Steelcase Health’s Viridian Casegoods First Healthcare Product to Receive Cradle to Cradle Certification

C2C Silver Certification reflects Steelcase Health’s commitment to sustainability

Grand Rapids, Mich. – November 5, 2007 – Reflecting the healthcare and architectural design industries’ recent emphasis on sustainability and the company’s dedication to act as a steward of the environment, Steelcase Health today announced that it has earned Silver Cradle to CradleSM product certification from McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) for its Viridian line of casegoods. Viridian is the first healthcare-specific product to receive Cradle to Cradle certification.

“Earning the Cradle to Cradle certification means a lot for this company. We are extremely proud of our people and the dedication they put forth to produce environmentally, sustainable products,” said Michael Love, president of Steelcase Health. “Environmental stewardship is more than a passing whim for Steelcase Health. It’s a holistic approach that reflects our commitment to the environment for decades to come.”

Viridian is the 23rd product from the Steelcase family of companies to receive Cradle to Cradle certification. Developed by Steelcase Health’s Softcare™ division, Viridian is made from low emission Scientific Certification Systems-certified pre-consumer recycled wood fiber. Viridian cabinets feature environmentally-sensitive edge-banding developed in Europe. The cabinets’ edging is considered the most environmentally-sensitive in the furniture market because it is made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) instead of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which releases chlorine and hydrochloric acid during combustion. The cabinets also feature recycled aluminum handles. The Viridian product line qualifies for a number of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits covering commercial interiors, new construction and existing building areas.

“Sustainability is a natural match for the healthcare industry,” said Tony Beckley, the recently retired vice president of design for Softcare, who directed the Viridian eco-friendly cabinet project. “Our focus goes beyond preventing pollution. We look at a product’s life cycle, from a material development standpoint to its actual use. We examine all aspects of environmental impact in product design. With an enviro-vision incorporated from the initial development of new product development, sustainable really is attainable.”

Cradle to Cradle Certification provides a company with a means to tangibly and credibly measure achievement in environmentally-intelligent design and helps customers purchase and specify products that are pursuing a broader definition of quality. This means using environmentally safe and healthy materials; design for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting; the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency; efficient use of water, and maximum water quality associated with production; and instituting strategies for social responsibility.

The Cradle to Cradle Design Protocol is used to evaluate and optimize a product’s materials and the effects of production processes in order to maximize health, safety, effectiveness, and high quality reutilization over many product life cycles.

Environmentally-sound products are also available from other members of the Steelcase Health family of companies. The Steelcase Health Collection by Designtex fabrics combine nature-inspired aesthetics with an emphasis on sustainability. The innovative Designtex products are made from recycled solution-dyed polyester, Duprene wall coverings, eco-intelligent polyester, EUcertified wool and recycled Zeftron Context Solution-Dyed Nylon. The styles are made from Nylon 6, which is used widely in high-performance carpet and fabrics. Nylon 6 can now be depolymerized economically, allowing it to become the first truly recyclable fiber. From an aesthetic perspective, Designtex patterns take their cues from nature’s harmonies, featuring cooling soothing colorations with names like agave, acacia and senna.

In addition to emphasis on eco-friendly products, Steelcase Health uses a thoughtful approach to integrate sustainable practices into its corporate culture. “We even ensure our print vendors are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified,” said Love, referring to the 100 percent post consumer recycled content used for Steelcase Health’s company literature. “By using a holistic approach, every Steelcase Health employee contributes to conservation and sustainability.”

About Steelcase Health

Steelcase Health is a company focused on healthcare environments and how products in these environments can help make them more comfortable, efficient and conducive to the healing process. For more information, visit Health.

About McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC)

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) is a product and process design firm based in Charlottesville, Va. dedicated to transforming the design of products, processes, and services worldwide. The firm was founded in 1995 by William McDonough and Michael Braungart to promote and power “The Next Industrial Revolution” through intelligent design.


Aiden Doherty

Michael Pflughoeft