Mohawk Group, a leading producer of sustainable commercial flooring, carpeting, and hard surface products, recently hosted its annual Sustainability Summit from May 9-11 in Seattle—a setting for relaxation, networking, and learning. The intimate summit of leading sustainable executives and designers included tours of award-winning spaces, innovative workshops, panel discussions, and networking dinners with a focus on mindfulness and wellness.
The first day of the summit was all about artful sustainability. Attendees traveled to the Asian Art Museum for a dinner with Amanda Sturgeon, CEO of the International Living Furniture Institute (ILFI). Amanda, who recently became CEO, shared her vision for the organization that is at the forefront of sustainability and philosophy— a potent mix for riveting dinner conversation.
The second day of the summit began with a mindfulness and wellness workshop titled “Yoga and Yogurt”—a lesson in low impact exercises to integrate into daily life coupled with an organic yogurt tasting. Later in the day, attendees discussed the relationship between planetary and human health lead by Bill Streng, President of Operations and eCommerce at TOTO USA, Lynette Tedder, Sr. Associate at Perkins+Will, and Jessica Bollhoefer, Vice President, Sustainability Director at JLL. The discussion touched on “mega-trends” that enable sustainable solutions, productivity and the workplace, and material transparency. Lynette Tedder noted that although we all strive to create the healthiest projects possible we must still often choose the, “lesser of evils. There are often no perfect products.”
“Wellness Time” came next as attendees visited local wellness sites to take time for themselves, followed by a tour of a SEED classroom at Perkin’s School. It’s the first all SEED (Sustainability Education Every Day) classroom, and attendees were addressed by Stacey Smedley, the visionary co-founder of SEED, “We want to find ways to educate and inspire kids to see the importance of sustainability and the role buildings can play in our lives. SEED really isn’t about the classroom building per se, it’s about what the classroom is doing for the students and teachers.”
That day closed with a candid and inspiring conversation with Steve Curwood, host and executive producer of the popular NPR program “Living on Earth.” Curwood shared why working for the environment is so critically important and touched on the many obstacles and opportunities we have to make a positive change.
The last day of the summit began bright and early with a trip via Seattle’s Monorail to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit in the Seattle Center. Here, attendees viewed the studio glass of Dale Chihuly while walking through the garden, glasshouse, and interior exhibits. A half hour group meditation followed breakfast and lead into a biophilia workshop run by Jackie Dettmar, VP of design and development at Mowhawk. Dettmar has become a leader in the world of biophilia incorporation in business, and this workshop focused on how to bring the outdoors into products, offices, spaces, and lives.
The ILFI UnConference, also sponsored in part by Mohawk Group, followed the Sustainability Summit in Seattle from May 11-13. Sustainability Summit attendees were given the opportunity to attend the UnConference and the summit back-to-back—a unique opportunity for sustainability professionals.