Regenerative Business and Sustainability
Adrian Rodriguez, co-founder of Providence Capital Group, had some great comments on Sustainability:
"Regenerative businesses are different from the current paradigm. The old model of business tends to be pretty linear and extractive: We take a lot from our natural systems, even our populations, and that’s led our planet, our politics, to the point where they’re falling apart.
We need to redesign our economy, especially our food system, to be circular. What do I mean by circular? A system where everything feeds back into itself and enhances the system and creates resilience. Typically, in nature, things get decomposed, go back into a nutrient cycle, and come back in another format. In our current “extract and deplete,” linear system, we take [something] and then we put it in a landfill, and it doesn’t decompose in a way that allows nutrients to become readily available, and actually causes a host of longer term issues.
This notion of “let’s focus on sustainability” isn’t the right mentality, because we’ve degraded our systems. If we just sustain them where they are, they’re not going to be resilient. They’re not going to survive. We actually need to invest in them to get them healthy again."
This applies just as much to the home furnishings industry as it does to food. We need to look at how we source raw materials, the processes by which they are milled and processed, the finishes used, and even post-purchase programs to reduce waste. Carbon footprint calculations are just the beginning.
Between 2020 and 2022, we've tripled our business, but reduced our carbon footprint by 26%. While our impact isn't great yet, we know that it is a start, and we will continue to build on it. Throughout the year, we look into efficiencies, new processes and technologies, and carbon offsets to reduce this to 0 by 2025. We understand that this is just the first of many steps needed, so we always welcome conversations on how we can improve in this area.
We don't buy in bulk or keep stock; only getting new materials when we need them. We source locally (both talent and supplies) and support other makers and craftspeople. We maximize use, minimize waste, and recycle extensively.
Diversity & Inclusivity
Inclusivity is more than just a word to us; its a perspective. As a minority in the North American woodworking industry, we've seen a lot of discrimination and microaggression, so we've sought to make our shop an inclusive space. Our passion for wood, furniture, and great design binds us in this united goal. As such, our make-up reflects our continued commitment to this. We take pride in compensating our woodworkers well (see more on our our Career page), and giving them a positive, rewarding, and challenging environment.
We pride ourselves on our woodworking craft, so we only use real FSC certified wood in all of our products. No veneers, MDF, or any other substitutes.
We are proud to work with Ontario Wood and the Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture to source sustainable and beautiful new and reclaimed wood for all of our projects. In doing so, we're supporting over 150,000 jobs in hundreds of communities and respecting our use of precious natural resources.
We have a deep respect for all the wood (new and reclaimed) we work with. As such, we always take our time with every piece to build it as well as it can possibly be built, and never cut corners (pun intended). Our goal is for our craftsmanship to stand the test of time and be handed down for generations to come (no planned obsolescence here).