Steelcase, a global office environments manufacturer, was recently granted a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody Certification by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), an independent third party accredited by the FSC to certify companies to its international standards. The certification highlights Steelcase’s ability to meet the FSC tracking requirements for ensuring that the materials used to develop its wood products come from a well managed forest.
By working with well managed forest, these woodlands can provide a continuous yield of raw materials and remain the home for numerous animal species. Loggers use special techniques to harvest the wood without causing environmental damage. In a forest that is not responsibly managed, loggers perform clear cutting, high grading, and over harvesting which can take an area out of production for over 50 years. Steelcase’s efforts to operate sustainably span the history of the company as purchased wood veneer comes from sustainable sources.
“It is an honor to receive this FSC certification as it affirms Steelcase’s commitment to cradle to cradle environment processes,” says Nancy Hickey, senior vice president, chief administrative officer of Steelcase. “From design to production, we are constantly seeking more effective ways to conserve resources, prevent pollution, and nurture environmental consciousness. FSC certification demonstrates that Steelcase’s responsible practices extend to the very beginning of the product lifecycle by utilizing responsibly managed forests.”
Founded in 1992 following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the first FSC certification was issued in 1993. FSC certification for a company demonstrates that it can perform to the highest social and environmental standards in the market in wood product sourcing. Additionally, as governments around the world enforce stricter environmental regulations in their purchasing programs, FSC certification protects a corporation’s brand and reputation in the international market.
The Steelcase wood business operates out of the world’s first LEED certified manufacturing facility. The facility opened in 2001 and has since made additional changes to allow the facility and its operations to become more sustainable. Notable is the recent change from solvent based to water based finishes; this has contributed to a reduction in VOCs by 91% since 2001.
This FSC Certification comes on the heels of other recent environmental accomplishments by Steelcase, including the most cradle to cradle (C2C) product certifications in the industry as well as the first wood casegood to be C2C certified. These products are additionally certified by Indoor Advantage, receiving awards from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WasteWise program for the past six years for the company’s efforts in waste prevention, recycling collection, and manufacturing recycled content products. Steelcase was also recognized for signing an agreement to purchase all of the green power produced from a new wind farm in Texas for at least five years, publication of the company’s inaugural corporate responsibility report, and creating a Green Giants campaign that highlights sustainable leaders that have made strides in giving back to the community from an environmental perspective.