What does integrity have to do with window shades?
We all hear more about integrity, and the lack of it, more in election years than any other time. Whether sitting in a tea shop in London or a bar in Boston, the airwaves are full of discussion about who can be trusted to do what they say they will. It is just as important in our business and every day lives to know that people and products have integrity. We need to know that we can rely on them to perform as expected.
The Parata Solutions Shade System resulted from the realisation that how shades were being attached was creating holes in the curtain wall systems of high rise building. The result was systems that were no longer sealed, allowing moisture and outside air to penetrate the building in ways that weren’t intended. Drilling into the wall was breaching the integrity of the system and causing problems from poorer climate control to cracked windows to warping of aluminium elements. A product installed to improve comfort was making the space less reliable. By contrast, the Parata Shade is attached with an architectural acrylic panel tape that has no negative impact on the building structure, resulting in a building that performs as designed. It contains the air in between the glass and cloth to capture the air movements and utilizes air as a natural insulator. Building on basic design principles of deconstruction to analysis to goal driven success resulted in a solution that performs 21% better at reducing the solar heat gain coefficient than existing shades.
But it isn’t just in the product and its effect that we think integrity is important. Integrity matters in how we all interact day to day. Whether online or face to face, it is important that people and businesses know they can rely on you to do what you’ve committed to doing. It is all too easy in this day and age to hide behind the keyboard, tapping a like button instead of reaching out or dodging situations rather than dealing with them before discomfort becomes disaster. Thinking about how we interact with each other, our suppliers, our distributors, our clients and our community is a key part of why Parata Solutions is pursuing B Corps status. We want to do the right thing not because it is convenient but even when it isn’t so that we build long term relationships and, in our own small way, help make the world a better place. Not just because our Shade System improves insulation at the window and improves energy efficiency but because we are learning from leaders in sustainable practices, paying a living wage, and always improving our processes. We have been fortunate to build relationships with companies like 3M™ and National Window during the development phase and look forward to a long term association with them. We’ve also been fortunate to work with top academics at Northwestern and the Illinois Institute of Technology to verify the concept. We’re excited to get more involved with the B Corps community going forward. Wherever the journey takes us, the most important thing is that everyone we deal with knows that they can trust our products and our people.
There are simple solutions to making every day a little better. Building a community with integrity is one of them. Maybe all of our public figures should remember that too.