Barrio Logan-based sustainables gain national attention
ARTICLE – Dave Fidlin | Downtown News
A manufacturing company touting its sustainable practices and forward-thinking product line has been gaining attention nationally as it has laid roots in Barrio Logan.
NOBLE Environmental Technologies, parent company of ECOR Global, is described as a clean manufacturer that produces a wide range of items with materials, including chairs, conference tables, toys, emergency shelters and signage.
The products are created with a mixture of unorthodox materials that include the traditional – cardboard, newspaper and wood product – and such seemingly unthinkable items as hemp and cow dung.
With the right mixture of water, fiber, heat and pressure, the stew of different materials becomes the perfect recipe for the products created at a number of factories across the nation.
Founder and CEO Robert Noble proudly trumpets the fact that none of ECOR’s products are made with formaldehyde, chemicals, petroleum or other toxic additives.
“We’re out there, working to change some of the unhealthy ways of doing things,” Noble said. “We’ve seen the harm from some of these very toxic ways of making items, and the truth is there’s a way to do it naturally, and it’s a better way.”
Noble’s company began in 1998, but took on its current iteration with the ECOR Global nameplate and branding in 2006.
Locating in Barrio Logan in Downtown San Diego came after a process Noble described as “exhaustive.” After considering 40 locations throughout San Diego County, Noble said the site of the company’s current headquarters at 1660 Logan Ave. was ideal for a number of reasons.
“When you look at our company and its mission statement, there really is no better location than Barrio Logan,” Noble said. “This is an area known for architecture and innovation. It’s got a very vibrant design community, and that’s important to us.”
A permanent display of ECOR Global’s ability to produce sustainable products that are meaningful is showcased at the nearby San Diego Public Market, 1735 National Ave. Visitors can view a replica kiosk stand that is made of many of the company’s sustainable products.
In the seven years since their founding, Noble said the company’s products have been especially popular with the art and design community. ECOR Global reached a notable milestone recently with the creation of the first set for a TV series made of 100-percent sustainable products. The cutting-edge creation was captured on film in late December.
The set, consisting of 45 of ECOR Global’s patented panels, was made for the sitcom, “Raising Hope,” which is produced by 20th Century Fox and airs on the FOX broadcast network.
“Our entire team was thrilled to be a part of this innovating and collaborative undertaking,” said Jim Torti, ECOR Global’s president and chief operating officer.
Noble and other company officials said they hope the recent arrangement with 20th Century Fox is the beginning of a long relationship with Hollywood.
ECOR Global’s contribution to the sitcom set included three doors, a headboard and additional flat panels, all attached together with bamboo. Other companies contributed to the set, providing paint and other services, but Torti said the entire process was sustainable.
Noble, who has a background in architecture, said he is thrilled by the upward momentum of ECOR Global and has visions for the company’s future aimed at further expanding the variety of products and services offered.
“Our primary mission has been, and will continue to be, the production of responsible products,” Noble said.
Plans are in the formative stage, but Noble said he has received interest from companies across the globe – including Switzerland, Russia and areas of Africa and the Middle East – that would like to use ECOR Global’s technology.
“People are starting to learn about how superior products can be with sustainable practices,” Noble said. “I think this is just the beginning.”
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