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Furniture maker ranks among top 50 'civic-minded' companies in US

July 5, 2016
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Steelcase learns lessons in global corporate sustainability
Steelcase employees work on a Habitat for Humanity site in West Michigan as part of the office furniture maker's Project Day. Courtesy Steelcase

A local furniture maker is one of the nation’s 50 most “civic-minded” companies.

Grand Rapids-based Steelcase was recognized as one of “The Civic 50,” a ranking and report by Atlanta-based Points of Light, which honors the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation with revenues of at least $1 billion each year.

The goal of “The Civic 50” is to “set the standard for corporate civic engagement” and “create a road map” for companies seeking to best use their time, talent and resources to improve quality of life in the communities where they do business.

Honorees are selected based on an annual survey they complete.

“The Civic 50” applicants were evaluated and accrued points based on several criteria: the quantity and impact of financial and human resources applied to civic improvement; whether internal and external resources are activated to maximize community impact; how a company’s community engagement activities support its business interests; how broadly community engagement is supported and institutionalized within a company’s policies, systems and incentives; and how a company measures the social and business value of its community engagement programs.

Jennifer Lawson, executive director of the Corporate Institute at Points of Light, said “The Civic 50” has seen a “notable shift” in survey results since it was launched in 2012, which she said “speaks to the commitment of American companies to connect values of community service and civic engagement to the culture and operating practices of their business.”

Steelcase community relations

Steelcase said it was recognized due to its “expansive involvement” in community programs, including a mix of volunteered time, product/service donations and financial gifts.

Deb Bailey, director of global corporate relations at Steelcase, said even though Steelcase is a global company, it believes in being a good neighbor in the communities where it operates.

“We believe we have an important responsibility to play an active role in these areas by donating time and resources, supporting economic development efforts that create and retain jobs and financially supporting nonprofit organizations that are focused on issues like public urban education, diversity, the arts and the environment,” Bailey said.


  • Startup funding and continued counsel to West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology, which aims to inspire urban youth to stay in school and graduate through the arts and technology.
  • The Friend InDeed program, which allows employees to volunteer during the workweek for local charities. The company has had groups of as many as 100 employees band together to support organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Last year, Steelcase employees globally volunteered 38,913 hours.
  • In-kind product donations to cultural institutions in West Michigan, including the Gerald R. Ford Museum and Blandford Nature Center.

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