Herman Miller's Aeron Chair Achieves MBDC Silver Certification
February 13, 2009
Herman Miller, Inc., is again demonstrating its commitment to environmental sustainability with one of its most iconic and successful seating designs--the Aeron chair. Since its 1994 introduction, Aeron has set the global standard for high performance work seating. This renowned design now further distinguishes itself by receiving McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) Cradle to Cradle Silver certification for environmentally friendly design.
The certification stems from the company's commitment to evaluate both new and existing products according to its Design for the Environment (DfE) protocol, based on the Cradle to Cradle criteria, which emphasizes material chemistry and safety, product disassembly and recyclability of materials, and maximizing use of materials with recycled content.
According to Scott Charon, DfE program manager, the quest for Cradle to Cradle certification of an existing product begins with a rigorous evaluation to assess all of the materials used in the company's products and to identify those that may pose hazards to humans or the environment.
"In Aeron's case, we particularly addressed the use of PVC in the arm pads. After significant research and collaboration with a new, minority-owned supplier, our ambition for a PVC-free, polyurethane arm pad is now a reality," he said.
Aeron's Cradle to Cradle certification also will play a significant role in the company's 2010 goal to achieve 50 percent of sales from products that meet the DfE protocol. That target is an interim milestone toward the company's "Perfect Vision" goals for the year 2020, when Herman Miller aims for 100 percent DfE approved product sales.
Commenting on Aeron's evolution, Bill McDonough, co-founder of MBDC and its Cradle to Cradle principles, said, "HMI's commitment to excellence through sustainable design is reaffirmed by their decision to make further investments in the Aeron, already a commercial success and an icon in the design world, to become a more ecologically intelligent product."
Noted Charon, "As one of our most successful products, Aeron notably will lead us closer to achieving our DfE goal, but we also believe it will provide us with a tremendous opportunity to educate others about the importance of investing in sustainable design."
Michael Ramirez, Herman Miller's director of corporate social responsibility, attributes the certification to the company's commitment to environmental advocacy and inclusiveness.
"The Aeron chair is a significant design ambassador for Herman Miller," he noted, "and its journey to environmental sustainability through a minority supplier emphasizes our ongoing efforts to support the social equity aspects of our sustainability goals."
All Aeron chair production will be Cradle to Cradle Silver certified effective February 16, 2009, and is already 94 percent recyclable and comprised of up to 64-percent recycled materials. The seat frame and back contain over 60-percent recycled content, made from approximately 36 recycled two-liter plastic beverage bottles per chair. Aeron is also assembled with 100 percent renewable energy and is GREENGUARD certified.
About Herman Miller, Inc.
Herman Miller strives to create a better world around you--with inventive designs and services that enhance the places where people work, heal, learn, and live, and through its commitment to social responsibility. In fiscal 2008, the company's award-winning products and strategic consulting services generated more than $2 billion in revenue. Recognized both for its innovative products and business practices, in 2008 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 world's "Fast 50" most innovative companies. Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.