Manufacturing a Sustainable Award to Recognize Sustainability Leaders

Formica Corporation created awards for the inaugural Metropolis Planet Positive awards from renewable materials with an eye to reducing waste.

The Metropolis Planet Positive awards, established this year, celebrate projects and products that benefit people and planet. But how do you create a physical award to celebrate achievements in sustainable product design? Sustainably, of course!

Formica Corporation, a company known for its high pressure laminate surfaces, made the awards and wanted to ensure that the design and manufacturing behind them had a positive impact on the environment and human health. Their first task was to select a material that was responsibly sourced and had no negative impact on indoor air quality.

They settled on Formica Envision™ Custom Laminate with a structural phenolic panel in a compact thickness for the awards. Formica Envision™, like all of the brand’s products, meets all GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD GOLD requirements for indoor air quality. Made out of sheets of paper that are laminated together under high pressure to create a solid, durable surface, Formica’s products have full Forest Stewardship Council® certification and use FSC®-certified papers. 

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After finding a responsible product, Formica Corporation also came up with a plan to reduce manufacturing waste. They designed the awards to fit neatly within a standard sheet of laminate to avoid wasteful offcuts and odd dimensions. 16 rows of six-inch squares were cut from a single sheet, eliminating excess material. With the placards cut, the award logo was screen-printed onto each one, and packaged in fully recyclable packaging ready for transport.

It might seem like a lot of work for a simple award, but when product designers and manufacturers work to eliminate waste and select sustainable materials, their positive actions are multiplied many times over by virtue of mass production. Besides, it wouldn’t be right to have an unsustainably made trophy to celebrate products that give back to people and planet.

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