A very recent e-mail brought news that Spiceland, IN-based Draper, Inc. now has several sales and technical staff members who are LEED®-Accredited Professionals. LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council that has become a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. There is a LEED for Homes program promoting homes that use less energy, water and natural resources; create less waste; and are healthier and more comfortable for occupants.
This announcement is just the latest in what started as a trickle but has developed into a steady stream of reports specifically in the window coverings industry about manufacturers and suppliers concentrating on sustainability issues. It started years ago, really, with quilted window shades and cellular shades.
It is now a full-fledged concern and trend in this industry. Conversations with dealers indicate that customers want to know what they are bringing into their homes, while at the same time there is a gap between perception and reality in what people think sustainability will cost them and just how important it really is (see page 12).
Last September we touched on the topic of waste created in the packaging of window treatments (see D&WC, September 2006, page 26). This month, Mary Ann Plumlee offers some specific ideas for workrooms on reducing waste, noting that it’s good for the environment and for business (see page 47).
In the months ahead, Draperies & Window Coverings will begin regular features on sustainability issues. Most notably at first will be highlights of products made from renewable sources, offering energy efficiency by controlling heat gain or loss, and containing no substances harmful to indoor air quality.
We’d also like to invite readers to let us know how sustainability issues play out in their businesses and with clients. Send us e-mail (to email@example.com) and let us know how you are accommodating customer concerns about environmental issues, what projects you have recently completed in which these concerns were involved and what areas need to be addressed that haven’t been yet.
Industry leaders do more than just sell products; they solve customers’ problems and provide comfort, beauty, balance, safety—and now, too, responsibility.