Sustainability Getting the Green Light

by Christian Wissmuller • in
  • April 2018
  • Editorial
• Created: April 9, 2018

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In mid-March, NPR reported that the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has stricken “climate change” and related terminology from its strategic plan – this after one of the (perhaps the) most costly years of natural disasters in our nation’s history.

Previous reports in the past year indicate that officials at other national agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are being discouraged from describing ecological and environmental developments as byproducts of that same term or, worse (and inaccurate, for what it’s worth), “global warming.”

It would be incredibly convenient if we could, by erasing certain verbiage, also delete the very real threats presented by climate change (uh oh – there’s that phrase again. I guess my chances of landing a government job are out the window). Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple.

With certain Obama-era (and Bush, and Clinton-era) environmental policies being pushed back or outright repealed, it’s increasingly up to businesses to lead the way, navigating a path to a future that is both profitable and livable.

MI also faces challenges related to the, in many cases, dwindling supply of natural resources. What do we do when the materials used for decades and even centuries to craft musical instruments are simply no longer available, or in such limited numbers that import and use is illegal or heavily sanctioned? Happily ours is an industry that – in this instance, at least – is remarkably resourceful and responsible.

This annual “Green Issue” puts the spotlight on some major guitar suppliers who are developing and embracing ways in which they can enact sustainable practices and reduce their own carbon footprints. From alternative tonewoods to environmentally sensitive methods of delivery, production, and management, these companies are setting a standard for creativity and responsibility that hopefully will serve as an example for others to follow.

While hardly the only players in the world of MI to take these sorts of steps, head over to page 26 to read about what Bedell Guitars, Yamaha, Flaxwood, Martin, and Taylor are doing in this important area (and what ISP Technologies is up to on page 46). As previous “Green Issue” articles have outlined, such efforts can be (and are, by many) enacted on the retail level as well.

Whether it’s something as small as swapping out your old incandescent bulbs for LED units or as large as building a LEED-certified storefront, every little bit does, in fact, help. And the additionally good news is that these days taking steps to reduce your own contributions to global pollution and resource depletion is not merely good PR; it often represents an overall cost-saving measure.

Good for your image, good for the environment, and good for your bottom-line – who can argue with that?

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