Walking the Talk
We All Have An Important Role to Play in Putting People at the Heart of Sustainability

Each of the 10 organizations being showcased in this year’s sustain[HUMAN]ability® Leadership Recognition Program is a leader in its own right and offers something from which we can all learn.

Whether we are tackling a complex local or global issue, it takes myriad, diverse perspectives and experiences to create sustainable solutions. That is why Shaw created the sustain[HUMAN]ability® Leadership Recognition Program back in 2019: to recognize the wide range of organizations that are putting people at the heart of sustainability — what we call sustain[HUMAN]ability.

Each year, we look to highlight the work of a wide range of organizations — local non-profits, regional businesses, global conglomerates, membership organizations, education institutions, and others — because we recognize that we each have an important role to play in creating a better future and a better world (see the organizations recognized in 2021). A world in which we collectively value and invest in the health, wellbeing, and success of all people and our planet; a future that’s safe and safeguarded for generations to come.

Each of the organizations being showcased in this year’s program is a leader in its own right and offers something from which we can all learn.

The organizations Shaw is recognizing this year are (in alphabetical order):

  • The AIA (American Institute of Architects) strives to drive positive change through the power of design. The organization developed the Architecture & Design Materials Pledge to inspire a shift in how architects and designers evaluate the products and finishes that they specify on a daily basis. The Pledge sets a holistic vision of truly sustainable building materials and encourages architects and designers to choose materials that support human health, ecosystem health, climate health, and social health and equity in a circular economy to inspire a shift in how architects and designers evaluate the products and finishes that they specify on a daily basis.

  • Appalachian Botanical Co. makes premium body care, aromatherapy, culinary and home goods products using lavender it grows and honey it harvests on reclaimed coal mine land. The West Virginia-based company hires local area residents who often face significant barriers to employment. ABCo’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and second-chance employment will resonate with those seeking high quality, organic and environmentally and socially responsible products.

  • ChemSec, the International Chemical Secretariat, is an independent non-profit organization that operates globally to advance safer chemistry. Founded in 2002, the organization engages the work of chemists, political scientists, business experts, communicators and others. Through independent research, cross-border collaboration and practical tools, the organization advocates for progressive legislation and sustainable corporate chemicals management, and offers guidance to companies committed to changing the way they work with chemicals.

  • The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is dedicated to powering innovation for the circular economy through products that have a positive impact on people and planet. Through the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Products Program, the Institute sets the global standard for products that are safe, circular and made responsibly through its focus on material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness.

  • Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate services firm, developed Experience per SF™ — a proprietary tool that gives insight into workforce engagement and experience. Launched in 2020, the tool helped organizations identify what works and what doesn’t by measuring employee experience and performance as they shifted to work from home. And as the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, the tool continues to provide information that helps create a positive human experience.

  • HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. The company’s human-centered design approach prioritizes health and wellbeing — helping people thrive physically, mentally and socially in the built environment. HOK ensures sustainable material selection on all interiors projects, whether pursuing certification or not. This simplified framework that addresses embodied carbon, green chemistry and sustainable sourcing is yet another example of the firm’s commitment to lead on sustainable design.

  • Metropolis is an award-winning architecture and design-focused media company. Through its print and editorial coverage, virtual and in-person events, awards programs and advocacy initiatives, Metropolis speaks to the future of architecture and design. With a commitment to a sustainable, just and nurturing built environment, the company strives to help the architecture and interior design community make people’s lives better and safeguard life on this planet — including through the Interior Design for Positive Impact Pledge and Climate Toolkit for Interior Design.

  • re:loom — a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in Decatur, Georgia and a program of the Initiative for Affordable Housing — employs and empowers unhoused, refugee and low-income individuals who craft beautifully designed products out of recycled materials. The organization provides paid on-site job training for weavers, who earn a stable salary, 100 percent healthcare coverage, and opportunities to engage in the organization’s operations — helping them to weave a better life, while caring for the planet.

  • ToxNot is a software company with a mission to improve health and sustainability across global supply chains by streamlining the chemical transparency process. Toxnot provides an efficient system for manufacturers to import chemicals data, provide insight into their hazard profiles, report on the results and create safer products. Organizations use Toxnot to improve supplier data access; save time automating their compliance, sustainability and circularity goals; and delight customers with timely responses.

  • Walmart launched its “Built for Better” program in 2021 to provide an easy way for customers to identify products that are built for better — for people, communities and the planet. Icons designate products that have achieved independent, third-party standards for promoting personal wellbeing and reducing impact on the environment.

As part of this recognition program, Shaw will profile these 10 organizations in a Sustainable Brands™ blog series throughout the remainder of the year to showcase their efforts and inspire others to find new ways to invest in the health and wellbeing of the planet and its people.

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