Sustainability Checklist for Quantum Lofts

Quantum Sails' commitment to sustainable business strategy is one of our core company values. As a sailing organization and network, the environment's health plays a major role in the future of our industry and favorite sport. In 2022, Quantum hired Lara Poljšak as Director of Sustainability to further expand our efforts toward environmental efficiency throughout our processes. 

Sustainable business practices are essential in every industry, especially in the world of sailing. Change is happening everywhere - at sailing events, in boatbuilding, in the behavior of sailors and industry experts, and most personal to us at Quantum, in sailmaking. 

Our efforts toward a better and more sustainable business model began at the core of our business - our lofts. However, to make relevant and effective changes, we first had to understand the current state of affairs at each Quantum loft worldwide. This assessment was done using a sustainability checklist for all Quantum lofts. The goal of this project was to recognize what has already been done and to set new sustainability goals for the future. 

The checklist covered eight main areas of concern. It was explicitly designed for sailmaking lofts to suit the type and nature of our work there. 

The Sustainable Loft Checklist was divided into the following topics (see the end of this article for more specific details):

The results from the checklist helped us see what urgently needed changing at each location. We introduced necessary changes to our extensive network of lofts worldwide to make them more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Our main areas of concern in this first assessment were the efficient use of energy and water and waste management. 

Efforts and changes adopted in most of our lofts are using energy-efficient light bulbs, using sleep or stand-by mode on equipment, changing air conditioning filters regularly, and using recycling bins. Within products and packaging, most of our lofts have partnerships in place to donate or sell old sails to be reused elsewhere. We also brought attention to the area of community work and connections, which may be easily overlooked in an overhaul of business processes. We have found that our loft managers and employees are very keen on sustainability efforts and are eager to make the necessary changes. When our lofts make steps toward sustainability and bring those lessons and practices into the community, Quantum is extending the positive impact on our environment. Partnerships with local businesses and the mentorship and tutoring of students and young sailors in the area are a priority in each of our locations.

This checklist gave us the insight we needed to overhaul our practices and continue pushing toward sustainable processes.  We can revisit this method periodically to check what has moved forward and what still needs improvement. We expect that every new loft and location will reach these criteria. 

Here are some examples of initiatives we’re working towards or have accomplished in our Lofts — see where some of these ideas can apply in your own work, home, or sailing life! 

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