Plant Sets Standard in Environmental Excellence

Dec. 14, 1999
Steelcase Wood manufacturing plant plans to reduce emissions by 70 percent.

Steelcase said its new Steelcase Wood manufacturing plant will reduce the amount of emissions by 70 percent, compared to its existing wood facility in Kentwood, Mich.

Steelcase is a designer and manufacturer of products used to create high-performance work environments, such as seating and furniture systems.

Construction of the new facility in Gaines Township, Mich. is expected to start the first quarter of next year.

The Gaines Township facility will incorporate low impact technology in order to reduce emissions. Steelcase collaborated with two industry suppliers to create a new finishing technology that will allow the company to switch from a largely solvent-based finishing system used at the existing facility to an innovative water-based finishing system.

In an effort to further benefit the environment, Steelcase has chosen not to sell its remaining unused emission credits from its existing facility to other corporations. Instead, it will voluntarily retire those credits.

Additionally, Steelcase is working closely with the U.S. Green Buildings Council to use the new building as a pilot project in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

The Gaines Township facility is the first manufacturing building of its size to seek registration as a LEED facility.

"This facility is a remarkable achievement in developing one of the most environmentally sound industrial plants in the nation," said David Rinard, director of corporate environment, health and safety for Steelcase. "We feel this building will act as an environmentally sound model for our industry in the 21st century and set a benchmark for companies attempting to increase production while substantially reducing environmental emissions."

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