Why Niven Created a Sustainability Team
We recently received a proposal request for a display made entirely from post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials. Our client wanted to work with a company that could help them achieve their sustainability goals, and our ability to do so was perceived as an added value. But with sustainability becoming ever more important around the globe, sustainable production will soon become the price of entry in the display industry.
While Niven was already making eco-friendly choices in many areas, there wasn’t an overall awareness or structure around those choices. It wasn’t a true sustainability effort. Since doing the right thing is an essential part of our DNA, we decided to develop a more cohesive effort and plan. Creating a Sustainability Team was the logical first step.
We could have started by finding out who the passionate environmentalists in the company were. Instead, we took a broader approach. We asked ourselves, “Who might be energized by being a member of this team, and by helping us to focus our corporate efforts on a really worthwhile mission?” We also wanted to make it a cross-functional team, knowing that would give us a big-picture view of our sustainability choices, materials usage, and new opportunities—from one end of the building to the other.
Our team is still getting traction, but we’ve had one client ask us for our sustainability deck so they could share it with their internal team. Here’s the thing: While care and concern for the environment is not new, more companies are starting to take ownership for the choices they make. They understand the impact their choices have on our planet and the shape we leave it in for the next generation. We want to facilitate that sense of responsibility.
As for the immediate future, we think having a sustainability discussion at the beginning of every project should be standard operating procedure. After all, our clients can’t choose sustainable solutions for their projects unless they know it’s an option—and a responsible one at that.
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