The Gaspé firm Pesca Environnement recently announced the opening of new offices in Baie-Comeau. As the energy transition increases the need for environmental consultation support, the second generation of the family business is preparing to take the reins. Profile of a family serving the environment, from generation to generation.
In 1991, Marjolaine Castonguay gave birth to two babies: her son, Sylvain, and her business, Pesca Environnement. Around thirty years later, the first became director of business development for the second and was increasingly given operational commands.
The firm of 60 employees which today manages teams across Canada from Carleton-sur-Mer also counts on the expertise of the founder’s two other children: Marie-Flore Castonguay, urban planner, and Jean-Pierre Castonguay, geographer.
Concretely, Pesca supports companies on an environmental level in the context of the development of energy projects such as the construction of wind farms or hydroelectric dams.
It supports companies like Innergex, Boralex, Kruger and Invenergy at all stages of the development of their projects, from ideation to construction. For example, it carries out environmental and social impact studies, wildlife inventories and developments and even environmental site assessments.
Pesca notably supported Innergex in the development of the Innavik hydroelectric power station, which since 2023 has allowed the inhabitants of Inukjuak to have access to a renewable energy source and reduce their oil consumption.
Among the 16 major wind development projects in Quebec in 2023, Pesca collaborated on 10 of them. Talking about growth is therefore a euphemism in the current context of energy transition.
Several projects are also on the horizon on the North Shore. This is why Pesca is opening a new office there, which will require the hiring of four people by spring. “We are participating in several projects in Baie-Comeau, particularly related to green hydrogen. We therefore wanted to be present for local support,” explains Marjolaine Castonguay.
According to her, this upward trend will be far from fading in the coming years. “All the projects we collaborated on from 2004 to 2022 totaled 4,000 megawatts. By 2035, the government wants to produce 10,000 more, or around 1000 megawatts per year! », she illustrates.
No matter, Pesca had foreseen the super-growth in needs and is today ready to face it. “In 2021, Sylvain gave me a book on business hypergrowth and he said to me: “My favorite CEO and mom, tie up your hat!” », confides the president and CEO with a laugh.
Thirty new people were hired last year, and around forty recruits should join the company’s ranks this year.
According to Marjolaine Castonguay, one of the challenges is finding versatile specialists in order to continue to meet customer demand. The company therefore tries to find people who have several areas of expertise.
However, she confides that when it comes to the environment, the younger generation responds: “We are in the professions of the future. They wish to take part in this social project which responds to the values of energy sobriety. »