CDUK's Vicki Richmond – Sustainability is a collaborative effort

InsightFeatures Wed 2nd Aug 2023 by KBBFocus

CDUK's Vicki Richmond – Sustainability is a collaborative effort

CDUK's Vicki Richmond – Sustainability is a collaborative effort

True sustainability is not a box-ticking exercise – it's about dialogue, the sharing of ideas and teamwork, says Vicki Richmond, marketing director at CDUK.

The commercial interior sector has often viewed sustainability as a daunting prospect, fearing that it requires a complete overhaul of their business models. However, true sustainability does not necessarily entail a complete revolution. Rather, it begins with a shift in mindset – an understanding that sustainability is a journey that requires collective effort and a willingness to adapt.

To embark on this journey, the industry must come together to identify priorities and explore innovative solutions. First and foremost, manufacturers and suppliers must equip designers and architects with the necessary knowledge and tools to design with their products in order to drive sustainable practices forward. Material trainings, third-party accreditations, and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) play a pivotal role in enabling professionals to understand more about the products or materials they specify.

Polygood by The Good Plastic Company in Black Lollipop

At CDUK, we deliver training courses for both fabricators and designers to ensure that all designs are built to last and with as little impact as possible on the planet and consumers’ health and wellbeing. A badly designed or executed project might cut costs monetarily but will inevitably result in a higher cost to our planet, as these will quickly deteriorate and add to the already high waste contribution from the K&B industry. Tailored training courses are an effective way to help them learn and understand materials, their unique benefits, and how to pick and apply the right ones to unlock their full design potential and ensure that they will still be functionally and aesthetically pleasing after years of extensive use.

PaperStone in Gunmetal

Similarly, suppliers and manufacturers should invest in third-party certifications to help designers make informed choices. In our portfolio alone, Corian Solid Surface has a raft of third-party certification including EPD, Greenguard Gold and SCS certificates for colours with recycled, award-winning material PaperStone is EPD-certified and Polygood has just achieved Cradle to Cradle Certified Bronze status. This allows us to provide transparent data about the environmental sustainability of materials and to support architects and designers in getting their projects recognised by building assessment schemes including BREEAM, LEED, and the WELL Building Standard.

However, sustainability is not just up to manufacturers and suppliers. Architects and designers must consider the lifecycle of a building when designing and selecting materials for commercial projects. While choosing bold and trendy colours may seem enticing, it is important to evaluate their longevity. As we strive to minimise the carbon impact of buildings, the industry must unite and provide long-lasting solutions.

Corian Solid Surface in Sandstorm

Designers could focus on specifying colours and textures that will withstand the test of time, ensuring that the interiors remain visually appealing over time. Material experts like us, on the other hand, must offer a wide range of sustainable solutions, encompassing different approaches, from recycled and recyclable materials, such as Polygood and PaperStone, to alternatives that promote circularity through repairability and reuse, like Corian Solid Surface. We use extensive industry knowledge and expertise to identify and select products and solutions that respond to the latest colour, texture and design trends, while ensuring that these are not ephemeral trends.

In order to truly embrace sustainability, collaboration is key. Industry stakeholders should engage in meaningful dialogues, share their best practices, and explore innovative ideas. By working together, we look beyond individual businesses to genuinely contribute to the wider cause. By integrating sustainability into every aspect of the industry, from material selection to project design, we can not only contribute to a greener future but also drive innovation, enhance customer satisfaction, and foster a more resilient ecosystem.

Bath in Corian Solid Surface Delight 8430

Tags: insight, features, cduk, vicki richmond, sustainability

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