Herman Miller, Inc., Continues its Focus on 'A Better World' at Greenbuild 2009
November 05, 2009
Herman Miller's presence at the Greenbuild 2009 International Conference and Expo will reflect an ongoing commitment to its 2020 "Perfect Vision" environmental goals with displays of its latest product designs and proprietary technologies that contribute to a more sustainable built environment. The company will also share its latest environmental metrics with the release of its third annual "A Better World Report," documenting Herman Miller's progress toward true corporate sustainability.
Celebrating its eighth year, Greenbuild is hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council and has become a destination for those who share an interest in environmentally sustainable products and building practices. It will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center, November 11-13, 2009.
Herman Miller's Perfect Vision initiative was introduced in 2004, dedicating the company to achieve by the year 2020 a wide range of sustainability targets, including zero waste to landfills and zero hazardous waste generation.
Between 1994 and the end of its fiscal year in May 2009, the company reduced air emissions by 93 percent, hazardous waste by 95.4 percent, landfill waste by 88.3 percent, and process water use by 77.7 percent. Additionally, 63 percent of all the company's electrical energy consumption is derived from renewable sources, such as wind and biomass. Overall, the company has reduced its environmental footprint by 83.5 percent.
"Our Perfect Vision goals also include achieving 100 percent of sales from our Design for Environment (DfE) approved products, and currently we're at 51 percent," says Paul Murray, Herman Miller's Director of Environmental Health and Safety.
In addition, the company strives for McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) certification and GREENGUARD product certification, and it most recently played an instrumental role in the development of the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA) e3 sustainability standard, the basis for the level product certification program.
Conference attendees will be able to experience several DfE approved products, including Intent furniture, a new system created from a set of parts and designed to provide a unified aesthetic from the private office to the open plan; the Sense desk system, a modular and free standing offering unique for its tool free assembly; and Setu, a new family of multipurpose seating. The Energy Manager device and subsidiary Convia's Energy Track Reporting Tool also will be displayed to represent the company's Programmable Environments initiative.
The Perfect Vision plan also mandates company building projects be constructed to a minimum LEED Silver certification. The company currently maintains 13 LEED certified facilities and eight of these facilities have received Gold certification. In addition, it recently completed an 18,000-square-foot Los Angeles showroom, which is under consideration for LEED-CI Platinum certification.
A Better World
The third annual release of the company's A Better World report highlights its progress toward corporate social responsibility initiatives, including environmental advocacy, community service, inclusiveness and diversity, and health and well-being. It is based on the company's 2009 fiscal year, June 2008 through May 2009, and focuses primarily on its North American operations.
"Measuring the progress of our corporate social responsibility initiatives enables us to better understand the needs of our workforce, customers, community, and shareholders," Murray says. "Overall, it allows us to better align ourselves to become a successful global organization that appeals to all individuals and cultures."
About Herman Miller, Inc.
Herman Miller works for a better world around you—with inventive designs, technologies and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its curiosity, ingenuity, and design excellence create award-winning products and services, resulting in more than $1.6 billion in revenue in fiscal 2009. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also established Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2009, Herman Miller was again cited by FORTUNE as both the "Most Admired" in its industry and among the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America, while Fast Company named Herman Miller among the innovative "Companies to Watch." Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.