effectively leverage the core productive and intellectual assets of their commercial enterprise.  The employees of these companies ‘serve from their soul.’

Video of INVENEO, an example of work to get IT tools to people in highly underserved communities of the developing world.

Video of INVENEO, an example of work to get IT tools to people in highly underserved communities of the developing world.

Video of training future professional trek guides in Nepal.

Video of training future professional trek guides in Nepal.

Examples of Foundation projects in the U.S. include:

Check out all Petzl Foundation-related videos

Meet local Petzl North America staff April 23 for greater insight into Petzl philanthropic work.

Petzl North America Headquarters Tour
April 23, 2015  2 – 3:30 p.m.
2929 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, UT 84119
RIght off Trax!


When A Challenging Rescue is Needed, I hope Petzl can Be There!

By Steve Klass, Executive Director, P3 Utah

Help, I'm stuck!

Help, I’m stuck!  Why did I post this on Facebook?  [NOT this blog post author or taken on island of Reunion]

I am not an emergency responder, I have never played one on TV, and, I don’t own any PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) but maybe I should(?). In fact, I could hardly pull myself up a rope even if I fell in a little hole. However, all of us humans live in a challenging world, chock full of gravity. Sometimes we need to work against gravity (even though it is a law!) to get up or down or out: our life may depend on our ability to do this. It makes sense that the words “grave” and “gravity” come from the same Latin root, as the extreme consequences of gravity certainly are grave!

At its core, Petzl makes reliable equipment for rescue professionals: top of the line. If anybody you or I care about ever needs serious help getting up or down safely, I hope that a team of highly skilled and dedicated rescue professionals with Petzl gear can get there in time. As is easy to see, Petzl equipment is made to be relied upon by the very best people doing very hard things for people to do.  Don’t take my word for it. Check out the story of the Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne (PGHM) mountain rescue unit on the island of Reunion.

Rescue team, courtesy of PGHM Reunion and Petzl North America

Rescue team, courtesy of PGHM Reunion and Petzl

So, maybe you heard that Petzl makes cool gear for civilians too, recreational climbers. Maybe YOU own and rely on some Petzl equipment. But did you know that Petzl is one of Utah’s leading triple bottom line businesses and that their North American Headquarters is right here in the heart of the Wasatch Front, right off of Trax in West Valley City, Utah?

Come and learn about a community leading company we can all be proud of. Join us April 23 to tour their Platinum LEED building and hear about their workplace and conservation practices and local and global philanthropy.

Petzl North America Headquarters Tour
April 23, 2015  2 – 3:30 p.m.
2929 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, UT 84119
RIght off Trax!


Visit Petzl and “Access the Inaccessible” in Sustainability for YOUR Business!

By Steve Klass, Executive Director, P3 Utah

Exterior of Petzl Bldg

Petzl North America HQ and distribution center in West Valley City

Petzl North America Headquarters Tour
April 23, 2015  2 – 3:30 p.m.
2929 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, UT 84119
RIght off Trax!


Petzl’s new North America headquarters facility showcases a new pinnacle of triple bottom line sustainability in Utah.  The LEED certified building is a few feet from Trax in West Valley City.  An EV charging station is in the front parking row.  A robot helps fill orders in the warehouse.  Workspace is calming with many standing desks and canine companions supporting employee productivity.  Petzl’s corporate philanthropy program, based upon its core creative competencies, is world class.

Petzl courtyard

Petzl courtyard



Petzl’s mission is to create innovative solutions, tools or services, that help people progress in vertical or dark environments. Our goal is to continuously strengthen our expertise in these two areas.
Its reason for being resides in the idea of “accessing the inaccessible“, a notion that lies at the heart of daily life for vertical and rope access professionals.

– Paul Petzl, Founder

Learn more about Petzl’s LEED Platinum building


Compassion Crosses Continents at US Synthetic

By Steve Klass, Executive Director, P3 Utah

Asanate Foundation problem solving

US Synthetic team in Kenya doing leadership and problem-solving training with one of our social enterprises, Coast Coconut Farms

To the employees of US Synthetic, the company is much more than a high performing and well recognized company. US Synthetic exists to improve lives—not only for our employees and customers but in the community. This community extends far beyond Utah. US Synthetic’s legacy of giving back and improving lives as a responsible global citizen began with its founder, Louis Pope, and it continues today through its “Engineering Good” program. The previous blog entry gave a sense of this work in Utah schools but donations from employees and the company also include significant global efforts in Kenya and other developing markets around the world.Eucalyptus farmersMiti Msitu is a eucalyptus tree farm social enterprise. Eucalyptus trees are unique in that they are fast-growing, drought and pest resistant and their straight trunks make them in high demand for timber and utility poles.

