Today, the company diverts 95 percent of total solid waste it generates and sends it off for reuse or recycling, according to the Sustainable Manufacturer Network. Each year, the company diverts 88 tons of paper, 2,804 tons of cardboard and 1,234 tons of steel.
National Office Furniture’s goal is send zero waste to landfill.
The furniture maker increased employee awareness and engagement, audited dumpster dives, replaced common waste containers with labeled recycling bins and launched return-to-vendor programs to promote reuse to reach its zero waste goal.
For instance, wood waste is given to farmers for animal bedding or used at one of the company’s sites as a fuel substitute for coal, according to the Sustainable Manufacturer Network. The company also sends most of the scrap fabric from its upholstery plant to an upcycler that uses it to make vehicle padding.
National Office Furniture also began refusing extra packaging from vendors and cut waste upstream using internal processes.
The Jasper, Ind.-based company sends most of its recyclables to Kimball International’s corporate-wide recycling center, which recycles 65 different materials.
National Office Furniture has also pursued SCS Indoor Advantage Gold certification for its seating lines. The furniture emission standard set by Scientific Certification Systems indicates that concentrations for individual volatile organic compounds (VOCs) do not exceed one-half of the Chronic Reference Exposure Levels set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
The company’s products are available on the online tool ecoScorecard, which allows customers to carry out quick sustainable product research, calculations and documentation for LEED and other green rating systems.
Photo: National Office Furniture