Room & Board announces Emily McGarvey as its first Director of Sustainability. In this role, McGarvey will be responsible for implementing environmentally-sound strategies to further advance the company’s mission of delivering built-to-last furniture through sustainable practices that prioritize American craftsmanship.
“My initial framework for furthering Room & Board’s sustainability strategy is to elevate our position as a sustainability leader by focusing on how our furnishings and decor are better for people and the planet, and to standardize the measures we hold ourselves to for our products and operations,” says McGarvey.
Since its formation in 1980, sustainable practices have long been a pillar for the retailer, with current initiatives including sourcing reclaimed wood and incorporating recycled natural steel, plastic, and fabric into their furniture and decor. In 2017, Room & Board also partnered with the USDA Forest Service to begin an initiative known as the Urban Wood Project, allowing Room & Board to reclaim wood from old buildings destined for demolition and downed urban trees to repurpose them as unique, modern home furnishings.
McGarvey’s appointment seems to be a direct response to the ever-evolving role of sustainability within the industry, with her leadership being leveraged to navigate the complex issues that will help further solidify Room & Board’s corporate values amidst this rapidly changing generation of sustainable efforts.
“Sustainability is exciting because it has the power to not only positively affect our communities and planet, but also a company’s bottom line – being sustainable should drive sales, reduce expenses, increase brand reputation, and mitigate brand risk,” McGarvey says.
Welcoming Emily McGarvey to the Room & Board Team
McGarvey brings 20 years of experience spearheading social and environmental strategies with a focus on product, supply chain, operations, and branding. As Target’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, she played an integral role in developing the corporation’s sustainability program, rolling out enterprise-wide initiatives including the company’s chemical management and transparency policy and their incredibly popular Car Seat Trade-In program.
In 2018, she founded Star Impact Consulting, where she provided purpose-driven strategy and branding for both for-profit and nonprofit business sectors such as Apparel Impact Institute.
“Hiring Emily and defining this role was the logical next step in our pledge to fight climate change and ensure we’re doing our part to protect the planet for generations to come,” says President and COO, Bruce Champeau. “Room & Board has always been dedicated to local industries to craft our furniture. This model has allowed us to mitigate unnecessary waste and reduce the distance materials travel. We’ve proven that American-made is not just smart business, it is also smarter environmentally.”