Sustainability: People + Purpose Driving Growth

Kim Dabbs’ own journey from homeless teen to earning a graduate degree from the University of Michigan is remarkable. Kim now teaches others, acting as a learning leader for Steelcase in Munich. In another part of the world, Betsy Hernandez refers to herself as “The Trash Lady” at Steelcase. She takes decreasing waste seriously and drives environmental initiatives big and small. And, in Cluj, Romania, Liana Lechintan not only serves as a marketing specialist for Steelcase, she also adds daily doses of positivity to the workplace. Everything from morning pancakes to thank you cards are on her menu.

Kim, Betsy and Liana are just a few of the more than 10,000 people who contribute stories about moving Steelcase forward each day. Be it ongoing education, reducing waste or improving emotional wellbeing, these people are helping to unlock human potential across the globe. Their daily activities are part of a sustainability lens driving growth.

“For over a century, Steelcase has been designing products, applications and services aimed at delivering value and unlocking human promise,” says CEO Jim Keane. “But our most valuable assets are the people who comprise and fuel our culture. They’re at the heart of everything we are and do.”

Keane says we’re entering a new era of sustainability. Moving beyond documentation and compliance, this era is about finding new ways to solve customer problems and adding shareholding value.

Every year, Steelcase releases its Corporate Sustainability Report — our benchmarking tool to evaluate progress on our sustainability promises.

Steelcase 2016 CSR Snapshot

  • Since 2010, Steelcase has successfully reduced:
    • VOC emissions 75% | Water use 9% | Waste output 44%
  • 2016 Community investments: Steelcase, Steelcase Foundation donate $5.7 million
  • Choosing inclusion: 2016 Corporate Equality Index perfect score
  • 2016 Volunteering: Employees worldwide volunteered 38,913 hours, triple one year ago
  • Closing the loop in 2016:
    • Clients saved $2.3M through reuse of furniture assets
    • 6.4M lbs. of furniture diverted from landfills

“Every single person throughout Steelcase makes a difference, and each of us within our daily lives impacts the world in ways we don’t realize, by virtue of the ways in which we perform our work and spend our lives,” says Dabbs.

Keane agrees. He says sustainability is about a commitment to creating the social, economic and environmental conditions that allow people to thrive and soar.

To learn more, read the full 2016 Corporate Sustainability Report.

Featured Topic:  Sustainability

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