Martin is a brand that people, musicians and non-musicians alike, often recognize. This stands to reason as The Martin Guitar Company has been producing high quality acoustic instruments for over 185 years. Each generation of the Martin family has faced their own unique challenges with an ever evolving industry. With every new obstacle, the company has had to adapt to maintain its long-established legacy.
Recent trends in the guitar building industry, as we’ve discovered through several interviews with builders and CEOs from various guitar companies, include enhanced focus on sustainability. This is due in part to heightened regulations on the import and use of rare and endangered woods. But even more so, builders these days seem more aware of the impact their businesses may have on the environment.
Under the leadership of the current Chairman and CEO, Chris Martin IV, C.F. Martin formalized its long-standing ecological policy in 1990. The continued efforts of this policy have directed the company towards more environmentally friendly practices such as using sustainable-yield, alternative wood species and encouraging responsible use of traditional natural materials.
B Corp Certification
These efforts seem to have served the company well, as C.F. Martin & Co. recently announced they have become the first company in the musical instruments industry to receive B Corp certification. As the company describes, “This prestigious certification recognizes companies that use business as a force for good, meeting the highest standards of positive impact on society and the environment, focusing just as much on people and the planet as they do on profit.” This certification did not come easy. While environmental impact was one factor, B Lab, the governing body of B Corp certification, looked at over 170 other factors including: examining Martin’s customers and vendors, its record of inclusion, its involvement in the community, its corporate governance, and assessing things like average employee tenure and amount of charitable giving.
Chris Martin Interview
During our visit to Anaheim, California for the yearly Winter NAMM Show, we ran into Chairman and CEO of C.F. Martin & Co., Chris Martin IV. We were honored to have the opportunity to sit with Martin for an interview the following day where we talked about some exciting new products, changes and developments within the guitar industry, sustainability, and future prospects. Watch the interview below.
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