Better World, Design, Products
June 15, 2010
Building green is a significant way to create a better world and ecoScorecard is a tool that improves the process. ecoScorecard is a free, web-based technology platform that gives product manufacturers the ability to provide environmental information and sustainability documentation about products for LEED and other third-party rating systems. It takes the hours, weeks, and sometimes months out of the documentation process.
Herman Miller is the first major contract furniture manufacturer to incorporate ecoScorecard into its product catalog. Its goal is to improve the time it takes to deliver environmental documentation to end users such as building owners, architects, designers, and product specifiers.
Like most of the business world, we see Herman Miller as a leader in sustainable business practices. It recognizes that ecoScorecard can help all manufacturers make the documentation process easier. In fact, the company is working with us to get other firms in the commercial interiors market to use the platform. And this isn’t about just Herman Miller or a competitive advantage. Its President and CEO, Brian Walker, and Environmental team all want the hassle of the documentation process to become a thing of the past for the entire building industry.
This summer and fall, we’ll be visiting architecture and design firms to share more information about the benefits of ecoScorecard. Send us an e-mail if you’d like to know more about these events.
Better World, Herman Miller Journal
May 14, 2010
If you’ve ever meandered the paths in the rolling landscape around Herman Miller’s GreenHouse facility, you might not think you’re on the grounds of a manufacturing plant. But flowers and trees and critters are exactly what you’ll find surrounding the GreenHouse. Even the name of the building reminds you of the natural environment.
The bees in the apiary on the east end of the property pollinate this landscape and help it to blossom each spring and summer. (Learn more about Herman Miller’s honey bees in this video, “Sweeter Solution.”)
Facing north, truck trailers are framed by a hillside designed to be left wild.
Just over the rise is a pond where geese congregate and a pair of resident swans call home. This landscape—in all its wildness—is not the result of a neglectful, uncaring owner. Instead it’s an example of how Herman Miller incorporates our environmental policy to provide green spaces around each of our facilities.
I’m sure many of us drive to and from work, hardly noticing the beauty of our surroundings. Personally, I enjoy taking a closer look at the residents we share this space with: Songbirds, bees, dragonflies, butterflies, ducks, geese, and swans—just to name a few—call this space home. We pass these neighbors every day to enter our workplace, which sits in the middle of their outdoor habitat.
Even the grass at this facility is special. Instead of the usual manicured lawns that adorn most commercial building grounds, Herman Miller has chosen a variety of buffalo grass, which requires less water than other grasses, and very little mowing. Every few years, we conduct a controlled burn, which helps the grass thrive the same way it would in a wild environment.
For much of the year, all around the GreenHouse the grounds bloom with a variety of wildflowers and provide habitat for a multitude of creatures. It’s one way we help create a better world around us.
December 16, 2009
Herman Miller’s environmental advocacy initiative called Perfect Vision has been getting some attention. We know we’ve set challenging goals to produce no landfill waste, hazardous waste, or manufacturing emissions and to rely completely on “green energy” by 2020. It started with our belief that sustainability was going to have a growing importance both to us and to our customers. And the evidence is piling up. We believe the only way to achieve audacious results is to set audacious goals.
Want to read more? Check out this Harvard Business Review interview with CEO Brian Walker to see how we’ve progressed.
And watch our Zero Is Hero video to learn more about our sustainability goals.
Better World, Design
August 24, 2009
San Francisco designer Yves Béhar of fuseproject has designed a range of sustainable underwear for clothing retailer PACT, an online apparel company offering design-driven, sustainably manufactured, premium underwear connected to powerful social and environmental causes.
July 27, 2009
The next time you brush your teeth and leave the water running, think about some of these facts that point to a worldwide water shortage.
Better World, Herman Miller Journal
July 24, 2009
Not everyone gets to step out from their workplace and pinch off some fresh dill to top their leftover salmon at lunchtime. Or bring tomatoes home from work for dinner. Unless you work at our Design Yard facility in Holland, Michigan, where a group of employees have nurtured a garden full of veggies, herbs, and perennials for all employees to enjoy.
Better World, Design
July 8, 2009
Photo credit: Captain Albert E. Theberge, NOAA Corps (ret.)
Steel shipping containers with their rust-colored, world-weary patina have become ubiquitous symbols of the global economy. Millions are in circulation worldwide. And, they keep coming, especially from East to West.
June 19, 2009
Photo credit: iStockphoto.com/Falconiaz
One of the best things coming out of the push toward sustainability is the increasing awareness that with a little effort, we can do a lot of good. Energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants accounts for nearly half of energy consumption nationwide, so the workplace is a low-hanging fruit, in a way, even if your company doesn’t have any programs or policies in place. Here’s what you personally can do, starting today.
June 3, 2009
Photo from: The Art Institute of Chicago
June is a beautiful time of year in the Windy City. With the Art Institute’s Modern Wing now open, it’s a perfect time to pay a visit. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, the Modern Wing is the new home for the museum’s collection of 20th- and 21st-century art. It doesn’t just change the look of the Art Institute; the Modern Wing is also a model of design, technology, and green architecture, maximizing natural sources of energy and minimizing waste.
May 13, 2009
How could such a nice group of people irk the CEO? The short answer is, get feisty with him about the company’s stance on the environment.