Herman Miller Launches Inaugural Sustainability Report
In 2006, sales grew, workers volunteered, and design got greener.
Meaghan O'Neill -- Interior Design, 5/4/2007 12:00:00 AM
In an effort to transparently report its progress toward economic, social, and environmental goals, Herman Miller has issued its first sustainability report, “The Journey Toward Sustainability,” based on its 2006 fiscal year. The report focuses primarily on the company’s North American operations. (Information about international operations will be included in future reports.)
“This report demonstrates that we do what we say at Herman Miller,” says Paul Murray, director of environmental health and safety, referring to the company’s Perfect Vision plan. Perfect Vision charts out the course Herman Miller intends to follow in order to become sustainable in several areas by 2020. “Every day we're making progress toward that goal,” adds Murray.
Economically, the report notes that North American sales for Herman Miller’s fiscal year 2006 rose more than 14 percent over the previous year, and international sales grew 23 percent. Social responsibility is also part of the company’s vision of sustainability. Last year, Herman Miller employees logged more than 33,000 volunteer hours. More than 10 percent of its workforce participates in formal management-worker health and safety committees and Diversity Inc magazine named Herman Miller one of country's top 10 companies for supplier diversity.
When it comes to environmental stewardship, more than 27 percent of Herman Miller’s energy needs were met by renewable sources and all new products were evaluated according to the company's Design for the Environment protocol, which monitors material chemistry and safety of inputs, disassembly, and recyclability. The brand also introduced new earth-friendly product lines, including My Studio Environments and Vivo Interiors. Furthermore, waste-reduction programs were recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Earlier this year, the company was also once again named one of Fortune magazine’s "Most Admired" companies in its industry and is among CRO magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens."