MillerKnoll sets 3-pronged sustainability goals

Herman Miller started integrating ocean-bound plastic into its iconic Aeron Chair last year. Photo courtesy of Herman Miller.

ZEELAND, Mi. – Furniture design company MillerKnoll set new sustainability goals this Earth Day to accomplish three goals – reduce its carbon footprint, design out waste and source better materials.

“Our teams work hard every day to make a positive impact on our communities and planet and create value for our shareholders,” said Andi Owen, CEO, MillerKnoll. “Recent progress includes transitioning to purchase 100% renewable hydro and wind energy at our largest facilities and incorporating ocean-bound plastic in our iconic Aeron Chair and more, which is estimated to divert up to 234 metric tons of plastic from the ocean annually.”

The company plans to:

  • Reduce the carbon footprint from its products and operations by 50% and reduce the carbon footprint of its suppliers.
  • Stop using single-use plastics and substantially reduce all types of waste.
  • Use 50% or more recycled content and purchase materials that are responsibly and sustainably produced.

The new goals will apply across the collective of brands which include Herman Miller, Knoll, Colebrook Bosson Saunders, DatesWeiser, Design Within Reach, Edelman Leather, Fully, Geiger, HAY, Holly Hunt, KnollTextiles, Maars Living Walls, Maharam, Muuto, naughtone, and Spinneybeck|FilzFelt

“Year by year, each company that’s now part of the MillerKnoll collective has made progress in sustainability,” said Gabe Wing, MillerKnoll director of sustainability. “Our 2030 sustainability goals continue that momentum but also push us to do even more for the planet – empowering our brands, individuals and teams from across the globe to make decisions that contribute to a positive environmental impact.”

Knoll and Herman Miller will continue to leverage their marketplace power with suppliers to increase the long-term supply of responsibly sourced wood, according to Wing. Both brands have also offered end-of-life programs for over a decade that help customers invest in the circular economy by finding new life for used products.

The company’s latest product innovation included integrating ocean-bound plastic into Herman Miller’s Aeron Chair and other products and packaging solutions, driven by the company’s membership in NextWave Plastics. This work is estimated to divert up to 234 metric tons of plastic from the ocean which is equal to preventing close to 400,000 milk jugs or up to 23 million plastic bottles from entering the ocean annually.

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