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When it comes to sustainability, many people are left feeling confused and not sure where to start. What does sustainability actually mean and how do you integrate sustainable habits? How does it positively affect a business and its employees? Are there REALLY benefits to becoming more sustainable?
“Going green” is not the same thing as sustainability, albeit they are related. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, green is more frequently associated with a singular product or process. Examples include improving a specific operation so that it does not harm the environment or creating a product made entirely out of recycled materials.
Sustainability is typically more associated with an organization’s holistic approach; it takes the entire production process and logistics into consideration. For example, you may purchase a green product made out of recycled goods. However, if that product was made overseas, and environmentally harmful methods were used to transport that product to the United States, this would not be adhering to sustainable principles.
In the manufacturing world, it is advantageous to focus on both green initiatives and sustainability. While targeted improvements can be beneficial to your company, looking at the “bigger picture” maximizes the perks of an environmental focus.
Let’s take a look at four solid reasons why sustainability is important!
• Sustainable practices decrease energy usage
Whether it's upgrading your machinery to more energy-efficient models, or installing solar energy panels, making small changes will show major shifts in your energy consumption.
• Reduces waste
Perhaps one of the biggest and most obvious factors is that by making more environmentally friendly choices, you reduce overall waste. In the 1990s, businesses began collecting recycling, which has snowballed into a much greater impact on companies as they strive for sustainability. Sometimes, the seemingly “simple” or “small” changes make the biggest ripples in the long run.
• Like attracts like
Consumers are almost always attracted to companies with a purpose. Particularly popular with Gen Z and Millenials, companies are shifting to green practices because the newer generations are demanding more conscious behavior. In short, sustainability enables organizations and businesses to attract employees, shareholders, and customers who are invested in goals of sustainability and share these values. The impact of sustainability can also be a positive for a business’ image as well.
• Innovation is aided and encouraged by sustainability
Reducing your carbon footprint, in many ways, can force you to transition to revamping products, practices, and systems to accommodate your new standard. This can also foster a new sense of creativity within staff members!
How We Care for the Planet
Engaging in environmentally-conscious practices is part of what we do at Waddell. We want to set an example by moving towards more sustainable and ethical ways of creating our products, and we believe that taking intentional time to evaluate our manufacturing processes is doing our part for the planet.
From being aware of what materials we select to make our products, to producing all of our products in the USA, Waddell is committed to seeing our process through from start to finish and making sure every aspect – from the people to the product – is ethical and environmentally friendly.
Our eco-conscious practices extend beyond Waddell and into our other companies, too! At Ghent, three of our glassboards are LEVEL certified. What is LEVEL, you ask? Developed by BIFMA, LEVEL is a voluntary certification program in which third-party auditors measure a product and its producer against the ANSI/ BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard. The LEVEL program was created to provide the most comprehensive, unbiased, and transparent means of evaluating and communicating the environmental and social impacts of commercial furniture products. The LEVEL mark demonstrates that the product, the manufacturing facility, and the company responsible for the product brand, have all met the requirements for certification. That being said, here are our three boards with LEVEL certifications!
Pointe Mobile Glassboard: combining the benefits of a glass writing surface on wheels, Pointe is constructed with a powder-coated steel frame with a sleek glass board and is made totally configurable. Use one on its own, or line up multiple boards to double as space delineation. Each is made with environmentally friendly water-based paint.
Aria Glassboard: Aria gives the look of weightless, floating glass with this sleek board that has no visible hardware. Use a single glassboard for a personal office or space, or line up multiple to create a glass wall for conference rooms and collaboration areas.
Harmony Glassboard: Available with square or rounded corners, Harmony can fit into any interior. Paired with modern silver standoffs, this glassboard was the first to receive the LEVEL 2 certification from BIFMA. Our water-based paint process leverages this board, making it eco-conscious and beautiful.
At Waddell, and our other GMi brands, we know that part of making a quality product is putting in the work to make the creation process sustainable and not damaging to the planet or to the people behind the scenes making it happen. Both creating sustainable products, and reducing our carbon footprint are part of our mission, and we are committed to meeting our present-day needs without compromising the future state of the planet.