B-corp: our road towards a sustainable future

 

Over recent years, mainstream media has reflected the increasing shift in mindset towards "the green agenda", "sustainable lifestyles", and "environmental responsibility". The term sustainability embraces various principles and practices designed to encourage active preservation of our environment and communities, while also promising attractive financial gains. Many companies now realize that millions of dollars can be saved by implementing sustainability programs across their value chains. Anyone willing to take a closer look at the subject can potentially profit from these programs.

The Responsibility of Design

There’s a sense of urgency that hits us when hearing the alarming rate of disastrous news about our environment. People are (rightly) anxious and concerned about what the future will bring. In these changing times, head-on action is needed to ensure a bright future for the next generations. We’re heading towards 9 billion by 2050.

As a product design firm, we have an enormous responsibility regarding the stuff we create. Recognising the big impact we (can) have, seeing the opportunity to change the system, step by step, project by project. Internally, everyone is concerned and involved. We’re sharing stories and thinking of ways to improve and do better. We started to align our sense of action to focus on sustainability. With great motivation, ready to get our hands dirty. Luckily, we’re not feeling lonely, because more and more people and organisations are taking action in various ways.

The Complexity of the Implementation

However, the enormous complexity of the sustainability challenge can be quite overwhelming. Compared to the failed model of making and disposing of products, thinking about circularity can be a difficult exercise. Focusing on the ‘full product lifecycle’ means taking every aspect of a product into account and analysing its impacts across various life stages. Materials, processing, using condition and disposal. Thinking in circular loops is crucial, but difficult to handle.

Within sustainability, there are so many stakeholders involved that you need to look beyond your own company. Bringing a complete and holistic deep-green company story is something more than fancy CSR reports and greenwashing marketing campaigns. It’s about rethinking the full lifecycle of your products and every aspect of it. We see this needed change of thinking can be quite a struggle for companies. In the end, you need to be able to convince customers of your sustainable efforts by offering a valuable product to them. A good branding and communication strategy is crucial for providing transparent and honest information.

Doing what Matters

Right now, we’re working on internal (non-client) projects with a clear sustainable background. This involves time and money, but it’s worth the risk. It’s learning by doing. The values and motivation we share push us into doing these projects as a company wanting to do better.

By not waiting and acting, we’re gaining knowledge and expertise to help clients with their sustainability challenges. We’re looking forward to meeting like-minded people, companies, and organisations to create the future we want to see.

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