Steelcase Recognized For Waste Reduction

December 11, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — Steelcase Inc. has been honored with an award from WasteWise, an Environmental Protection Agency program that helps U.S. organizations reduce municipal solid waste. Winners of the WasteWise awards are selected for accomplishments in waste prevention, recycling collection, and buying or manufacturing recycled content products.

According to a news release, Steelcase has received a Gold Achievement Award for Product Stewardship for the third year in a row. This is the sixth consecutive year that Steelcase has been recognized by the EPA.

"At Steelcase, we are always seeking ways to prevent pollution and eliminate waste," said David Rinard, director of Global Environmental Performance at Steelcase. "We are honored to once again be recognized by WasteWise and the EPA for our efforts."

Steelcase actively employs innovation to develop sustainable products and services. It has one of the most extensive programs for the assessment of materials used in its products, and analyzes products through their entire life cycle to ensure continuous improvement. Its operational activities include a strong focus on recycling, pollution prevention, and water and energy conservation. A key environmental goal for the company is a 25 percent reduction of its global footprint by 2012.

Highlights of Steelcase's environmental initiatives in 2006 that contributed to the WasteWise awards include:

• Continuous product introductions and portfolio re-evaluation, abiding by the stringent requirements of the Cradle to Cradle Product Certification from MBDC and Indoor Air Quality Certification.

• 2006 brought the Cradle to Cradle product certification to Answer, a fully powered workstation, the first of its kind to receive the certification.

• The Steelcase portfolio now features 23 products with Cradle to Cradle product certification, more than any other company.

• The implementation of fabrics made from 100 percent recycled beverage bottles and particleboard made with 100 percent recycled wood fiber.

• Ongoing environmental efforts at various Steelcase operations including evaluating scrap yield on a daily basis; conversion from solvent-based to water-based wood finishing technology at the Steelcase wood furniture manufacturing facility; and the reuse/donation of surplus materials through the modernization of the Grand Rapids and Kentwood complexes.

• Joined the Chicago Climate Exchange trading platform for CO2 credits. Steelcase has reduced its North American CO2 emissions by about 30 percent since 1989.

• Styrofoam beverage cups have been replaced with 99 percent post-consumer recycled paper cups that contain a minimum of 12 percent post-consumer recycled content and are fully compostable. This involves an average of 3,000 cups per week at the Steelcase University Learning Center alone.

"WasteWise partners have made remarkable progress cutting waste, reducing energy use, limiting green house gases and conserving natural resources. EPA is proud to recognize Steelcase Inc. for its commendable achievements, ongoing dedication and continued commitment to WasteWise," said Susan Bodine, EPA's assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response.

WasteWise and the EPA recognized Steelcase at the 2007 WasteWise and NPEP Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15.

Steelcase is one of 12 organizations to receive a Gold Achievement Award at this year's event.

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