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From the forest to the factory, Taylor practices eco-responsibility at every level

As a guitar manufacturer, Taylor recognizes its role as an active participant in a worldwide ecosystem — both literally and figuratively — in which natural resources must be managed responsibly to safeguard their future. We take our responsibility to the environment seriously, and want customers to feel assured that when they purchase a Taylor guitar, they are supporting the highest levels of ethical, eco-conscious business.

For Taylor, eco-management extends beyond simply legal compliance. It means applying the same innovative thinking that drives our guitar making refinements to develop better, smarter ways to use natural resources, reduce waste, and promote their long-term availability.

We’ve developed pioneering partnerships with environmental organizations like GreenWood Global, a non-profit organization that empowers indigenous, forest-based communities to support themselves through sustainable forestry practices. Our work with GreenWood in Honduras has led to a successful new paradigm of social forestry, allowing several villages to participate in the sustainable harvesting of mahogany. 

Our commitment to sustainability is also reflected in the business relationships we forge with our suppliers and vendors. Internally, our Responsible Timber Purchasing Policy provides an ethical framework that guides our purchasing decisions through the entire supply chain and requires our suppliers to do the same. The emphasis on clear policies and communication has helped Taylor develop a strong network of compatible long-term partners. 

Innovative Measures for Responsible Manufacturing

Beyond the forest, Taylor’s manufacturing innovation has helped lighten our footprint on the environment. In the 1990s, Taylor developed an environmentally friendly polyester guitar finish that doesn’t have the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are present in the nitrocellulose lacquer finish commonly used on other guitars. By changing our specifications for milling neck wood from mahogany trees, our NT neck design not only created a more stable, playable guitar neck, it also enabled us to increase the number of guitar necks yielded from each tree harvested by about 50 percent. Among our eco-minded industry partners are companies like Reflex Packaging, which uses recyclable materials to produce the guitar box inserts we use to cushion a guitar during transport.

Taylor also has undertaken major recycling efforts across all levels of the company. In 2011, the company recycled and in some cases reused more than 35 tons of cardboard, 20,000 pounds of paper and paper products, all plastic wrap, used printer toners, electronic equipment, batteries, fluorescent lights, blades, and electrical parts and components, including e-waste recyclables along with oil and coolant products. Much of our scrap wood and sawdust are converted into particleboard and mulch, while other pieces are donated to a local woodworking association to be transformed into toys for orphans in Tijuana, Mexico.

Looking Ahead

Initiatives currently in development include several new wood sourcing ventures that support long-term sustainability, which includes the story of sustainable ebony at Crelicam mill in Cameroon. As Taylor continues to develop environmentally sound business relationships with suppliers, vendors and local communities, we hope to use our leadership position to help sustainable programs take root throughout the guitar industry.