CALHOUN, Ga. Oct. 31, 2017— Mohawk Group and Humanscale broadened the conversation on sustainability last week with a series of talks illustrating how manufacturers are creating designs that contribute to healthy spaces, demonstrate product transparency, and give back to the earth.
“Sustainability Talk Series: How Transparency is Changing the World” was presented in Boston on Oct. 24, in New York on Oct. 25, and in Washington on Oct. 26. The featured speaker was Jason F. McLennan, founder of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and ILFI’s Living Product Challenge. The Living Product Challenge is a platform that not only sets the highest standards for commercial manufacturing practices and procedures, but also strategically strives to reconcile the relationship between humanity and the natural world.
End users, architects and designers were given a behind-the-scenes look at how Mohawk Group and Humanscale became the first two manufacturers to achieve the Living Product Challenge in their respective product categories: Mohawk Group for flooring and Humanscale for furniture.
Interest in Living Products is growing in the workplace, which makes up the largest percentage of all interior spaces. “With research showing we spend 90% of our time indoors, designers and end users in the workplace segment are keenly aware and highly selective when specifying products for their space,” said Mark Oliver, Mohawk Group vice president of workplace and retail segments. “They require more thoughtfully-designed products to ensure the happiness and well-being of their employees and associates. They also realize the product selections they make can have an impact on the environment around them and prefer selecting products that have a net positive impact on the environment versus those that are more wasteful. Workplace design today is leading the charge in high styled, highly sustainable manufacturing, and we at Mohawk are proud to be at the forefront.”
Mohawk received the first Living Product Challenge Petal certification in flooring for its Lichen carpet planks. Meeting the program’s place, water, and health and happiness Petals, the biophilic-designed collection is on track to give more resources back to the environment than it uses during its entire life cycle. The company is poised to do more.
“We see the Living Product Challenge as almost a moral obligation,” Oliver said. “At Mohawk we believe in better, that as the leading flooring manufacturer in the world, it is our responsibility to lead, to innovate and to never be satisfied with the status quo. Mohawk isn’t done with simply launching one Living Product.”
Humanscale was awarded full Living Product Certification for its Diffrient Smart chair and Float table. Jane Abernethy, Humanscale sustainability officer, says Mohawk Group and Humanscale are fitting partners in this series on sustainability. “We share a vision that manufacturers can be part of the solution to our environmental issues, the tenacity to overcome many obstacles in pursuit of this vision and the willingness to change our operations to make this vision a reality.”
The talk series is meant to celebrate and appreciate those working toward greater sustainability and to educate those seeking to become involved. “We need to reset the conversation,” Abernethy said. “Often, environmental or social concerns are pitted against economic concerns—especially when people are afraid of change. Instead, the Living Product Challenge looks at how manufacturing can be part of the solution to social and environmental issues. Then, the world is made better off as the business grows.”
ILFI’s McLennan, who designed Mohawk Group’s Lichen Collection, which won a Best of NeoCon Gold Award earlier this year, could not agree more. “I have had the great pleasure of watching both Mohawk Group and Humanscale become leaders in the transparency movement as well as leaders in providing world-class products free of red list chemicals. Both of these companies show that social and environmental responsibility is possible along with financial profitability.”
“But our job is far from done,” McLennan said. “Most products made for the building industry are still highly damaging to environmental health—and many are also bad for human health. We need the whole community—architects, interior designers, engineers, builders, developers—to stop specifying products that do more harm than good. It’s time to shed a light on better practices we can all be proud of.”
Oliver said Mohawk is thrilled with the relationship with ILFI and Humanscale. “Imagine: an end-use customer could have a full Living Product suite if they used our flooring and Humanscale’s furniture,” he said. “We look forward to continuing this event series throughout 2018 and talking to more people about the benefits of sustainability.”
About Mohawk Group
Mohawk Group, the world’s leading producer and distributor of quality commercial flooring, delivers industry-leading style, cutting-edge innovation, unmatched service and superior sustainability. As the commercial division of Mohawk Industries, Mohawk Group has a heritage of craftsmanship that spans more than 130 years. The company’s enduring family of brands—Mohawk, Karastan and Durkan—are widely regarded as the most trusted names in the commercial flooring business. Together, these brands function beautifully, delivering the perfect flooring solution for all markets and price points. Rounding out its esteemed product offering, Mohawk Group also offers a full spectrum of hard surface flooring products and installation accessories that exceed the most rigorous performance standards. For more information, visit www.mohawkgroup.com.
Humanscale is the leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance ergonomic products that improve the health and comfort of work life. Through leveraging new technology in functional yet minimal designs, Humanscale transforms traditional offices into active, intelligent workspaces. Committed to making a net positive impact on the earth as well as our customers, Humanscale offers award-winning products designed with a focus on function, simplicity and longevity. For more information, visit www.humanscale.com.