Leading change by changing attitudes – and practices
JRS Amenities’ leadership in sustainability owes much to the thinking of one of the 20th century’s most influential architects and designers, Buckminster Fuller. A pioneer in the environmental movement, he asked himself how one little person could help change the world.
His answer was to act like the trim tab on a large ship’s rudder. The rudder enables the ship to turn; turning the much smaller trim tab makes it far easier to move the rudder and steer the ship in a new direction.
For more than three decades, JRS founder and President Susan Howard Memory has been acting like a trim tab for positive change in luxury amenities. Changing behaviour starts with changing attitudes, which leads to changes in practice.
The Waste-Not-Basket™ helped to change the game
Susan’s experience with the Waste-Not-Basket™ illustrates the power of taking the first step. Her life-long personal commitment to living more sustainably and supporting others to do the same, led her to develop the Waste-Not-Basket™, the first in-room recycling solution designed as a beautiful piece of furniture to enhance the guest experience. Like many innovators, her thinking was ahead of her time—and not always embraced.
When Susan first brought her Waste-Not-Basket™ to the GM of a growing collection of luxury boutique hotels, he was indignant. The GM’s attitude? “I will not ask our guests to recycle.”
Susan persisted, however, and attitudes did change, thanks in no small part to her leadership. Today the Waste-Not-Basket™ and other recycling containers are found in luxury hotels worldwide. It is now guests who take offense when a hotel fails to offer recycling. The Waste-Not-Basket™ was the first that enabled luxury properties to provide recycling in style.
MOSAIC™ marked a sea change in luxury amenities
The same instinct to enable the industry to do the right thing environmentally in the most elegant way also led Susan to develop the MOSAIC™ dispenser.
Prior to MOSAIC, dispensers were industrial–all function and no form, and typically found in locker rooms. MOSAIC’s artful design, custom branding abilities, plus operational and economic advantages enabled a decisive change in direction. It gave luxury properties the confidence to change from single-use plastic bottles to stylish, sustainable dispensers made of Tritan Copolyester–the current state of the art in materials.
Again, innovation met intransigence. One luxury chain operator Susan approached early on maintained there was no problem with waste from single-use containers because “there was lots of room” in landfills. In today’s terms, this is unimaginable. Her persistent trim tab turning, however, is leading to a sea change in the luxury industry. Attitudes evolve. And MOSAIC™ has become the global gold standard for elegant, and environmentally responsible, dispensing solutions.
Change for the better is constant
JRS has always understood that there is always room for improvement. Susan has long been turning the trim tab to reduce environmental impact. JRS has avoided using PVC’s and has educated and encouraged overseas producers to adopt better materials and processes. It has continuously sourced more sustainable materials for all its products, including green based amenities, (best for people and planet), and champions the use of bio additives to make conventional plastics biodegradable.
Every small turn of the environmental trim tab helps effect a change in direction toward a more sustainable world.