Steelcase Mexico Receives Industry-First Award for Social Responsibility

March 12, 2009 – Grand Rapids, MI – Steelcase Mexico was honored today with the distinction of “Socially Responsible Company” at the 2009 Latin American ESR Conference in Mexico City. This is the first award for the global office environment manufacturer’s Mexico site in the area, and Steelcase is the first company in its industry to earn this honor. The award is also known as an ESR (Empresa Socialmente Responsable) from the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI).

CEMEFI evaluates companies on local, social and environmental programs, internal programs for employee wellness and the ethics of the company’s business practices. An ESR logo certifies a company’s compliance with the standards proposed in CEMEFI’s four areas of social responsibility: quality of life within the company, business ethics, community ties and care for and preservation of the environment.

“A commitment to creating enduring value for our employees, customers and communities forms the core of Steelcase’s culture and we’re pleased to be recognized for the efforts of our Mexico operations,” said Rafael Noriega, general manager of Latin America & the Caribbean at Steelcase.

An example of Steelcase’s initiative in this area is its joint work with the Reforestemos Mexico foundation in the recovery of 80 acres of forest in Villa del Carbon, near Mexico City. Originally a forest, extreme poverty forced its conversion into farmland. In addition to planting trees, Steelcase is joining the foundation to support educational efforts in the community to develop alternative and sustainable sources of income. This will enable the community to migrate from farming and keep the newly planted forest intact. Addressing the root of the cause, and not only its effect, is indicative of Steelcase’s goal of using a life cycle approach in all of its business practices.

Incorporated in 1988, the CEMEFI works to encourage both social responsibility and a culture of philanthropy with companies in Mexico, with the goal of having them contribute to the betterment of society. This year CEMEFI has recognized 370 companies such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Nestle with the ESR award.

The ESR award is the latest in a number of awards recognizing Steelcase’s commitment to social responsibility. Steelcase was just ranked eighth in social responsibility on Fortune Magazine’s list of World’s Most Admired Companies. Additionally, in 2007, Fast Company included Steelcase in the “Fast 50” – companies that are finding “profit-driven solutions for what ails the planet.” CRO Magazine also included Steelcase in its “Best Corporate Citizens” feature the same year.

About Steelcase, Inc.
Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) provides furniture, services and insights to help people have a better work experience, and to help companies and organizations create inspiring spaces with a maximum impact on performance and a minimum impact on the environment. A Michigan-based company that has been serving customers for nearly a century, Steelcase leads the global office furniture industry with $3.4 billion in annual revenue. Learn more

Jeanine Holquist