We strive to avoid potentially hazardous substances in our products and processes and favour eco-friendly materials.
We look in-depth at the chemistry of materials and select those that are safe, healthy, and ecologically sound throughout their life-cycle. We use a material assessment protocol of 19 criteria assessing the risk of toxic materials:
- on human health (carcinogenicity, disruption of endocrine system)
- on the environment (toxicity on fish and algae, impact on air quality, ozone depletion potential).
In our drive to use only eco-friendly materials we have set clear and measurable targets. We are committed to being PVC free by 2012, using safer plastics such as polypropylene instead.
Since 2008, we are getting organised to comply with the European REACH regulation. It aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the potential risks of chemicals.
We also take the issue of indoor air quality seriously for the benefit of our customers, employees and suppliers: we select materials and adapt our manufacturing processes to reduce emissions such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Since 2001 we only use powder-coat painting which is VOC-free and free of heavy metals. The E1 standard (ISO EN 13986) ensures virtually no emission of formaldehyde from the particle boards we use.
Recycled and recyclable materials
Most of our products are up to 99% recyclable and we include the right raw materials to maximise the life of a product and its parts.
Our packaging consists of cardboard manufactured from 30% to 80% recycled material, and LDPE film (Low Density Polyethylene) that contains 30% recycled material.
More than 80% of the wood we purchase is PEFC certified (Programme for the endorsement of forest certification). PEFC attests that wood originates from sustainably managed forests. Steelcase is PEFC certified since 2007. This PEFC certification has been obtained for all our European sites involved with wood manufacturing i.e in France (2 factories), in Germany (2 factories), and in Spain (1 factory). Steelcase is the only manufacturer to have obtained a pan European certification involving XX suppliers.
E1 particle board
All our particle boards belong to the E1 class for low formaldehyde emissions. 15% of our particle boards even belong to the E0,5 class.
European Eco-label wool
All our wool textiles are certified with the European Eco-label. It prevents the application of harmful chemicals that could otherwise come in contact with the users.
Oeko-Tex 100 Standard polyester
75% of our polyester are comply with the Oeko-Tex 100 standard. It evaluates and screens for any harmful substances present within processed textiles intended to come into contact with consumers.