An estimated 9 billion tons of furniture is dumped in landfills every year. The leading manufacturers in office furniture products have worked to lessen the environmental impact of discarded office furniture by focusing on sustainable, recyclable designs and manufacturing practices.
In 2002, William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart published the book Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Things and subsequently raised the bar for responsible manufacturing processes across the globe. Cradle to Cradle (C2C) manufacturing evaluates the entire lifecycle of the item being produced. C2C products are made with minimal waste, recycled materials, and environmentally and socially responsibly processes. The C2C certification assesses the following:
When I discuss office chairs with clients, the most common buzz words are “ergonomic”, and “comfortable”. Below is a carefully assessed list of desk and office chairs that are highly sustainable, in addition to be highly rated for their ergonomic adjustments. My top 3 choices for C2C chairs are the Steelcase Leap, the Herman Miller Aeron and the Steelcase Think.
The Leap chair was created by Steelcase in 1999. For over 20 years, the Leap has continued to be Steelcase’s number one selling task chair. It is made of 35% recycled content. Furthermore, an impressive 94% of the materials of the chair are recyclable upon disassembly.
Features of the Steelcase Leap chair include:
Take sustainability one step further by shopping refurbished Steelcase Leap V2 chairs here.
Perhaps one of the most iconic ergonomic chairs, the Aeron by Herman Miller was made to be different. The first design was officially launched in 1994 and has since been remastered in 2016. The Herman Miller Aeron is made of 64% recycled content and is 94% recyclable when disassembled. The chair is available in 3 different sizes: A, B, and C to accommodate different body shapes, sizes, and weights.
Features of the Herman Miller Aeron include:
The Think by Steelcase was the first office furniture product to be C2C certified. It was first created in 2004 and has continued to be one of the most sustainable and responsibly manufactured office chairs on the market. The Steelcase Think is made of 37% recycled parts and is 99% recyclable. Models are available in full upholstery, mesh back, and leather.
Features of the Steelcase Think chair include:
All of these chairs are available to test in person at Transfer Enterprises’ Showroom in Manchester, CT.
The author of this article, Alyssa Jones, is a commercial designer and the showroom/marketing manager for Transfer Enterprises, Inc. Total Office Furniture Solutions in Manchester, CT. She can be reached at 860-645-9090 ex.119 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to learn more about C2C? Check out this TED Talk with Dr. Braungart: