How does Regenerative Development benefit communities?
“When a practitioner of Regenerative Development works in a project or community, the result should be increasing ableness for that community. People should become better able to evolve and pursue the aspirations they hold for healthy and meaningful lives. Water and air should be increasingly able to maintain their quality, and forests to support enlarged diversity of life. These are the indicators that real value has been delivered to stakeholders.” www.Regenerat.es
What is green, sustainable or regenerative manufacturing?
The single skilled craftsman encompassed the earliest form of making products. Training was personal and the tradesmen took pride in their work and the benefits it produced. A post-industrial world saw the use of machinery, increased scale and a trend toward practices that were Extractive to people and planet. Recognizing a need for change and making a choice to do better, manufacturers improved their processes and identified themselves as “GREEN companies”. With an aim to do “less bad”, and quantify what better should look like with agreed measurements, companies were certified through third-party groups as SUSTAINABLE. Companies with a REGENERATIVE aim were either founded with this mission, or made conscious choices to work to create new and fitting potential for the places they operate and the sectors they disrupt. Regenerative design opens a new level of exploration. It begins a process of wholistic, collaborative development. This occurs in tandem with the natural world and the inhabitants of the places they work.
“What if consumers became healers of the world?” – Chris McCurry speaks on environmental issues at the Leadership NC Conference in Asheville.
What are the green or regenerative benefits I receive when purchasing from the “Original Manufacturer of Bark Wall Coverings”?
We offer a thirty-year track record with over 250 well placed publications sharing our regenerative philosophy that is now and has always been the core-business for this company. The co-founders designed the original products and processes, inspired by nature. The products you purchase reach their highest achievement when supporting your regenerative projects. Read more about the benefits below. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] to ask questions or share your project details with us.
Where is the wood sourced?
Bark House sources only Reclaimed Appalachian Wood Waste, (RAW™) from small 10-acre tracts owned and stewarded by local families over generations.
What benefit do you create when you only source materials from the Appalachian region?
The Bark House manufacturing facility is located within the five states across the Appalachian region in which our raw materials are sourced. The co-founders were born here and understanding “Appalachia” as a place has been their life’s work. Because this is our neighborhood, we take our impacts very personally. The proximity means that our neighbors can let us know what we’re doing well and where we need to improve. The benefits we are most proud of is helping to keep family farms intact and providing right-fit, nature-based jobs in this economically distressed area. The legacy of US Forestry practices began in our back yard. We aim to honor the philosophy of those practices by exceeding them.
What benefits are created from small-tract harvesting?
Whether select (most often) or clear-cutting, smaller tracts sparsely spaced throughout many Appalachian states means that the impact of harvesting is less disruptive to the living eco-system. Loggers provide materials from forty-five counties across five Appalachian states.
What benefits do smaller eco-logging crews offer?
Smaller 2-3 person crews with lighter equipment disturbs the soil less, so regrowth occurs faster. Carefully felling and removing trees and following Forestry Best Management Practices protects the trees from scarring and invaders. These practices are less disruptive to the living eco-system.
How does the Bark House® process impact local watersheds?
- The company’s material procurement model utilizes small logging crews, with less equipment on small tracts and has a lighter impact on the environment
- Loggers are trained in water stewardship and have state governed logger certifications
- No water is used in direct manufacturing
- Bark House participates in water stewardship initiatives, stream bank restoration and stream protection initiatives to improve water quality in the Appalachian Region
- We advocate for and educate about clean water
- We monitor Government Reporting on watersheds where our materials are sourced
What else is Bark House involved in to improve Appalachian forests and impact climate change remediation?
You can read about all our engagements over thirty years in real-time accounts published in the EmBark Blog and over 250 acclaimed publications. Right now, we are working to support a Regenerative Source Guild of the Blue Ridge.
How does your investment in Solar Panels impact your Carbon Footprint?
Solar panels replace our electricity as one important component in the total carbon equation to manufacture a low carbon product.
How does Bark House’s unique kilns impact your Carbon Footprint?
High efficiency kilns designed by co-founder Marty McCurry exclusively for the complex process of drying bark are the first and only kilns of their kind. They received the NC Governor’s Green Innovation Award and are one important component in the total carbon equation to manufacture a low carbon product.
Do poplar bark panel wall coverings qualify for LEED building practices?
Bark House veneer wall coverings may qualify for LEED points based on locally or regionally sourced product.
What financial benefits does Bark House create for Appalachian families?
At a minimum, 50% of annual company income is invested directly in to the local community. As a comparison, big box stores invest 12% in the local communities where they operate. Products are 100% sourced and made in the Appalachians. We purchase wood-waste products from land owners that are not acceptable in the standardized industry because of figure, curl or massive size. Employees are paid a living wage as a starting point. Importantly, a new income stream for this economically challenged area means that family farms can remain intact.
How does Bark House support the culture of the Appalachian region?
Bark House supports cultural diversity, equity and inclusion. These attributes can be traced in Appalachian culture before European settlement began and as it occurred. Cultural diversity is inspired by the region’s vast bio-diversity of flora and fauna. One thing this culture of independent people agree on is an appreciation for nature. Bark House work supports people to retain this close relationship with nature. Our volunteer work and community contributions center on further developing this relationship.
What verification can you offer that supports your social benefits?
Bark House believes in shared prosperity and we can back up our claim of social benefits with the certifications and awards that we’ve received:
- We maintained a B Corp Certification over a ten year period earning Best for the World Awards.
- Bark House was the first and only (to date) to receive a Platinum grade from Cradle to Cradle across all platforms.
- We are considered a Buckminster Fuller Catalyst Company.
- We received a Regenerative Business Award.
- The Department of Commerce presented Spruce Pine Main Street with a Design Award for the Main Street Pocket Park and Visitor’s Center. This project is one that we spent years volunteering our time and resources to and we couldn’t be prouder of the outcome.
- In 2016, Bark House was an Architectural Record Product of the Year Winner.
- Root Cause honored us with the 2017 Support of Local Wood Product Award in recognition of our efforts in promoting local forest products and supporting jobs in the forest products industry.
- We may not have been on the prestigious John Ruskin Prize shortlist, but we were among the top 5%.
- Other certifications and awards can be viewed on the certification page
What social benefits do bark panels offer beyond the Appalachian region?
Bark House views the development of a relationship that honors nature as critically important, especially in view of a disrupted climate. Our wall coverings go into the space where people spend most of their time (indoors) and provide a gentle invitation to remember those healing, invigorating moments outdoors – in a forest.
Can Bark House help me to share the benefits that my project creates with others?
Projects with Bark House products have been featured in over 250 well-positioned media outlets as well as being featured in our blog. We want to celebrate the benefits your project is creating for people or the environment.
If you have further questions for us, please reach out to [email protected] or schedule an appointment.