This is an impressive interview revealing some of the fundamental processes and attitudes that permeate everything that is done at Herman Miller.
For example the Celle chair above is made from 33% recycled materials, is 99% recyclable and can be dismantled in minutes, leaving no excuse not to recycle the chair at the end of its life.
Their stoplight approach —green, yellow, red, orange—used in assessing a material is an example for all manufacturers. Herman Miller obtains the chemical information for a product from their supply chain and it is rated based on this scale. Green is ranked as little or no hazard, yellow is low to moderate hazard, red would be a high hazard such as PVC and an orange material would be if a chemical company put a new chemical on the marketplace that just hasn’t gone through all the proper assessments.
Anything that is green or yellow we will be used in their products, anything that is red or orange they will try and eliminate from their products.
And hand in hand with this is their adoption of the cradle to cradle approach to doing business.