Sustainability is such a huge topic and often viewed as boring, self serving, or both. One issue is that in many ways sustainability is actually self serving — it saves us money, helps us be more profitable, allows for us to plan into the future and feel good about our business. Sustainability provides a filter through which to look at company operations. That filter helps us identify waste and eliminate it, and help us look for efficiencies wherever we can.
Our spray lacquer system is a good example. When I started at Rejuvenation in 1998 we still used a dip lacquer system — with old school lacquer full of all kinds of solvents and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). We had an air quality permit from the city and state, however our lacquer use was high enough we were looking forward to a federal Environmental Protection Agency Title V permit. No fun, and a lot of pollution we wanted to eliminate from our processes.
By working directly with our regulators and suppliers we were able to identify a new process and product to protect the lighting and hardware. We were able to cut our VOCs by 85% and eliminate our need for the EPA permit, or air permitting from the state. Plus we found that it’s a better process! It provides a more even, durable coat that is less likely to stratch. Better for the environment AND happier customers Pretty cool.
What I would like to do is organize talking about our sustainability efforts around the products that end up in your home. So I will place an order for a typical fixture and walk us all through virtual green tour of the factory. Stay tuned…