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Shining a Light on Sustainability in Action


Recognized on April 22, Earth Day was founded and first celebrated in 1970. Since then, at least 1 billion people have taken a stand for the future of our planet — including many businesses.

At Office Designs, we are committed to providing our customers with the best options for office furniture, and we feature a full spectrum of top furniture brands. Today, we’d like to shine a light on two of our featured brands — Humanscale and National Office Furniture — both of whom are committed to promoting sustainability in the way they manufacture products for the office environment.

The Humanscale Mission
Humanscale is a designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve and enhance work life. They personify the mission of responsible and sustainable manufacturing, driven by a motto that “less bad isn’t good enough.” 

Humanscale Float Table
The Humanscale Float Table

The design and creation of their products are driven by four areas of emphasis — function, simplicity, longevity, and sustainability. It’s that last one that may be the most important.

As part of their mission of promoting sustainability in their products and offerings, Humanscale has a goal of making an overall net positive impact on the earth. What does that mean exactly?

They describe becoming net positive as “incorporating manufacturing into our environmental and social solutions. It means taking a close look at what we make and how we make it. It means considering each and every resource required to manufacture our products. And it means finding ways to go beyond reducing our consumption — to give back, replenish, and continue making a positive environmental and social impact on the world.”

They’ve created products with that mission in mind. Take the Smart Ocean chair, for example. The chair is Living Product-certified, meaning it meets the most stringent set of sustainable manufacturing criteria available today.

Using materials sourced in an effort to reduce ocean plastic pollution, each chair includes nearly two pounds of recycled fishing net material. This material comes from Net Positiva, a collection and recycling program created by Bureo to help mitigate the harmful effects of discarded fishing nets in the ocean. Once culled from the ocean, these nets are transformed into nylon pellets, which are then used in the manufacturing of the Smart Ocean chair. 

National Office Furniture’s Drive for Sustainability

For National Office Furniture, sustainability isn’t just a catchphrase. It drives every facet of their manufacturing processes. In their own words, “We see our legacy as more than quality furniture; it’s a reverence for nature.”

the vora office chair
The Vora Office Chair

As part of their mission, National Office Furniture focuses on a six-pronged approach — promoting product stewardship, environmental preservation, green building development, regulatory compliance, social accountability, and economic responsibility. 

This is exhibited in their products in multiple ways. For one, the vast majority of National Office Furniture products are certified for indoor air quality, meaning they do not exceed acceptable levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) when installed in the workplace.

They have also earned LEVEL® 2 or 3 certification from the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association for nearly all products. This represents an evaluation of the sustainability of a product, the facility where the product was made, and the manufacturer.

Beyond these designations, National Office Furniture is also committed to maintaining a sustainable footprint, both in the creation of their products, as well as in offering guidance to customers on how to responsibly dispose of and recycle products when they reach the end of their lifespan.

You can make your own contribution to a more sustainable earth. To learn more about or purchase these sustainable products for your home or work office space, check out our selection of Humanscale and National Office Furniture products.

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