US Synthetic employees have been working in Kenya for 15 years through the Asante Foundation and Choice Humanitarian, founding the Yehu Microfinance Institution in Kenya which has over 40,000 women clients taking small loans to start microenterprises to build self-reliance. Several other social enterprises have been started in Kenya to create sustainable jobs. Dozens of US Synthetic employees travel each year with Choice Humanitarian to places like Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Guatemala and Boliva to teach problem-solving and leadership skills to village leaders and women’s groups, in addition to providing humanitarian service building schools, water wells, efficient ovens and health clinics.

Farmer at blackboard

Running the numbers at Miti Misitu.

Through a partnership with Kenya Keys, educational opportunities are being provided to the least fortunate in rural Kenya and with Village Drill to develop new technology for human-powered drills to bring clean water to thousands in Africa and around the world. At US Synthetic, it truly is about improving lives. “When we do good, we are engaged, we feel good and we work better,” says Troy Holmberg, Director of Engineering Good & Social Innovation.    The numbers speak for themselves. Employee turnover rates are below 8%, remarkable for a manufacturing company.

Utah Community Service by US Synthetic

By Troy Holmberg, US Synthetic and Steve Klass, P3 Utah

School problem solving workshop, core STEM skills

Innovation is at the core of the company’s success and an incredible 74% of their total revenue comes from products developed less than three years ago.   As a technology company, employees take pride in their problem-solving culture and rapid prototyping processes for product development that have allowed US Synthetic to become the global leader in their industry. They made 32,000 improvements last year, making their continuous improvement culture a magnet for businesses globally and giving rise to impressive problem-solving workshops shared with kids right here in Utah!

US Synthetic Problem SolvingThe vision driving the company’s Engineering Good program is to build the next generation of problem-solvers and innovators through STEM education with Utah kids. The company supports support such initiatives as the Utah Underwater Robotics; the Utah STEM Fest; the STEM Investor’s Coalition and Media Campaign; the Museum of Natural Curiosity and Makers Lab at Thanksgiving Point; the new building at BYU School of Engineering and Technology; Discovery Space Center’s USS Mobile Space Simulator; JA City; USS STEM Scholarships; USS STEM Kids Camps and events such as She Tech and Expand Your Horizons at UVU.

400 employees participate each year in the Day of Caring with the United Way teaching problem solving to 1500 kids in Utah County and raising $20,000 per year for the Utah Food Bank through our annual October Hunger Games. Our USServe Challenge encourages teams of US Synthetic employees to compete for service hours as teams with local schools throughout the year.

Beyond STEM, US Synthetic employees are deeply engaged in improving lives in our community, donating 3400 hours of service each year in Utah and donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to community organizations.  Awards include Volunteer of the Year Award from Habitat for Humanity 2014.

Provo school district kids visiting a production area.  Now YOU can visit TOO.  Join us February 12!
Provo school kids visiting a production team. Now YOU can visit too. Join us February 17!
REGISTER for February 17 tour NOW

Amazing US Synthetic Tour Feb 17

By Steve Klass, Executive Director, P3 Utah

US Synthetic Front Door

US Synthetic Front Door

FREE TOUR of US Synthetic: one of Utah’s leading manufacturers
February 17, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Co-Hosted by P3 Utah and Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce

Did you think, other than Mother Nature, only Superman can create a diamond in just a few moments with 1,000,000 pounds of pressure?As a triple bottom line sustainability leader in your company, we can pretty much guess one of your New Year’s resolutions: to learn from the best and advance your efforts. The Co-Hosts of this event want to help you with this resolution by offering an incredible opportunity to tour and visit with key staff at US Synthetic. One of Utah’s business sustainability secrets is the number of truly amazing companies operate in Utah County. We guarantee that a visit to US Synthetic is one of the best ways to accelerate your company’s sustainability achievement in 2015.

Why Do YOU Want to VIsit US Synthetic?

– Employee-led continuous process improvement culture
– Winner of the Utah Work Life Award
– Winner of prestigious Shingo Prize for operational excellence
– Supporter of statewide advancement of STEM skills and content in public schools
– Leading corporate philanthropic program in Kenya
– Onsite health clinic, fitness center and gourmet food service
– World’s largest annual production of artificial diamonds

Core of "Superman" diamond pressing process

Core of ‘Superman’ diamond pressing process

There is so much more. Staff at US Synthetic are willing to share their philosophy and strategy for success and answer many questions. They want to learn about YOUR company’s strengths. They are truly learning leaders as well as teachers in how to build and manage a great company over time.


*Sign up today and attend FOR FREE, saving your company $250*. That’s right, operations are so active that the firm normally charges $250 for outside company representatives to interrupt production and tour the facility. In support of the expansion of membership in both Utah Valley Chamber and P3 Utah, participation in this keystone educational event is FREE to members of our two organizations AND all who are considering joining these two fine organizations.

