Decades ago we decided to create a business with a different mindset. Doing so meant acting on our conscience as much as our capabilities. Solving problems without creating new ones. Innovating with a sense of integrity. And setting new standards for how the world and people are treated. We’ve come a long way, but have always stayed true to the original vision our founder Fred Keller set in 1973.
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cascade Engineering is comprised of nine strategic business units serving a wide variety of markets including automotive, commercial truck and bus, solid waste and recycling, furniture, and material handling. With a core competency in large-scale plastic injection molding, Cascade Engineering is a global company with over 1,600 employees and 15 facilities covering 1.3 million square feet. As one of the largest certified B Corps in the world, we are widely recognized for business practices that emphasize how business can build financial, social, and environmental capital.
Since our founding in 1973, Cascade Engineering has grown to become a leading provider of engineered plastics systems and components – and a growing array of sustainability-focused products and services that derive from our unique corporate experience.
At the heart of “the Cascade story” lies a powerful sense of corporate purpose. Over the years, Cascade has become a nationally recognized proponent of sustainable business practices that emphasize the key role business can play in building financial, social and environmental capital. Company Founder and Chair Fred P. Keller founded Cascade on these principles long before the term “sustainability” was coined. Today, sustainability is part of virtually all facets of our operations, and a growing share of our customer offering.
Becoming a sustainable company has involved a continual organizational learning process. At first, we saw sustainability largely in the realm of ideas. Later – as we expanded from a small injection molder with six employees to a complex manufacturing organization serving the automotive, solid waste and industrial markets – Cascade took real strides in formulating ways business can make a difference for future generations. The same principles that enabled Cascade to mold the first Equa™ chair for Herman Miller helped us devise innovative approaches in lean manufacturing, environmental stewardship and workforce development, guiding welfare recipients towards long-term employment.
Today, as a global company with more than 1,600 employees and 14 facilities worldwide, Cascade’s entire business strategy is centered on growing the tangible expressions of our sustainability learning and expertise. Sustainability principles are driving our longstanding plastics operations, and the evolution of new business units, products and services. Enabling this shift are sustainability’s deep roots within our culture, our continued strong focus on innovation, and the forging of strategic alliances with like-minded partners.
Cascade Engineering is committed to creating a work environment in which all employees in the Cascade Family of Companies, regardless of cultural or individual differences, know they are respected and valued as human beings. We work to transform long-held beliefs about people who may be different from ourselves into values that stimulate productive alliances within work place peer groups. A culture of inclusion allows people to feel comfortable contributing, encourages new perspectives, and makes the most of each person’s potential.
As a Family of Companies we are committed to…
- Creating the highest value for our customers
- Funding our growth
We must embrace the basic values of…
- Being ethical and fair
- Valuing each person associated with the Cascade Family of Companies
- Encouraging innovation and continuous improvement
- Maintaining state-of-the-art operations
These values are achieved by…
- Encouraging employee education and lifelong learning
- Exploring and applying new, appropriate technologies
- Working in teams
Our company purpose is…. To have a positive impact on our society, the environment and to be financially successful.
At Cascade Engineering, we believe in the values of diversity and inclusion. More specifically, we believe in the diversity of thoughts, ideas, beliefs, experiences, and the inclusion of people regardless of their race, color, sex, language, national origin, religion, orientation or age. In addition to supporting the principles of diversity and inclusion, Cascade Engineering is on a journey to be an anti-racism organization. Our anti-racism statement defining our journey is as follows:
Cascade Engineering is an anti-racism organization. Cascade Engineering defines being an anti-racism organization as creating an environment where all employees regardless of race or the color of their skin know they are valued. We acknowledge that racism can be unconscious or unintentional and identifying racism as an issue does not automatically mean those involved in the act are racist or intended the negative impact. As an anti-racism organization we will purposefully identify, discuss and challenge issues of race and color and the impact(s) they have on the organization, its systems, and its people. We will also challenge ourselves to understand and correct any inequities we may discover within Cascade Engineering and gain a better understanding of ourselves during this purposeful process. Being an anti-racism organization is a journey and it is the learning along the way that makes this work worth all of our efforts.
Our goal is to create and maintain an environment where employees feel safe to discuss race and the importance it has on our organization and our lives outside of work. Cascade Engineering will continue to purposefully discuss and deepen our understanding of race and racism. As part of this journey, Cascade Engineering is audited by the Partners for a Racism Free Community (PRFC), a non-profit organization whose purpose is “to achieve a standard of excellence in racial equality, choosing to become identified with others of a like mind in order to create the critical mass necessary for community transformation.” The PRFC has certified Cascade Engineering as a” Credentialed Partner” the highest level of certification possible. Cascade Engineering is the only manufacturer certified in the State of Michigan.
We are deeply committed to purposefully studying the impacts of race and racism throughout the organization. This work can be uncomfortable and even painful to some, but we have found that the greatest challenges bear the greatest rewards. By embracing the principles of diversity and inclusion our culture is strengthened and our workplace is more dynamic.
Collectively, we believe diversification is our strength. In service to a wide variety of industries, we share our engineering, technology, and knowledge across multiple products and industries. We take inspiration from one area, knowing it can often lead to breakthroughs in another. Our goal is to put forth products that deliver the highest value without deviating from our cultural values.
Through manufacturing, product development, technology and innovation, we’re informing and transforming the products people use every day. Our use of recycled plastic in our products continues to increase year over year. Our materials and manufacturing engineering groups continually search for ways to increase recycled plastic content without impact on product performance.