Since he first joined Humanscale in 1996, Jon Strassner has gained a deep understanding and appreciation for the language, creativity and culture of the design community. Jon’s current role as Director of Workplace Strategies mirrors his passion for innovation, sustainability, and the future of this industry as we know it.
We recently spoke with Jon about his commitment to sharing Humanscale’s mission of creating healthy, restorative and sustainable places to work and live.
Q: Humanscale is one of the founding members of the Net Positive Project. Why is this initiative so important?
A:The Net Positive Project advocates for a world where companies put more into society and the environment than they take out. I have been traveling across the country, hosting events in a different market every week, to share that message and Humanscale’s journey to become a net positive manufacturer. Since I started giving these presentations in February, we’ve reached more than 1,800 industry professionals!
Q: What audiences are you educating about sustainable manufacturing?
A: We are trying to get our message out in front of everybody but our priority is the design community. It’s amazing how few architects and designers know about the International Living Future Institute and the Living Product Challenge. 95% of the people I talk to are hearing about this for the first time. It’s exciting that Humanscale is on the cutting-edge of this Net Positive Project and we really are educating the industry on what it’s all about.
Q: Have you shared this message with design students – the future of the industry?
A: We’ve partnered with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) to get our sustainability message in front of design students. ASID has about 5,000 student members and our partnership is allowing us the opportunity to reach this important audience. They are organizing regional student conferences, as well as an annual conference, which Humanscale is becoming a bigger part of.
At Neocon 2017, we had about 30 design students visit our showroom to learn about our environmental initiatives, which included Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and sustainable manufacturing methods. I’m really looking forward to reaching more of these students and developing a robust student outreach program.
Q: Do you think the Net Positive movement is catching on?
A: I think it has to catch on. If it doesn’t, we’re going to continue to draw non-renewable resources from this earth without giving anything back. Luckily, companies are taking environmental initiatives seriously. Mohawk Group, a flooring manufacturer, recently tackled the Living Product Challenge and earned a Petal Certification. I’m happy to see another manufacturer that is recognizing the value of the Net Positive project and sharing that information with their clients and design partners.
Q: Do you have any exciting events on the horizon?
A: This week, I’m headed to California to attend the ASID Leadership Experience and next, I’ll be making stops in Houston, Chicago, San Diego and Kansas City. After that, I’m headed to Pittsburgh for the 2017 Living Product Expo on September 12. I’ll be joining a panel discussion with some really impressive people, one of whom is Greg Norris from Harvard University. Greg created the concept of “Handprinting” in which a handprint is any beneficial or “net positive” impact we can make on the environment.
Don’t miss Jon and Humanscale at the 2017 Living Product Expo! You can also download our 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility report to see how Humanscale is making strides in our sustainability initiatives.