Updated: Feb 21
The American brand Martin Guitar is a known leader in environmental consciousness due to its commitment to creating the most eco-friendly and sustainable guitars on the planet. Additionally, they created a campaign to increase resources for elephant protection.
Martin Guitar has been creating the finest instruments in the world for over 180 years and remains a leading acoustic instrument maker to this day. Next to a long history of maintaining quality craftsmanship, the brand is definitely one of the pioneers in terms of environmental awareness. Within the process of creating their instruments, Martin Guitar has founded several initiatives directly linked to a sustainable manufacturing process.
Martin Guitar has long been committed to responsible and environmental company policies and manufacturing. Nearly 80% of the wood used at the company has a level of "Forest Stewardship Council certification", an international non-profit, organization that claims to promote responsible management of the world's forests. This way, each of the produced guitars can obtain the FSC label and the "Rainforest Alliance" certified seal (another international non-governmental organization that works to promote strong forests and healthy communities), and its players can rest assured that the wood used comes from forests that have met rigorous standards for protecting forestlands, communities, and wildlife. The guitar production resources are audited annually. Martin Guitar sources a majority of its tonewoods by actually visiting the plants to ensure their sustainability. Seven years ago, the brand organized the "Biannual Wood Summit", an event that gathers global environmentalists to discuss sustainability in sourcing raw materials, specifically the exotic woods from which Martin Guitar crafts its acoustic guitars.
“Protecting the environment and all of its precious resources has been at the forefront of my family’s business since its inception.”
Chris Martin, Chairman & CEO
REDUCING SINGLE-USE PLASTIC AT NAMM
Before all non-virtual events came to a complete halt, January 2020 saw The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, one of the world's largest conferences for music products, professional audio, and event technology industry. On this occasion, Martin Guitars and the NAMM teamed up with REVERB to take the first step toward eliminating single-use plastic at the event. REVERB is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering millions of individuals to take action toward a better future for people and the planet through music. They are partnered with a lot of musicians like Tame Impala, Billie Eilish, Dave Matthews Band, The 1975, to "green up" their concerts.
“When future generations look back at what we’ve done together, my hope is for them to see how much of our great tradition we have sustained, while at the same time, to see how boldly we have moved into the future.”
Chris Martin, Chairman & CEO
Martin Guitar has a long history of environmental stewardship. Although their ecological policies were formalized in 1990, the brand has been concerned about the poaching of African elephants since the 1970s, when it first replaced the ivory used in its instruments with a synthetic material. In 2013, the company implemented a plan to phase out using the material on all of its models. Today, both the PMI (Preserved Mammoth Ivory), like elephant ivory before, has been completely removed from its supply chain and is no longer used on any guitar model it manufactures.
To help end the worst poaching crisis in history, Martin Guitar launched #SaveElephants, a partnership between The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Program and China Program to increase wildlife security, expand habitat, reduce demand, and reduce poverty and instability (the root cause of poaching). The campaign will provide people with simple actions to help elephants that altogether will make a difference.
Among other initiatives, the brand also works with a lot of projects like "Green Idea Index", a list in an ever-growing list about sustainable projects implemented not only at their facilities in North America but around the world, and "Chiller & Central Boiler Plant Project", a work for which Martin received a 2017 Better Project Award from the "U. S. Department of Energy" for the completion of a Chiller/Boiler Plant Project that reduced energy consumption by 40%.
Martin Guitar's commitment to the environment is deep and has remained unwavering throughout the company's long history, one of the core values of their mission statement is to honor and protect the environment, and there is no doubt that they do so with passion and responsibility. We hope that in the nearest future, many key players of the music industry will follow in this company's footsteps to improve the music industry's economic footprint for good, and for the better.