Humanscale charts a path to a sustainable future

A Humanscale chair on a beachHumanscale is celebrating CSR success in the way it manufactures the elements used in its award-winning workplace solutions. In 2021, 26 products equating to 60 percent of the company’s sales were certified climate positive. This means they had a positive impact on climate, energy, and water, the first products in the world that are ‘beyond neutral’.

External auditors the Living Future Institute worked with Humanscale in a rigorous process completed in Spring 2021. This ensured all factories and the majority of Humanscale products met the exacting standards of the Living Product challenge. This certification is a test of manufacturers intended to make their operations net positive and accounting for their entire supply chain across six impact categories: place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, and equity. In real terms, this means every time these Humanscale products are made, the planet is immeasurably better off.

Part of becoming net positive means looking at more than Humanscale’s own operations to calculating the product’s entire footprint. This includes a full life cycle assessment model which is built to incorporate impacts in every step of the manufacturing process such as extraction of raw materials, processing, transportation, transforming and assembly. In this way, Humanscale is taking responsibility for everything in the supply chain.

As well as reducing the product footprints, to reach the status of climate positive, Humanscale doesn’t rely in offsetting. Instead, it creates ‘handprints’, these are the positive impacts that the company creates in the world. For example, the award-winning Smart Ocean chair uses almost 2lb of recycled fishing nets, in its manufacture, leaving the ocean cleaner.

Bob King, CEO, Humanscale says: “We’ve gone beyond the point where it’s acceptable for manufacturers to do less bad or sustain the status quo. The climate crises we face demands revolutionary action on a large scale and requires all of us to think beyond sustainability. That’s why we aren’t waiting for our peers to chart the path forward “

Jane Abernethy, Humanscale Chief Sustainability Officer adds,“We are proud to be the first company ever to offer any product – let alone 26 – certified climate, energy and water positive.”

Sustainability is built into the new product development process to ensure Humanscale uses the most sustainable materials possible, including healthy, bio-based and readily recyclable materials and look for ways to manufacture with materials previously considered waste.