Quiet Mark is celebrating its' 10th anniversary this year. How do you see the role of QM in another 10 years from now?
Quiet Mark stands on the shoulders of 64 years of the Noise Abatement Society’s public service. At the completion of our first decade, I feel Quiet Mark has only just begun, we have laid a strong foundation on which to now build. With the constant momentum of global industry leaders across sectors working with us I believe Quiet Mark will continue to expand its influence, raising awareness about the universally destructive nature of noise as a major pollutant and how the work of Quiet Mark passionately seeks to reverse this.
We are already working towards the first Quiet Mark certified housing developments which could become a blueprint for future house-build where Quiet Mark certified products are prioritised and employed throughout. Where the demand for Quiet Mark certified products may become a must have, moving greater investment into acoustics as top priority in every build project from the outset. We would like to develop Quiet Mark certified hospitals to help support patient health recovery within unique sound designed units. When I experienced the great discomfort of Covid over Christmas, the only relief I found was sitting in silence, unlike the hospital environment where the intense constant cacophony of high-pitched bleeps and beeps from many monitors in hospitals only adds to the trauma of being ill. There are many noise battles to be won.
In 2015 you were one of the executive producers of the documentary "In pursuit of silence". A film about the relationship we as humans have with sound. Do you think that has changed because of the global pandemic?
With the whole of life suddenly happening under one roof at home during Lockdowns and the shift to working from home the necessity to create a quiet supportive environment for work, study and well-being became a major shift in how we live. Quietness became a must have and top priority for productivity and sanity.
So much so during the pandemic the number of Quiet Mark certified products listed on quietmark.com tripled from 350 to over 1,000 as the volume of demand and testing of products suddenly increased. John Lewis & Partners who have worked in partnership with Quiet Mark for 9 years, reported more than 10,000 searches a month for appliances during the Lockdowns that include the term “quiet” on the retailer’s website, with washing machines and kettles the most likely devices to be linked to the search. A new awareness of noise became front of mind where noise intrusions interfered with zoom calls and work concentration, also a need for comfort that a peaceful environment brings.
The pressure of a lot of quick change and uncertainty in society at large has driven people to seek a safe peaceful place to feel comforted where noise has become more of an irritant than ever before. Our need for security and well-being has heightened during the pandemic and sensitivity to seek answers or to be soothed in stressful times is very much aided in a peaceful environment. Practically, home schooling and home office being in the domestic space is a huge shift and concentration is supported in quietness to be productive. People are also finding healing in quietness as it is a safe place where the still small voice of calm can be heard, especially at this time of unprecedented change.
As a female founder and CEO what is your definition of the purpose of business?
In a turbulent world I believe the purpose of business is to solve problems for people and planet, to help to encourage people to grow into the best versions of themselves in the midst of that journey. To be profitable and sustainable to have a core purpose of social impact and to challenge negative mindsets.
I most enjoy seeing the potential which can be unlocked when traditional boundaries between businesses are dissolved, where businesses themselves work as teams across sectors collaborating as one, to passionately focus on meeting the world’s problems, with true intention to serve and enable the poorest see their potential realised and not to do business for selfish gain. Each business led with the right heart motive can transform families, a community, a nation, or nations with the right values.