Steelcase Receives Top Award from Environmental Protection Agency for Waste Reduction

WasteWise Recognizes Steelcase As the 2008 Large Business Partner of the Year

October 30, 2008 – Grand Rapids, MI – Steelcase Inc., a global office environments manufacturer, announced today that it has been honored as the 2008 WasteWise Large Business Partner of the Year from WasteWise, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that helps U.S. organizations reduce municipal solid waste. The WasteWise Large Business Partner of the Year Award honors overall waste reduction achievements and efforts to purchase or manufacture recycled-content products.

Each year, the EPA recognizes outstanding achievements in waste prevention, recycling collection and buying or manufacturing recycled content products of its partners through the WasteWise awards. This is Steelcase’s first ever Partner of the Year Award and the seventh consecutive year that the EPA has honored the company, for a total of five honorable mentions and three gold product achievement awards.

“At Steelcase, we strive to balance the way we do business with our environmental stewardship, and as a company founded with sustainability as a core value, we are committed to developing lasting solutions for waste reduction,” said David Rinard, director of Global Environmental Performance at Steelcase. “To be recognized by WasteWise and the EPA is a great achievement and we are honored to receive this prestigious award.”

At Steelcase, sustainability is a source for inspiration, leading to smarter, more innovative products and manufacturing processes. Its operational activities include a strong focus on recycling, pollution prevention, and water and energy conservation. Through a deep focus on three key platforms – materials chemistry, lifecycle assessment and recycle/reuse – Steelcase is advancing towards substantial environmental goals including a 25 percent reduction of its global footprint by the time the company celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2012.

“By achieving its waste reduction goals, Steelcase Inc. is proving to other businesses that what is good for the environment is also good for business,” said Matt Hale, director, U.S. EPA, Office of Solid Waste. “Steelcase’s success is largely due to the company’s innovative waste prevention techniques, successful sustainability training program, and connection with the community by donating employee hours to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Adopt-a-Highway, as well as providing local non-profits with thousands of pounds of excess materials for reuse.”

Highlights of Steelcase’s environmental initiatives in 2007 that set Steelcase apart to win the WasteWise Large Business Partner of the Year Award include:

  • Purchase of new counterweights for Steelcase large case storage products that are made from 95% reclaimed steel mill slag which was previously sent to landfills.
  • Major reductions in bulk packaging, including a 33 percent decrease in individual laminated top packages.
  • Vast utilization of recycled-content with more than 200 products comprised of recycled materials in the Steelcase portfolio.
  • Introduction of the Eco-Lease purchasing program, where customers can select from Steelcase Inc.’s portfolio of Cradle-to-Cradle certified furniture, architecture and technology products for a pre-determined lease and choose to purchase or return the products at the end of the lease period where it will be remarketed.
  • Ongoing commitment to waste reduction through quarterly facility waste audits that provide ongoing opportunities to further reduce waste.
  • Dedication to educating employees and the industry on environmental issues, with 140 members of the Steelcase sales force trained on sustainability initiatives.
  • Further reducing waste, Steelcase donated, recycled or reused 100,000 pounds of computer equipment.

WasteWise and the EPA recognized Steelcase at the 2008 WasteWise and NPEP Annual Conference in Arlington, VA on October 29. Steelcase is one of only nine organizations to receive a Partner of the Year Award at this year’s event.

About Steelcase Inc.
Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry, helps people have a better work experience by providing products, services and insights into the ways people work. The company designs and manufactures architecture, furniture and technology products. Founded in 1912 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steelcase (NYSE:SCS) serves customers through a network of over 600 independent dealers and approximately 13,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2008 revenue was $3.4 billion.

Jeanine Holquist