Today, Humanscale published the brand’s ninth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. As the global leader in the responsible design and manufacturing of workspace products and furniture, Humanscale has been committed to environmental stewardship for people and the planet since the company launched in 1983. In practice, Humanscale evaluates all manufacturing and operational activities to understand the brand’s impact across energy, water, emissions, circularity, wildlife preservation, social responsibility, and healthy materials. In each category, Humanscale considers how best to move beyond sustainability and net zero impact, and generate a net positive effect on the environment and community in the present.
“I’m always proud of our company, but I’m especially proud of what we accomplished in 2020,” said Jane Abernethy, Humanscale Chief Sustainability Officer. “The global pandemic brought enormous uncertainty and rapid change—yet our sustainability initiatives remained a top priority. Each one of our factories diverted over 90% of their waste from landfills, installed systems to use on-site rainwater, and developed a measurable plan to use our grounds to support local biodiversity. Despite the challenges, our teams, especially in our factories, maintained the high value we place on sustainability and continued to put this into practice.”
Each year, Humanscale identifies areas within production and manufacturing for improvement and sets specific goals. In 2020, Humanscale made notable progress across:
- Circularity/Waste: Humanscale factories diverted over 90% of non-hazardous waste from landfills by reducing, recycling, and finding innovative uses for materials.
- Water: In addition to being efficient with water, Humanscale uses 100% captured rainwater and no chemicals of concern to treat water during production.
- Biodiversity: All Humanscale factories developed and implemented a three-year landscaping plan specific to each facility’s location that supports native wildlife and biodiversity.
- Healthy Materials: Humanscale removed 100% PFAS chemicals from the production line. PFAS are used in fabric protectants and are recognized globally as pollutants.
- Energy: Humanscale reduced total corporate energy usage across offices, showrooms, and manufacturing facilities by 1004,791 MJ (4.4% of total corporate energy use).
- Social Responsibility: Humanscale set the goal to audit 80% of suppliers in 2020 and audited 21% before travel was restricted by COVID.
- Wildlife Preservation: Even while the availability of ocean plastic decreased by 31% due to supply chain challenges, Humanscale established partnerships with three new suppliers and launched two new products containing ocean plastic.
In addition to focusing on improving key issue areas, Humanscale calculates its footprint across carbon, water, and energy using Life Cycle Assessments. This methodology for assessing environmental impacts is associated with all the stages of the life cycle for a commercial product, process, or service. The same calculation methods are used to determine the amount of positive change Humanscale can create in the world, known as handprints. As well as making impactful changes throughout the production process in order to continuously scale back the company’s footprint, Humanscale’s handprints give back to the community and support the brand in its mission to become net positive. For example, in 2020, Humanscale sponsored solar installation for organizations including Collins Lake Autism Center, Surface Creek Animal Shelter, CHIP- Paradise Village, Project Artaud, and North State Food Bank through the nonprofit partner RE-volv. Humanscale continues to partner with WWF and the Cambodian government to restore 1.5 million acres of the Phnom Prich and Srepok Wildlife Sanctuaries on Cambodia’s eastern plains.