Sustainability Sprint – The Dash to Keep Up

Lucas Hamilton

The days of not keeping up with trends is over. Like it or not sustainability is here to stay and you don’t want to get left behind.

The race is on to keep up with the ever-changing world of sustainability and it is causing manufacturers and building professionals to scramble to catch up. It’s a subject matter with a great deal to learn. There are outside influences like building codes and socio-economic influences driving sustainability into the mainstream, and people may feel like they are out of step and that their vocabulary is insufficient to accurately communicate about sustainability. 

Training is the key. We, at CertainTeed are in the midst of a continuing education initiative for our sales force, our customers and others on sustainability. We are addressing what programs have changed, what requirements have changed and what new technologies are available. Sustainability is influencing our trends, in terms of types of products we use. There is increased use of vegetative roofs, photovoltaics and other, much needed, energy efficiency methods being incorporated into buildings to improve performance. 

In addition to these “outbound” activities, we have a significant internal focus on our manufacturing facilities and CertainTeed employees. First you have to “green” your products, then your facilities, and then your people and practices. It is an on-going “organic” process which never stops.

Urban areas outpace rural areas with regard to sustainability, which was discussed in a previous blog, indicating that there is still a long way to go with regard to education and training on sustainability.

I am finding that people are a little afraid of sustainability because the practice is still new and it’s catching them off guard.  The trick is to get into it, stay into it, have conversations with people and learn from each other about sustainability. 

Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation.

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