Sustainable design technologies for eco-conscious business
Sustainability has become a key driver for businesses across the world.
Nowhere is the drive towards more eco-friendly practices more acute than in the development of commercial real estate.
As businesses simultaneously grow and strive to go carbon neutral, they need to look carefully at the workplaces and spaces to see how they can be designed as sustainably as possible.
Whether a brand new build or a retrofit, many of Canada’s architects and specifiers are exploring new and innovative ways in which to incorporate green technology and biophilic designs into their commercial projects.
One particular area of focus is sustainable building products. Neolith, a pioneering brand of Sintered Stone, is one such material. From partnering with manufacturers of treatments that turn façades into self-cleaning air-purifiers to using its own environmentally-friendly design techniques, it is fast becoming the number one surfacing choice for eco-conscious customers.
Constantly looking to improve its green credentials, here are just a few revolutionary technologies that are putting Neolith on the map as a leader in sustainable design:
The technology behind it
The move away from specifying high CO2 emission materials such as concrete, plastic and metals for commercial design needs is prompting a move towards low impact materials like Sintered Stone.
Neolith is manufactured using technology which replicates the process through stones naturally develop over thousands of years in just a few hours. The result is an ultra-compact surface, ideal for environments that need to accommodate heavy furniture and machinery, such as desks and computers, as well as consistent footfall.
Neolith in an office building
Ultra-resistant and highly durable, Neolith is often specified for commercial property renovation and construction due to its natural composition and recyclability. The material is 100% sustainable.
Self-cleaning and air-purifying
Neolith’s continuous research and development into its composition and manufacturing process represent just one aspect of its mission to become the most sustainable Sintered Stone producer on the market.
The brand has also partnered with PURETi, a NASA off-shoot, manufacturing water-based photocatalytic preventative maintenance solutions, to create an environmentally-friendly surface treatment for exterior façades.
570 Broome in New York City
This technology reduces air pollution by destroying Nitrous Oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that contact the treated stone, solely using the energy from natural sunlight and rain.
It’s ideal for exterior cladding, and has already been applied to a variety of high-rise buildings and private residences across Canada, Europe and the US, including 570 Broome: a 54-unit luxury boutique condominium in the heart of New York City.
Neolith also offers HYDRO-NDD 2.0—a sustainable design technology which greatly reduces the contaminating emissions sent into the environment from traditional printing methods.
Replacing previously used solvent-based inks with water solution varieties, this decoration technique delivers the high-quality colour and textural definition expected from Neolith’s surfaces, with a far lower carbon footprint.
Hydro NDD-2.0 and Neolith Sofia Cuprum
This new innovation offers businesses more possibilities than ever to realize their dream spaces while also emphasizing Neolith’s commitment to being the most sustainable Sintered Stone brand on the market.
Neolith’s dedicated partnerships and pioneering design technologies make clear that sustainability is at the core of its corporate ethos. In all, it’s an ideal choice for any business looking to build or refurbish its office and make a real, positive impact on the environment.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.