The Business Case for Federal Rules to Reduce CO2 Emissions

In Utah, we value families, our children and our elderly. That means we care about their basic health. So when, in the winter of 2012-13, people in Salt Lake City were exposed to air pollution levels that exceeded federal standards for a total of 22 days, we realized something had to be done.

Individually, we can drive more efficient cars or burn less wood for heat. But that’s not enough. Especially in urban areas where most people are affected, whatever goes up into our atmosphere hangs around. We need action on a national scale.

That’s why, as a business owner in Utah, I support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rules on carbon emissions from power plants – not just to slow climate change but for our immediate self-interests too.

I believe the dangers of climate change are real: for example, how carbon emissions accelerate the shrinking of our snowpack, which threatens the water we drink and the tourism we rely on for jobs. But the more immediate downside of carbon emissions concerns me as well.

The impact of carbon emissions on the air we breathe is a major concern. First it affects the lungs, and then the wallet. If a company’s employees get sick – and respiratory sickness tends to be high-impact and easy to trigger – they can’t do their jobs well, which makes the business less productive. And when customers have to spend more on health care, they have less to spend on local businesses. Air pollution from power plants hurts our kids, our elderly, our workers and the economy in general.

In Utah, we have other reasons to protect air quality: Excessive air pollution spoils the views in our magnificent national parks and the awful smell can drive people away. These costs aren’t some far-off concern. We’re dealing with them now.

Of course coal has been a key part of the economy in Utah and has created lots of jobs. But when coal creates so many public costs, the price is too high. When the air we inhale contains too much CO2 from power plant emissions, everyone’s health is compromised. We need to study all the costs associated with coal, even as we recognize we can’t realistically do away with this energy source tomorrow.

Utah can’t solve this alone. Air pollutants easily blow across state lines, and EPA’s proposed carbon pollution rules will make sure every state plays by the same rules.

Local business owners need productive workers and suppliers. We need customers and visitors with money to spend. We also want our families to be healthy. These are all sound business reasons to reduce carbon emissions.

A big majority of small business owners agree. National, scientific polling commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) found that 64 percent of small business owners support government regulation to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. They know the risks, and they know we need to address them.

While EPA needs to establish a national CO2 reduction goal, the federal government should allow each state to figure out specifically how to meet these new standards. These rules would do that.

Utah could tap its natural gas reserves, which might be easier to reach than those in nearby Texas, and quickly transition from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas. Other solutions might include finding a healthier, cleaner way to use our coal reserves. Or we could focus more on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Under the proposed rules, though, Utah will get to make these decisions, not the federal government.

Nobody loves mandates, but in this case they’re the only way to get the job done. Utah often has to deal with air pollution from other states, and federal rules will make sure that every state meets its responsibilities. These rules will also give businesses certainty about what to expect, so we can plan accordingly.

You’ll hear a lot of supporters of these rules talk about they will help fight climate change as a serious, long-term threat. That’s important to some Utah business owners like me, but we all can support these rules because the immediate costs and threats to our wellbeing are right in front of us. Even short-term, these rules deserve your support. That’s not selfish, it’s common sense and good business!

Bill Wilson, Owner of S3 Employee Engagement Software and President of P3 Utah

Why I Joined the Board of P3 Utah

By  Smokey Peck, Co-Owner and President of the Pro Group Recycling Services

I believe that growing this organization will help grow my businesses.  I want to do business with other businesses that share my values, that do business with integrity.  I was recently involved as a student to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business program.  I did that to share and grow my values about how to do business right.  The larger we can grow P3 Utah, the more businesses in Utah will grow in a better manner.  As a recycling broker and equipment supplier in nine states, I see our business as problem solvers.  And I think that is what P3 Utah is about: helping business owners meet their challenges in improving their triple bottom line.

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Welcome to P3 Utah!

Bill Wilson, Treasurer, Dwelltek

Hi, my name is Bill Wilson, Chairperson for the P³ Utah Board of Directors.
Please join me in welcoming P³ Utah:  the first organization dedicated to advancing the triple bottom line business culture in the fine state of Utah.
Sustainable strategies give companies a competitive advantage. The business benefits are quantifiable and real.  The return on investment from improving company-wide sustainability initiatives make traditional investment opportunities seem trivial.
Business people don’t have to be converted to the green religion to reap these benefits. They can remain just who their shareholders expect them to be:  hard-nosed executives who evaluate everything on their bottom-line merits.
Many Utah-based companies have already seen the light and have embedded sustainability into their cultural DNA. Others are just getting started and wish to work with like-minded organizations to share best known practices and successes.
P³ Utah is the hub for Utah companies ready for the mindset shift. Through networking, training sessions, collaboration and sharing best practices, members of P³ Utah are well ahead in the race to the top!
So please join P³ Utah today and help set a  higher standard for Utah businesses for both today and the future!