(Thank you to Diana Kempton, IIDA, LEED-AP who helped shape our understanding of the true application of sustainability in our industry. We listened!)
Caring about the environment isn’t just an Earth Day catch phrase or marketing buzz designed to make consumers feel better about purchasing certain building products. It’s about making a focused effort for sustainability at every phase of designing, building and remodeling residential and commercial projects.
What is sustainability? The UN World Commission on Environment and Development published a now-widely-used definition in the Brundtland Report in 1987:
“Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Though beneficial to building, sustainability is not about durability or versatility. Sustainability is about using minimal processing and energy to make the products we sell. It’s about producing less emissions and waste in the processing, shipping, installation and maintenance phases.
It’s about using abundant building materials such as limestone, naturally recyclable materials found in porcelain tile, as well as utilizing pre- and post-recycled materials in commercial and residential projects whenever possible.
Sustainability also means keeping our atmosphere (and our bodies) free of toxins. By choosing lower-maintenance building products which require less VOC-producing cleaning/sealing agents like Samsung Radianz Quartz, we obtain that goal.
Arizona Tile understands that being committed to the environment is a daily mission. We have created an Environmental Management System (EMS) and encourage all of our major suppliers to implement an EMS to conduct more environmentally friendly production practices to decrease the impact on the environment – today and in the future.
Sustainability, green building, and EMS applications will be recurring themes in our blog. We are interested in how you choose materials for your projects. Do you consider the effect the products have on the environment? Do you have an EMS in place that guides your decisions? We’d love to hear your comments about sustainability and their place in your project designs.