BLYDE WAKE-UP CALLS
5 BURNING QUESTIONS TO CORINE DE BRUIJNE, HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY AT STUDIO HENK
The past years have laid bare many truths about our current model of capitalism — the severe income inequality and the belief that improving human lives and taking care of the environment are expendable for better profit margins. The changemakers in the growing Certified B Corporation community are demanding an end to the myth that profits must come at the expense of purpose, and environmental and social care. It’s time to wake up, it’s time for action.
At Blyde we believe in questioning the status quo. We believe in the power of the collective, in taking a stand and inspiring people by showing what can and must be changed. In our weekly Wake Up Calls, Blyde stirs up hunger for positive change. We listen to several B Corp voices who talk about their call to action for companies around the globe today. By letting people from different perspectives and businesses speak, we would like to underline the important role of business in this decade of action. ‘On stage’ today: changemaker Corine de Bruijne, Head of Sustainability at Studio HENK.
What was your wake-up call for contributing to a better world?
I have always had a great sense of justice. When I was about to become a mother, and our own company Studio HENK grew, the impact of companies really hit me. Not only the impact of the obvious ones – like the oil or meat industry – but also of ‘innocent’ companies that bring comfort to your home. We discovered that the furniture industry, e.g. through fast-furniture and manufacturing, creates immense waste production and CO2 emissions. This has a negative impact on the planet and our children’s future. In the past decades a lot of decisions in politics and in companies were made without ensuring that future generations would be able to meet their needs as well, which is a great injustice. Since we borrow this planet from future generations, we must maintain it carefully and repair it if necessary. We felt we needed to turn on the accelerator ourselves, and so we are on a mission towards a zero-waste furniture industry and making a positive impact. We hope to inspire the whole industry to do the same, as soon as possible.
What is your call to action for companies around the globe?
Open your eyes and start doing serious research on the impact your company, and the wider industry, has. Consider the impact you could have if you would redirect all your power and energy to create something positive. From the materials you use (or avoid), products and services you offer and partners you work with – these are the decisions that will shape the world for all future generations to come. You have a story to tell, so use your voice and your power to make a change and inspire others along the way.
Next to companies, people have an important role to play as well. By choosing which companies they spend their money with and what parties they vote to, they can demand that businesses and politicians make the right decisions. If the collective consciousness grows, we can create a snowball effect that will speed up the process.
The Sustainable Development Goals are an important blueprint for making the necessary changes. Which of these Goals calls you the most and why?
It also allows us to work on a made-to-order basis to avoid excess stock. We also offer services such as repairs, refurbishment and upgrades to ensure products never end up as waste. In addition, we are taking serious steps to meet the climate goals (SDG 13). Our organisation is climate neutral certified, and we’re working on mapping the CO2 emissions of all our products so we can start reducing our footprint even further and compensate for the remaining emissions.
Call me a changemaker – your company in 2030…(biggest dreams, wishes, plans?)
Call me a changemaker – my wish for 2030 is for Studio HENK’s business model to be primarily focused on offering services to keep products in use forever, rather than only selling and producing new products. We will continue to be one of the frontrunners. Supported by law and legislation that will require other companies to make rigorous changes, I expect our industry will largely adopt a zero-waste business model as well and will be climate neutral, or at least in line with the European ambitions to have a 55% decrease by 2030 and to be climate neutral by 2050.
If you could invite one company to join the B Corp community, what company would that be and why?
I would even fondly encourage all major, commercial companies to try to join the B Corp community as soon as possible, as that would make a huge and true impact on people and planet. Our best shot at reaching our climate goals in time, and to fight for climate justice effectively, is to make sustainability mainstream. Let’s turn the tide of the mainstream, and have it fighting with us for a (more) sustainable way of life.