This month, Los Angeles will welcome Greenbuild – the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building – to our eco-savvy city. For more than 30 years, Bentley has operated in L.A., manufacturing our carpet to California’s progressive environmental criteria, the country’s strictest standards. It’s a challenge we’ve embraced. It’s shaped our approach to sustainability, embedding eco-thinking and action into not only our design and production processes but also our culture.
We’re helping lead the industry’s sustainability conversation every day, but since Greenbuild gives us a terrific opportunity to show off our sustainable city – and all of the LEED® buildings we’re part of – it seemed apt to share something else we’re excited about: David Turkes, Bentley’s in-house sustainability engagement specialist.
David is new to the Bentley family; he’s also new to the carpet industry. But he’s been passionate about environmental issues since age seven, and his fresh perspective on how to evolve and elevate our engagement in sustainability is exactly what we need today. David’s advice for those looking to live a greener lifestyle is to “focus on the little things” – but he has much bigger plans for himself, and for Bentley.
- How do you live your life in a “green” way? What makes you passionate about environmental responsibility? I live my life in a green way by thinking of the little things. Whether it’s unplugging unused electronics, conducting a personal energy audit, researching new initiatives or ideas, cutting back on wasteful spending or just thinking about how to do something efficiently, I make myself accountable for my environmental impact. My passion for environmental responsibility comes from my time in Hawaii. Living in such a unique and diverse area made me understand the future is more relevant than the present. If I can better the environment for the future, how do I do that in the present?
- What is your biggest sustainability-related goal – personally and for the business? Personally, my biggest sustainability goal is to transition towards more sustainable transportation. While my commute to work is shorter than most, I know this is one area I can make an impact. I plan to purchase my first electric vehicle, a Tesla Model 3, by the end of next year. I camped out overnight to put my name in for a reservation because I strongly believe in Tesla’s mission and I’ve had firsthand experience with its products. For the business, my biggest sustainability goal is recycling. While energy efficiency is a very close second, I believe recycling, in this industry, is looking for its next push. I look forward to researching and working with companies that have experimented with ideas for recycling. This area of sustainability is extremely intriguing, whether it’s used carpeting from previous projects, or using more recycled content within our products while keeping the chemical integrity.
- What do you want people to know about Bentley’s commitment to environmental responsibility? Our commitment hasn’t changed. We stand firm on our objectives and resolutions and are actively seeking ways to improve and assist where we can. We take pride in being recognized for our products, but we also place a heavy emphasis on being a sustainable-minded company. We strive to consistently improve and exceed our environmental goals.
- You describe your sustainability mission as, in part, “getting everyone on the same page.” Can you elaborate? Everyone has a different idea of what sustainability is and what it should be. I look forward to taking all of these ideas and suggestions and crafting a message for Bentley so everyone knows sustainability is a priority and we can make an impact. I want ideas in marketing shared with those in product development and I want suggestions from the dye lab shared with the production team. It flows with our commitment to transparency. Communicating every idea or initiative will make our sustainability mission successful.
- What sustainability trends are you seeing in the industry? Transparency is gaining traction. The emergence of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs) is a very encouraging sign. Companies want their clients to know what’s in their products. They are willing to be accountable for what materials they’re using. This, along with the creation of a “red list,” shows hazardous or harmful materials are being phased out of everyday life.
- What sustainability trends are you seeing outside of the industry? Sustainable trends I’m seeing are heavily focused around energy efficiency. Whether it’s purchasing Energy Star appliances, trading in gas guzzling vehicles, installing efficient light bulbs or purchasing more recycled content based products, society seems to be going for the money makers in sustainability. Trying to acquire the greatest savings in the shortest time frame is what seems to be trending. However, I’d caution that just because something is advertised as being more economically friendly, doesn’t mean it is.
- What do you believe differentiates Bentley from other carpet manufacturers when it comes to sustainability? While other manufacturers have made major headway in the field of sustainability, one main thing I feel Bentley prides itself on is transparency. Want to know what projects we’ve been involved with? Interested in awards we’ve achieved? Need to know what our products are made of? It’s on the website. If something isn’t listed on the website? Give us a call and we’ll provide you with whatever information you need.