The start of a new year is the ideal time to re-evaluate priorities and start fresh.
In 2024, Waldner’s and our partner Steelcase are rethinking design priorities and putting a greater focus on sustainability. Thus, Steelcase has a new product design sustainability strategy that is a progressive three-pronged approach; reduce its carbon footprint, design for circularity, and choose + use materials responsibly.
“All of the day-to-day choices we make need to be consistent with and make progress toward these three goals.”
Mary Ellen Mika, Steelcase Director of Sustainability
Keep reading for a deeper dive into the three sustainably goals and how to create a sustainable product design process!
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Using less amount of material is the key to smart design and reducing one’s carbon footprint. As using fewer materials means less weight and then less fuel for transport. Leading to fewer resources for production and less of an environmental impact.
The Steelcase Karman task chair was created using this new approach to design, materials and engineering. As a result, this led to the Karman only weighing 29 pounds, making it one of the lightest task chairs in the industry!
The Karman is designed with the fewest components necessary but is still incredibly strong with ergonomic support and breakthrough comfort.
Designing for circularity requires more thought as it focuses on all aspects of the products lifecycle. For instance, in the beginning how much energy is required to build the product, how it’s shipped and how it is dealt with at the end of its use.
“Too many products that could get recycled don’t. Some products are theoretically recyclable but effectively they aren’t. So, we focus on designing for easy disassembly, which makes it easier to repair or refurbish and extend the use of the product and get it into the proper recycling stream, if necessary.”
Michael Held, Steelcase VP of Global Design
The new Steelcase Everwall is designed with the importance of circularity in mind. The Everwall is a prefabricated wall system made with recyclable materials and is 100% reusable.
In addition, Everwall’s construction takes place off-site in a planned environment, resulting in a reduction of materials onsite, less cutting, less dust in the air and less waste.
Choosing and using materials responsibly means valuing ones with more recycled content, ones that are easily recycled and safe for people. Recently, Steelcase came out with the New Black collection that is made out of recycled scrap fabric previously bound for landfills and now reused to create finishes.
In addition, Steelcase created the Flex Perch Stool out of a new plastic with BASF. This innovative plastic is made from a waste stream that is generated during electronics production.
Additionally, this plastic helps keep electronics out of landfills and is 100% recyclable.
Moving spaces, want to get rid of or repurpose some old furniture? Let us help you!
Recycling or Reselling: Contract furniture can often be easily recycled or remanufactured into new product due to its high content of steel. Here at Waldner’s, we help you assess your existing furniture and disposition plan that offers the best environmental benefits and value.
Refurbishing: Additionally, Waldner’s offers a host of services to get your old product looking brand new! For example, we can help you reupholster, refinish, repaint and blend your existing furniture with new pieces. Ultimately, by doing this you can create beautiful new spaces while never touching a landfill.
Donating: Waldner’s helps you find local charitable organizations that can reuse and repurpose your existing product. We have successfully worked with many companies helping them donate their product to schools, churches, fire departments, and other deserving organizations.