Haworth Inc. continues to advance its commitment of sustainability


Steve Kooy, left, and Bill Gurn lead Haworth's West Michigan effort to produce zero waste for landfills. Photo by Johnny Quirin

Haworth Inc. recently released its eighth annual sustainability report, and the Holland-based, global office furniture manufacturer is continuing to make progress on its zero-waste-to-landfill mission.

The company’s two manufacturing sites in Portugal reached zero-waste status last year. When the plants in Queluz and Aqueda made that mark, Haworth completed its zero-waste-to-landfill goal at its sites in Europe. The firm reached that level in 2009 at its North American and Asian Pacific sites.

“From the design to the manufacturing process, our members help Haworth reduce its impact on the environment. Since 2005, we have reduced our global greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent and our VOC air emission rates by 81 percent,” said Steve Kooy, Haworth global sustainability manager, in a statement.

“Our commitment to sustainability shines through in four distinct areas: accountability, knowledge, people and products,” he added.

The company established a Forest Stewardship Council certification program last year. It provides clients with certified sustainable products at no extra charge for their green-building and sustainability goals. In just a year, Haworth sourced more than 80 percent of its wood from FSC-certified forests — a dramatic increase from just 5 percent in 2011.

Haworth also noted that three more of its showrooms have been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Atlanta showroom was certified LEED Platinum, while the Denver location earned LEED Silver. The manufacturer’s Zurich showroom was awarded LEED Gold, becoming its first showroom in Europe to reach the green standard. 

Denver was the ninth of Haworth’s 11 showrooms in this country to be certified. The company expects Boston will become its next LEED-certified showroom later this year.

Haworth has six U.S. manufacturing sites — four of them in Michigan, plus seven in Europe and two in the Asian-Pacific rim. The company employs more than 6,000 worldwide and had net sales of $1.3 billion in 2012.

IHS Global Insight has pegged the consumption value of the nation’s office-furniture market at $11.7 billion for this year, up by 3.6 percent from last year. The firm projected that figure at $12.6 billion for 2014, an 8 percent gain over this year. In 2009, the consumption figure was just $9.2 billion.

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