NativeStone boosts concrete-sink concept
It’s not yet clear whether concrete will become a bathroom trend mainstay in 2014, but one company is launching a new line of sinks that makes it all seem possible.
Native Trails has come up with a cement and jute fiber material called NativeStone, which resists staining and cracking while maintaining a cool, silky exterior. It also provides a lower price-point for customers who desire the look and feel of concrete but can’t afford a custom project.
"Concrete is an emerging home design trend that we see used far more often for countertops, floors, furniture, and even home exteriors," says Native Trails CEO and founder Naomi Neilson Howard. "NativeStone makes great use of concrete’s natural beauty and its natural color—gray—which is also a hot design trend right now, and avoids all of its previous downfalls. It is gorgeous and silky to the touch. For the first time, concrete communicates luxury just as powerfully as it does function."
Howard, together with Native Trails president Tim Blair, came up with the product after spending time with artisans in Vietnam and researching their methods.
In keeping with Native Trails’ Eco-Social Positive company ethic, the addition of jute (a natural, renewable vegetable fiber) makes the sinks stronger and more sustainable than other concrete alternatives — generating less waste and requiring less energy to produce.
Big Chill adds contemporary twist to its mid-century appliances
Big Chill is known for its colorful, vintage home appliances. This time, the company is coming out with a Pro Range, Pro Kitchen Hood and Pro Refrigerator with a contemporary-meets-mid-century look.
"These new Big Chill Pro kitchen appliances blend sleekly modern looks, bold colors and serious performance coveted by design aficionados and dedicated home cooks alike," said the company in a statement.
Beyond its appealing retro look, the Pro Range comes with a variety of burners for different cooking applications and features convection baking, a ceramic infrared broiler and full-extension racks. The matching Pro Hood comes with dishwasher-safe stainless steel filters, variable blower control and commercial-grade 18-gauge 300 steel construction.
As for the Energy Star-rated Pro Refrigerator, 18.5 cubic feet of space is paired with gallon door storage and two half-width crisper drawers for ease of use.
The new appliances come in a variety of colors, including classic stainless steel, French Blue, Cabernet Red, Basil Green, White, Cream, Sunflower Yellow, or any of 200 custom colors.
Weyerhaeuser provides sustainability update
Weyerhaeuser shared the results of its 11th annual sustainability report, with highlights that included a perfect timberlands certification record.
"At Weyerhaeuser, sustainability is how we do business," said Doyle Simons, president and CEO, in his letter to stakeholders. "It all comes back to flawless execution to achieve our vision: working together to grow a truly great company for our shareholders, customers and employees. To us, this means creating a great place to work, achieving great financial results and making a great contribution to society. Our goal is to do all three really well, all the time."
Other points of note: 73% of Weyerhaeuser’s sites stayed injury-free last year, with a recordable incident rate of less than one. Additionally, the company followed the ‘In accordance’ – Comprehensive level of the new Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
Among its sustainability initiatives last year was a new data collection program that streamlined and simplified report content.
And finally, some recognition: Weyerhaeuser was listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the third year in a row, and it also ranked sixth on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list and was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute.