At Viaduct we are on a continuous journey to become a more sustainable company. Since our foundation, more than 35 years ago, we have kept an eye on sustainable practice through the mechanisms of environmental respect, social equity and financial rigour. We strive for these main pillars of our business to carry us through the next few decades, as the forces of our times continue to collectively challenge us.
In 2022, we can proudly state the following:
We are an employee-owned trust created to ensure a shared sense of pride and cohesion, and a long-term future for all staff.
5% of our profits go to charities or education projects. Previous beneficiaries have included the Material Futures Course at Central St Martin’s, Artangel, Cockpit Arts, Maggie’s, Greenpeace, Blue Marine Foundation, plus many other causes close to our hearts.
We are in the business of selling products which are made from a diverse range of materials. We, like you, are aware of the complex processes often involved in procurement of those materials. As we all become more attuned to the damage this may cause to the planet and its communities, we strive to select products made from responsibly sourced materials. We continually meet our suppliers to learn about their material advances as well as technological changes in their manufacturing processes, and we educate our team in accredited certification schemes linked to best practice. We will always address any material concerns to the best of our abilities.
We do not believe in furniture as fashion. The furniture and lighting that we sell is high quality design created by world-class designers and manufacturers. We believe it has a long life span and can be treasured well into the future.
On the rare occasion that we have old stock that is no longer saleable, then it is either donated to schools, other charities, or, as a last resort, dismantled into its component parts and recycled.
Product repair and end of life:
Clients often come back to us for replacement covers or repairs to pieces purchased over twenty years ago. Many of our sofa manufacturers offer replacement covers and we are also able to work with skilled craftsmen and upholsterers to prolong the life of the furniture that we have supplied.
We deal with more than two hundred high quality lighting and furniture companies, who are all developing strong sustainable policies. We strive to monitor our suppliers’ protocols and can happily provide details of our most sustainable suppliers.
Energy, transport and waste:
We are continually striving for greater energy efficiency to bring our emissions down. We have been measuring our carbon footprint since 2018 and currently offset with various projects including reforestation in Brazil, wind power in Uruguay and small hydropower projects in Chile.
Whenever possible, we consolidate furniture orders to minimise transport costs and fuel, working with couriers and shippers with active sustainable policies. When it comes to our team’s travel, they commute to work by foot, bicycle and public transport and, for overseas flights, we have become more selective about those we take.
We continue to try to minimise waste by whatever means possible. We have invested in padded fabric furniture covers for sending out samples which minimises the use of bubblewrap and cardboard. Wherever possible, we take back any packaging to ensure reuse, recycling or responsible disposal.
It is with humility that we approach the concept of sustainability. We recognise that we are a small part of a global network of complicated supply chains. We are working within a constantly evolving industry in which recommendations and legislation are evolving at pace. However, we step up to the challenge of continual improvement by scrutinising the practices of our multiple suppliers as we strive to steer a positive future for our business. We return to our core values as an employee-owned business, as a provider to our customers, as a supporter of emerging talent and the wider design community and to make a contribution to the future of our shared planet.