Low Carbon Footprint. Sustainability. PVC free. If you are in the office furniture world, these words are all too familiar to you. It seems like the majority of office spaces being designed or renovated today are working to achieve some type of green certification. Furniture (and even the fabrics used on your furniture) can play a large part in meeting these qualifications. For this reason, it’s important to be educated on the topic of sustainabillity so you can help consult your customer on making the right decision when designing a more eco-friendly work environment.
As a sales representative in the office furniture world, customers frequently ask for products that are built using environmentally safe manufacturing processes or that are built from recycled or recyclable content. This is common on Requests For Quotes (RFQs) from large corporations or government buildings, but where do you start? The key is to look for green furniture certifications – and we aren’t talking about the color!
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental design, is one of the biggest certifications in the office furniture world. It focuses on how the product is manufactured by paying attention to the potentially harmful materials that go into making the product. LEED also looks at how much of those materials are recyclable and what potentially harmful chemicals may be emitted during the production process. There are several different levels of certifications furniture can achieve through LEED, but the bottom line is this: if it is LEED certified, it is produced in a way that is better for the environment.
The HON Company uses LEED guidelines when manufacturing furniture by using compression molded seat and back components made from 97% recovered wood fiber, which ends up saving over 2,800 trees a year. HON also recycles bales of fabric scraps which keeps 100 tons of waste out of landfills each year. There are several other processes embraced by The HON Company that have led to more than 75% of our products being LEED certified, which you can read more about in our Environmental Responsibility brochure.
Beyond just our products, The HON Company takes LEED certification very seriously when it comes to buildings as well. The HON Company headquarters is LEED silver certified. When HON headquarters was renovated in 2007, becoming LEED certified was a priority. The HON Washington DC showroom is also LEED Silver certified. HON continues to invest in creating a more sustainable environment by LEED certifying both its properties and products.
Furniture and its materials can play a large role in creating a more eco-friendly and sustainable work environment. The more educated you are on this topic, the better you will be at guiding your customers to the best HON furniture solutions for their office!