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Now more than ever, communities and cultures are becoming aware of how their footprint affects sustainability in the world. This awareness has led to some behavior changes in consumers to the point where they now demand environmentally conscious products and practices from organizations and manufacturers.
"Trends come and go, but environmental ethics are what we do at GMi every day," said Scott Bowers, GMi Director of Product. "We believe we should be good stewards to preserve and protect this earth. To be conscious of the impact of our processes and practices to manufacture sustainable products."
PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT"Preserve the environment" is one of our six core values, so while weaving sustainable practices into daily operations, Ghent is committed to reducing our footprint and making our communities cleaner and stronger through recycling. Since 95% of our products made in the USA, we can control the entire production process from sourcing to assembling. With durable materials and carefully considered construction by a team who understands the importance of quality craftsmanship, we can ensure that each whiteboard, bulletin board, mobile and glassboard from Ghent will not only last as long as it’s needed, but can be properly disposed of at the end of its life. That same quality and durability needs to be considered in the context of an evolving industry that has dramatically changed its view of product lifespans.
"Companies aren’t building for the lifespan of the brand anymore," said Ashley Blevins, National Contract Furniture Sales Manager. "Building leases are changing from years past, where 30 years was the norm to now where standard leases are for five years. This changes the way designers and project managers look at spaces. It’s not necessarily about filling a room with products that need to last forever. Instead, designers are educating businesses about the effect a product will have in the space during its use, how it can evolve in new spaces and also how it can be donated or recycled at the end of its lifecycle."
The new “Circular Economy,” as coined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, hopes to replace the longstanding “take-make-waste” model by keeping products and their materials at their highest utility and retaining their value. Reuse, repair, refurbishment and recycling can lead to a reduced consumption of finite resources and fewer materials in landfills.
REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT"Sustainability isn’t purely an added bonus or a trend that will fizzle out in a few years," Blevins emphasized. "It’s become a requirement in both the manufacturing and designer world in order to meet the needs of an evolving industry and provide a higher quality of life for the people in those spaces. We are continually inspired by the new wave of the importance of sustainability and are setting higher standards for ourselves. Each new product that we add to our line has to meet certification requirements and have a sustainable lifecycle from the ingredients we use to how it gets recycled at the end of use."
At Ghent, we realize that our company’s future is linked to the wellbeing of our community and environment. By paying attention to the changing expectations of product lifecycles and client needs, we plan to continue to reduce both our carbon footprint during the manufacturing process and the environmental impact of our products years after they’ve left our warehouse. With great craftsmanship comes great responsibility.