Environmentally-friendly design enters offices with Steelcase
|In domains||Office Furnishings, Reuse of Materials|
Many businesses are faced with the problem of storing and disposing of obsolete office furniture. This was how Steelcase noted that more and more of its customers demanded specific answers on the environmental characteristics of their equipment: recyclability rate, management of furniture upon end of life cycle, composition of materials…
Developing office furniture falling in line with the environmental concerns of customers
Sharing this approach with all employees of the organisation
In 2000, in cooperation with the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), Steelcase International launched an environmentally-friendly design approach to create a range of office tables, and developed tools enabling employees to progressively incorporate environmentally-friendly design into their work approach. Solutions to improve the design of products were anticipated, suggested and validated during the early stages of the process, before manufacturing (marketing and design).
Steelcase turned to the University of Vienne, which had already developed a non-specialised, easy-to-use environmentally-friendly design tool - « Eco-pilot ». This system takes into account environmental concerns from the design stage of products with approximately one hundred questions, to rapidly identify potential actions. These collaborative efforts led to the development of a software program - « Eco-design » - specific to Steelcase. At the same time, the « Material sector » software program made it possible for designers to have a materials database with their key environmental aspects. These decision-making and training tools are all available over the Intranet site of the company.
Apart from the development of these operating tools, the organisation cooperates with a Danish company to carry out thorough analyses of the life cycle of products that are developed to produce « environmental profiles », i.e. environmental identity cards for products.
• Technological advances
• Niche positioning; the company meets customers’ expectations
• Pride to serve the company and engagement towards a project that enhances cohesion.
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