My name is Robert John, and I am the CEO and founder of Terraform, the parent company of EKG Consulting and Conscious Design Media.
I have had a passion for Indoor Air Quality for more than 20 years. I grew up with severe asthma and had the painful experience of not being able to breathe. I was even hospitalized as a child.
My affliction informed my passion. It began as a one-man quest to do something to help myself and others with the same issues.
As a teen, I learned of a unique filtration system designed to sift out impurities in indoor air. Technically speaking, it was a hi-cyclone water separation system, a fascinating machine still sold today.
I was so impressed by the innovation, and excited that such a product even existed! It was ahead of its competitors by leaps and bounds. I had to have for my personal use – and I knew many others in my native Finland would need one, too.
My passion and perseverance persuaded the right people, and I became the manufacturer’s exclusive distributor in Finland.
My passion for the product resulted in record sales. Even though I was young, I grew the business significantly, opening up new markets in other European countries, and sharing my sales techniques with team members in other markets. Eventually, I had over 300 salespeople working for me. As a team, we made millions of Euros in yearly sales.
However, though I was a success financially speaking, I lacked the maturity, mental skill set, and business acumen to deal with growth or sudden changes.
In one successful month, my team had sold 220-250 units, at around €2,000 each. That amounted to roughly €500k in sales. Though these numbers are impressive, I did not feel satisfaction or fulfillment. Until then, I had conditioned myself to live for sales, always chasing the next big deal. But no sales quota made me happy.
There had to be more to business and life than just money.
I decided to reinvent myself afresh. For the most part, I had had a great run with this business for almost 20 years, but now it was time for something else. I embarked on a path of personal development. I believe in healthy, organic living, and natural healing. I was looking for new solutions in the Indoor Air Quality space.
I gradually became aware that the REAL issue with indoor air encompasses much more than only “air”. The underlying problem lies with the material incoherence of secondary emissions from reactions between chemical compounds.
This is because all building materials and furniture are heavily treated with chemicals, and many of them are toxic. This in itself is alarming, but even more problems arise when these chemicals evaporate and start to react together indoors.
These fumes are what a scientific chemist would call “emissions.” And the “secondary emissions” come from these fumes reacting together. The compound effects of these reactions have not been studied in-depth and are very dangerous to the human body.
As I searched for a solution to this frightening problem of indoor air and the chemical footprint of all building materials and furniture, I set out to learn as much as I could about Corporate Sustainability Reporting.
I realized that there was a big gap in traditional sustainability and impact reports. While many focus on the environmental and economic impacts, few are considering the HUMAN impact.
A scientist I know explained it to me like this, “Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it isn’t toxic to humans. Arsenic is natural, but deadly to humans.”
At Terraform we recently studied indoor paints that were legally labeled as “low emission.” We found that they still had toxic ingredients, including pesticides, neurotoxins, and carcinogens. And all of these tested products were available in a “natural” market in Finland.
Even if we are aware already of how individual chemical emissions can impact the health of humans, the complex chemistry of modern furniture and building materials requires constant reassessment. At Terraform we are developing quality lab services backed by AI to help us interpret and decipher the vast amount of complications from a limitless combination of secondary emissions.
Our consulting company, EKG Consulting, uses a unique 5 Point Dynamic Sustainability Model by which to evaluate the Indoor Air Quality impact of any product or any company
The five points are as follows:
The first foundation of our model is that true sustainability is human-centric. What is good for the planet must ALSO be good for the humans living on it.
The second foundation for sustainability is non-toxicity. From the product perspective, this is a question of the chemical footprint. We physically test our clients’ products in our own material lab to discover their unique chemical composition with bulletproof scientific validation.
We also want to see that a product is environmentally cutting edge, socially uplifting, and economically superior.
I have so much to share with you about this important topic that I am busily writing a book about it to be released later in 2021. I am eager to tell more consumers and manufacturers about how to have better Indoor Air Quality, and to make the world a better, healthier place for all!