- May 21, 2018
For its many efforts to conserve energy, re-purpose materials and for its unique system of recycling iron and steel byproduct materials from its sharpening operations, Chamber member Exact Blade Knife Sharpening & Cutlery was recently awarded the Village of Northbrook’s Inaugural 2018 Green Business Award. Following a review of all the applications, the company was voted unanimously for the first ever award by the Environmental Quality Commission. “These actions have diverted waste from landfills and serve as a good example of ways to reduce a business’ impact on the environment,” according to the Village Resolution.
Exact Blade is a sharpening service, cutlery, garden tool and saw blade dealer located at 813 Waukegan Road at Dundee. According to founder Dan Mennemeyer, since its inception in 2013, every aspect of the company’s operation is guided by environmental responsibility. “One of the principles behind my business from the start was being green,” comments Mennemeyer. Exact Blade uses a cold water whet stone method with magnets to capture all the iron and metal particulates, eliminating the need for noisy ventilation machines and vacuums that use a lot of electricity. The metal particulates are essentially “iron dust” and are recycled into the ground at the owner’s home or given to customers who ask to use them for iron hungry plants, shrubs and trees.
Exact Blade also worked with ComEd to convert the store’s lighting to state of the art LED lighting, which helped to contribute to an 8 kwh reduction in electrical usage. Most of the furnishings in the shop, including cabinets in the work area, are reclaimed from other buildings including vintage homes. Exact Blade also repurposed case goods from hotels and other businesses that are in good shape, including chairs, tables and cabinets. Instead of using purchased plastic products or paper bags, newspaper and used boxes are used to package customers’ finished service items like knives and garden tools.
Within just two years of its start with a mobile truck, Exact Blade had enough business to open a brick and mortar sharpening shop and add retail, offering brand name knives, garden tools and saw blades. Mennemeyer chose Northbrook because of its central location in the NorthShore.