15.06.05

15.6.2005: Meldung: Steelcase Inc.: Year of Environmental Achievements - Seven Best of NeoCon Awards at NeoCon 2005

Steelcase Celebrates a Year of Environmental Achievements
Monday June 13, 9:00 am ET
- Company Updating Wood Practices, Commits to Eliminating the Use of PVC and Establishes Strategic Relationship With Sustainable Design Research Center -

CHICAGO, June 13 / Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS - News), a global office environments manufacturer, today revealed the company"s environmental accomplishments over the past year. As a result of the company"s ongoing collaboration with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) to assess the environmental impact of its materials and products, Steelcase is also updating its wood practices and is formulating a strategy to be "PVC-free" by 2012. Furthermore, Steelcase established a strategic relationship with the University of Michigan"s Center for Sustainable Systems, demonstrating the company"s continued commitment to the development and improvement of sustainable design.

Over the past year, Steelcase continued its extensive work with MBDC to identify the potential human and environmental impacts of its materials and products. Specifically, Steelcase worked with MBDC to conduct an in-depth examination into the chemistry of the materials Steelcase utilizes in its products and systems. Through this materials assessment process, Steelcase was able to develop strategies and policies to lessen its environmental impact.

Steelcase"s relationship with MBDC dates back to 1993 when Steelcase collaborated with the firm to create Designtex"s McDonough Collection. This line was the industry"s first collection of contract fabrics with no human or environmental health impacts. Since then, Steelcase has continued to work with MBDC to expand its assessment to furniture products, most recently collaborating to assess and produce the Think? chair. Steelcase will continue to work with MBDC protocols to develop cradle-to-cradle products.

Wood Purchasing Policy

Steelcase has developed a wood purchasing policy, giving preference to forests independently certified as sustainable. As part of this policy, Steelcase monitors endangered species lists and uses only woods that are not endangered or considered questionable. Also, by sourcing the majority of the company"s veneers and solids from forests in North America, Steelcase can use domestic suppliers and reduce the distance materials must be shipped, lessening the environmental impact of transportation.

When the trees are harvested, they are cut into veneers and solids. Natural veneers offer the same look as solid wood but require fewer trees to produce and are more durable than composite veneers. Furthermore, Steelcase uses a particleboard made of 100% recycled wood fiber content in its products and offers wheatboard as an option.

Eliminating PVC from Edge Banding

Steelcase"s goal to eliminate Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) from edge banding is another direct result from its ongoing collaboration with MBDC. Steelcase committed to a PVC exit strategy and is working with its suppliers to find viable substitutes. Eliminating PVC from edge banding, a critical component to the worksurfaces of most systems products, is the first step of the company"s journey to be PVC-free by its 100th anniversary in 2012. Steelcase has also made a commitment to eliminate PVC from all future products.

"We"ve made significant progress over the past year identifying how the materials we use impact our environment," explained Allan Smith, Director of Environmental Strategy at Steelcase. "The extensive knowledge we"ve uncovered from this process has enabled Steelcase to adopt policies and implement strategies that will minimize or eliminate the long-term environmental impact. These policies underscore Steelcase"s ongoing commitment and support for cradle-to-cradle sustainable design."

University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems

In addition to the new policies implemented, Steelcase established a relationship with the University of Michigan"s Center for Sustainable Systems. Through this partnership, Steelcase will be armed with the research and knowledge to continue its work on lifecycle assessment and understand the company"s total environmental impact.

The University of Michigan"s Center for Sustainable Systems is an interdisciplinary research and education center that develops life cycle based models for improving systems that meet societal needs in a more sustainable manner. This past year, Bernhard A. Dietz conducted the industry"s most comprehensive life cycle assessment to date as part of his examination on the environmental impacts of commonly used office furniture products.

Dietz studied lateral files, work surfaces and panel products across five environmental impact categories: energy resource consumption, global warming potential, acidification potential, criteria pollutants, and solid waste. The study reflected nearly 250 manufacturing steps, 75 preliminary and secondary materials and 250 tonkilometers in transportation. Environmental impacts for all three office furniture product systems were calculated using ISO 14040 series standards.

The study was designed to establish a benchmark and identify opportunities for environmental improvements at the company. This research arms Steelcase with deep knowledge that can be applied toward design improvements and more informed decisions on choices for sustainable product development and manufacturing.

About Steelcase Inc.

Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry, helps people have a better work experience by providing products, services and insights into the ways people work. The company designs and manufactures architecture, furniture and technology products. Founded in 1912 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steelcase (NYSE: SCS - News) serves customers through a network of more than 800 independent dealers and approximately 14,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2005 revenue was $2.6 billion. Learn more at http://www.steelcase.com .


Source: Steelcase Inc.





Steelcase Inc. Receives Seven Best of NeoCon Awards at NeoCon 2005
Monday June 13, 3:03 pm ET
- NeoCon Awards Recognize Outstanding Product Design, Technology Integration, and Environmental Sensibility -

CHICAGO, June 13 / Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS - News), a global office environments manufacturer, today announced that the Steelcase family of companies was honored with seven Best of NeoCon 2005 awards. Products recognized range from systems enhancements to a flexible wood furniture system and new seating options to outstanding technology products and sustainable fabrics, which are all on display at this year"s NeoCon 2005 World"s Trade Fair for Interior Design in Chicago.

"We are pleased to be recognized with these distinguished industry awards," said Jim Hackett, president and CEO of Steelcase Inc. "At Steelcase, we aim to exceed our customers" expectations by introducing product solutions that combine aesthetics, environmental sensitivity and leading technology. Ultimately, the Steelcase family of products is designed to help people work more effectively and organizations to plan more efficiently."

Best of NeoCon 2005

Sponsored by Contract magazine, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) and the McMorrow Report, the Best of NeoCon awards recognize the top new products displayed at NeoCon. Steelcase Inc. received a total of seven Best of NeoCon Awards, taking home two Gold awards, four Silver awards, and an Editor"s Choice award.

Among the gold winners is Steelcase"s Elective Elements? wood portfolio of products, which won in the Furniture Systems: New Enhancements category. A research project conducted by Steelcase on the private office found that while the rest of the workplace has changed dramatically to better foster cross-functional teams, multitasking, creative thinking and new technology, private office furniture solutions have remained unchanged for decades. To address the evolving needs in today"s private offices, Steelcase introduced design and performance enhancements to the Elective Elements worksurfaces, storage, tables and technology solutions. The portfolio streamlines technology support around the individual, and features a sleek visual appearance.

Among the Steelcase Design Partnership companies, Details was honored with a Gold award in the Technology Support category for its "FYI" Flat Panel Monitor Arm. FYI is a flat-panel, computer-monitor arm that moves easily and simply while addressing two key workplace needs, reducing eyestrain and assisting with collaborative work.

Continuing its success creating sustainable fabrics, Designtex received a Silver award for its 100% Ingeo(TM) PLA fabric in the Panel Fabrics category. These three new panel textiles are constructed in 100% Ingeo (PLA) and are part of Designtex"s Terratex?-classified family of environmentally-conscious fabrics.

New seating introductions from Steelcase Inc. were also recognized with Silver awards -- one for Brayton International"s Chord Executive seat in the Seating: Ergonomic Desk/Task category and one for Metro"s Poly Lounge in the Seating: Sofas & Lounge category. Chord Executive provides elegant management seating designed for comfort and mobility. Chord is adaptable to fit the user"s size and proportions and has many design options.

Metro"s Poly Lounge is part of a family of modern seating products formed around an innovative and unexpected material process that promotes environmental sustainability and is ideal for both commercial and residential seating applications.

Rounding out the product awards is PolyVision, which received a Silver award and an Editor"s Choice award for its new product introductions this year. The company"s Interactive Panel & Cordless Lectern was honored with a Silver award in the Workplace Technologies category. The Interactive Panel allows users to project and interact with a computer by writing directly on the display screen with a stylus or by using a remote control.

Additionally, an Editor"s Choice award was given to PolyVision"s Commercial Series of markerboards and tackboards, a broad range of writing systems that combine both form and function. Commercial Series of markerboards and tackboards are designed to match the aesthetics of any environment, with options from thin metal profiles to rich wood finishes and everything in between.

Steelcase Inc. products were chosen for Best of NeoCon awards from more than 300 entries in 25 different product categories.

About Steelcase Inc.

Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry, helps people have a better work experience by providing products, services and insights into the ways people work. The company designs and manufactures architecture, furniture and technology products. Founded in 1912 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steelcase (NYSE: SCS - News) serves customers through a network of more than 800 independent dealers and approximately 14,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2005 revenue was $2.6 billion. Learn more at http://www.steelcase.com.


Source: Steelcase Inc.
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