Karen, Prod.Ev. Group Leader Leather Finish, Automotive Leather Chemicals Tech Service & Sales
Karen Brighouse has worked at Stahl for 25 years. She works as Group Leader Leather Finish for the automotive sales division. In this position, she monitors all kinds of technical processes and carries out tests across all processes, from Wet-End through to Finishing. Located in Waalwijk, Karen is devoted to a sustainable future for each and every one of us. In a previous interview, she shared her vision on sustainability.
What is your personal vision of sustainability?
"It is a process of awareness. Sustainability is actually very obvious; it is a matter of dealing with things as efficiently as possible."
What is your impression of sustainability at Stahl?
"The leather industry tends to be sustainable by nature. If you have processed an animal for meat, the skin is left over. With this left over you can make leather. So we do nice things to what is essentially a waste product."
What is your impression of sustainability on the work floor at Stahl?
"At Stahl every employee is responsible for CSR and this is definitely felt throughout the whole organization. From the top, employees are proactively encouraged to consider themselves how they can contribute to sustainability in their position. You can see that the theme is increasingly discussed on the work floor.”
Is sustainability 'expensive’?
“Not really. Sustainable processes cost less because there is less waste. It is true that an initial investment must be made but, over time, sustainability is financially more attractive than existing solutions. To be sustainable, you must have a long-term vision and, fortunately, Stahl has this."
When you think of sustainability, what is your dream scenario for the future?
"That everything is to be reused endlessly. I was born in the seventies and my parents taught me not to throw things away until I had completely finished using them. This made me very aware of the importance of recycling from a very early age. Good information is essential as well. If you are well-informed, you can make your own, educated decisions; and once you are convinced of the need for sustainability, you will no longer need to be reminded. Real changes can only happen when people understand why."