We have partnered with the prestigious brand of guitars Taylor Guitars to develop an exciting responsible trade ebony project in Cameroon.
Established in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, Taylor Guitars has evolved into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic, acoustic/electric and electric guitars.
Headquartered in El Cajon, California, Taylor Guitars employs nearly 700 people and currently produces hundreds of guitars per day in its state-of-the-art factory complexes in both El Cajon and in Tecate, Mexico. The company maintains an active dealer network with Taylor guitars available in over 800 retail locations in North America and international distribution to 60 countries, including a distribution warehouse in the Netherlands.
Renowned for blending an innovative use of modern technology with a master craftsman’s attention to detail, Taylor guitars are widely considered the best sounding and easiest to play in the world. The company was a pioneer of the use of computer technology, lasers and other high-tech tools and machinery and today, Bob Taylor is widely recognized throughout the musical instrument industry as the visionary acoustic guitar manufacturer. The company’s innovations include, but are not limited to, the New Technology ® (NT) neck, the first major innovation in the construction of the acoustic guitar in the last 100 years; the award-winning Expression System® (ES) pickup, a groundbreaking, high-tech approach to amplifying an acoustic guitar; and the T5, the first, true hybrid acoustic and electric guitar that can produce amplified acoustictones, full-crunch electric, and everything in-between with the flip of a five-way switch.
Outstanding playability, flawless craftsmanship, and stunning aesthetics are just a few of the reasons that many of today’s leading musicians make Taylor their guitar of choice. The company’s artist roster numbers in the thousands, and includes the likes of Dave Matthews, Taylor Swift, Prince, Jason Mraz, and Zac Brown, among many others.
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.
Initiatives currently in development include several new wood sourcing ventures that support long-term sustainability, which we’ll report on as they unfold. 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.