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Pa. guitar company first in U.S. to get plastic-free sustainability certification for instrument

A guitar with a coral reef, fish and divers depicted on the body.
C.F. Martin & Company
The Martin OM Biosphere guitar.

A prominent Pennsylvania guitar maker is the first manufacturer in the country to receive an environmental sustainability certification for one of its instruments.

C.F. Martin & Company announced Thursday that it has received the Preferred by Nature Sustainability Framework certification, making it the first company in the United States to do so, and only the second worldwide.

According to a release, the Nazareth-based manufacturer received the accolade for its Martin OM Biosphere guitar, which was designed to show the company’s support for the preservation and replenishment of coral reefs.

The company called reefs "some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth," and said the instrument is "a call to action on climate change."

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Preferred by Nature is a nonprofit supporting better land management and business practices with a focus on land use, primarily through forest, agriculture and climate impact commodities, and related sectors like tourism and ecosystem restoration.

The nonprofit’s Sustainability Framework aims to guide organizations toward sustainable practices, and includes four main elements: management and business, people, nature, and climate.

"By adhering to the Sustainability Framework, companies demonstrate their commitment to responsible resource management, human rights, and nature conservation, contributing to a more sustainable and equitable future," the release said.

“Preferred by Nature and Martin share the same vision: ‘To pass on the Earth to coming generations in a good shape, we must urgently invent and adopt more sustainable ways of living, sourcing and trading.’” Cindy McAllister, Martin Director of Intellectual Property, Community, and Government Relations, said in a statement.

The OM Biosphere is 100% FSC-certified, a label given by the Forest Stewardship Council which indicates that the product's materials came from sustainable and responsibly-managed forests.

It is the second plastic-free guitar in production, following the now-discontinued 00L Earth guitar, introduced in 2021 and also made by Martin.

A guitar with the sun rising over Earth as viewed from space depicted on the body.
C.F. Martin & Company
The Martin 00L Earth guitar.

The company said at the time that it chose to go plastic-free with the 00L Earth because of the harm single-use plastics are causing to ecosystems, and its contributions to global warming.

The OM Biosphere costs $2,299, and its design features a sea turtle and colorful ocean reef scene created by artist Robert Goetzl, who also designed the Earth-and-stars design used on the 00L Earth.

It also includes a sustainable gig bag made of hemp, which Martin said is another company first.

Having received the Preferred by Nature certification, the OM Biosphere will carry the nonprofit's Hummingbird Seal, which the release says, “combines both sustainability aspects and climate requirements” and “signifies adherence to stringent sustainability criteria.”

These include compliance with the framework's principles, as well as required carbon compensation and offsetting measures to mitigate environmental impacts.

Read more from our partners, WDIY.