4: Pioneer Millworks – Reclaimed and Eco-Friendly Wood
Rainforests are the earth’s lungs and forests are a huge part of the solution to climate change. But on the other hand, wood is considered a sustainable and renewable raw material. How is that so? We ask these questions to Jonathan Orpin, the Founder of Pioneer Millworks, a company truly focused on the triple bottom line. I visited their plant in Farmington, NY to see firsthand how they work as a team.
In these tumultuous times of mass layoffs, we have to introspect as to what makes a business successful. Pioneer Millworks operates on a simple belief that people, planet, and profit work to ensure a better future – Pioneer Millworks operates on the triple bottom line. In terms of the products they carry – they reclaim wood from abandoned or structures about to be torn down and give them a new life by creating marketable products. On average we process 1,062,000 board feet of reclaimed wood yearly—by reclaiming and reusing, has been saved from ending up in landfills. The new wood is harvested sustainably with minimal impact on the forests and the local communities. Pioneer Millworks offers a variety of sustainable, fairly priced options for consumers seeking a sustainable wood source. One especially fascinating product is Shou Sugi Ban, that uses the Japanese age-old technique of scorching wood. This technique makes the wood resist rot and insects in a sustainable manner and most of the options last for decade without requiring refinishing.
On the people front, Jonathan talks about how a well-thought-out succession plan is part of good corporate governance. With that in mind, they are currently a 30% employee-owned company (an ESOP) working toward being 100% employee-owned. Learn more in this episode of Mindful Business, about how a company can focus on people and the planet, and still be prosperous.
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