One core value that has remained constant throughout Steelcase’s century-long existence is its commitment to protecting the environment. The manufacturer’s environmental vision is: "To become more environmentally effective tomorrow than we are today by conserving resources, preventing pollution, achieving sustainability, exceeding compliance obligations, and nurturing environmental consciousness in our people.”
As a manifestation of that commitment, the company set goals and implemented strategies to reduce its overall environmental footprint by 25 percent by its 100-year anniversary in 2012.
Steelcase Director of Global Environmental Performance Dave Rinard has been involved in environmental work for Steelcase for 34 years. In a recent interview, he relayed how the company set its environmental goals, achieved them, and is reaching for new goals. Here are excerpts from that interview:
“In 2006, we reset our environmental goals. We used that as our base year and 2012 as our goal year, because it was our 100-year anniversary. The dimensions that make up our environmental footprint are water, energy/ greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), waste, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We report energy in GHG equivalents, because that’s the metric everyone is interested in.”