Sustainable Maritime Interiors - 2022 Report

169 Developing sustainable products Sustainability is a long-term vision that requires commitment if it is to be authentic and measurable. This requires tracking each product from the raw material extraction, through production and distribution, to user experience and disposal. To produce a sustainable product takes investment on many levels. Evaluation of the entire life cycle of materials and products is possible with the help of tools that help designers understand, compare and evaluate a product’s environmental impact in distinct phases of the life cycle. When products are designed with sustainability in mind, they have a far higher chance of achieving this aim than if green processes are introduced further along the production process in attempts to improve inefficient products. By taking a circular approach and planning for the ability to disassemble for reuse, it is possible to create products that consume minimal resources to create, have a long lifetime, and are either biodegradable or can be reused time after time. This can include ensuring that materials used are not toxic for people or the environment and can be reused or recycled after use. Mapping and assessing materials throughout the value chain is required to guarantee responsible production, minimise waste and prepare in advance of installation for how to manage the end of life of components. For now, the cost of sustainable alternatives is often higher than for mainstream options. However, it is worth noting that if the disposal of plastic compound materials were to be priced to reflect the full environmental impacts, it (and consequently the materials themselves) would be prohibitively expensive. Currently, the cost analysis for most products does not include the follow-up (and cleanup) costs of unsustainable practices. By supporting those companies that are pioneering better ways of making things, the balance will swing towards sustainable options that are affordable over time. Between them, the companies and products listed below are making strides in many areas of sustainability, demonstrating what is possible when individual organisations commit to greener practices. However, for sustainability to become embedded in all businesses producing products for maritime interiors, it is necessary for the industry to invest in further research and development for sustainable products. This includes finding solutions for the availability of the raw materials which are necessary to produce long-lasting, durable products that are ethically sourced and environmentally conscious, use less additives and chemicals and have lower environmental footprints throughout the value chain. Highlighted suppliers The following suppliers were highlighted by two or more contributors for their sustainability approach, performance or ambitions. The suppliers and products referenced do not necessarily have the required certifications for maritime use.