When products are described as being sustainable and environmentally responsible what does that really mean? And does it always mean the same thing? There isn’t a universal definitive definition, and that’s why one has to look a little deeper into a company’s processes and ethos. Natural Pod operates as a purposeful business, therefore when we use the terms sustainable and environmentally responsible we’re referring to all aspects of the business: materials, manufacturing, processes, transportation, and human resources. How this translates into our main core values is:
- We always place people and the planet before profits.
- We manufacture our furniture with absolute regard for the communities we partner with.
- We operate our business to encourage conscious consumption.
Environmental responsibility and stewardship has been baked into our DNA from the outset; the company was born from a desire to create safe, healthy and sustainable education environments where each element of furniture brought into a learning space is part of a theory of social change that education based in sustainable values created with sustainable products, is the kind of transformation that our world needs now more than ever.
Manufactured to order, Natural Pod products go through a rigorous quality control process and demonstrate superior quality and workmanship. All our wood products are made with trees harvested using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified source material and are ethically manufactured in British Columbia, Canada, with non-toxic varnishes and soy-based glues. We have mindfully chosen to use high-quality materials each and every time. We’ve chosen plywood over particle board; fusion laminate over plastic laminate; NAUF panels over those with added urea-formaldehyde (glue); steel over plastic hardware; and quality steel frame legs over a thinner metal or plastic. This ensures our furniture has no harmful off-gassing and does not end up in landfills, but can be recycled and repurposed at the end of its life-cycle. This re-usability also goes for our crates and packaging, as we custom build recyclable crates to flat pack every order to minimize packaging waste and lower our carbon use.
Two educational institutions we recently had the pleasure of collaborating with, Harvard University, Massachusetts and ENC Nature Preschool, California, both of which call for the highest standards of sustainability, wanted to thoroughly check all of our materials and processes before we worked together. We are delighted to report this inquiry resulted in us partnering with both organizations because of our stringent adherence to every component of our products being truly safe, healthy and sustainable. This welcomed experience has afforded Natural Pod even greater confidence in standing by our products and processes as being truly ethical, sustainable and environmentally responsible.
Natural Pod also operates as a fully remote team to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum and lowering our environmental imprint whenever we can. We are one of the few companies in the world that creates sustainable learning furniture and by collaborating with educators globally we have helped create over 15,000 learning spaces and impacted nearly 1,000,000 students. Every classroom that we help create moves our global communities closer toward education that nourishes not only the students and teachers but also the local communities they are part of and the global community of humanity that needs defenders and advocates of the natural world for generations to come.
We are frequently asked to present to other educators and organizations to speak to the importance of schools being a space for creative thinking, a source for inspiration, and a starting point for developing students to be environmentally conscious global citizens.
Our team truly cares about the impact that a Natural Pod space has. From the effects on the environment through our manufacturing processes, distribution and the lifecycle of the product; to the human impact on our team and our clients. We are honoured to partner with others who share these values, and we look forward to continuing to do great work in this community. Thank you for sharing these values, and for being on this journey with us.