Sustainability, in a broad sense, is the capacity to endure. It can be defined as the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes, functions, biodiversity and productivity into the future. In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Sustainable maintenance of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources is a defining issue of our time.
In musical terms sustain is the duration of a sound before it becomes inaudible. Guitars have a lot of sustain, which is one reason for their rich sound and tone. Rosewood, maple, mahogany, ebony and spruce, are some of the more popular tonewoods because they are workable as well as durable and beautiful. Unfortunately it has become highly important for the guitar manufacturing industry as a whole to consider preserving the trees from which guitars are made so that they do not become irrevocably lost.
Bob Taylor, cofounder and president of Taylor Guitars, says it’s a simple function of “More people, more goods and a higher rate of harvest than regrowth.” And, he says, “We need good, quality wood.”
Gibson, Fender, Martin, Taylor and Yamaha have put their best foot forward though and joined forces with Greenpeace to create the MUSIC WOOD COALITION:
The Greenpeace Music Wood Campaign is partnering with the music industry to protect threatened forest habitats and safeguard the future of the trees critical to making musical instruments.