Department of Design and 
Environmental Analysis
Cornell University

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A Report on the Environmental Stewardship of
Herman Miller and its Subsidiary Companies

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"On spaceship Earth there are no passengers—only crew."
—Buckminster Fuller

Herman Miller SQA Headquarters

In 1995, Herman Miller, furniture manufacturer, teamed up with William McDonough + Partners to design a new manufacturing facility for its subsidiary, Miller SQA.  Three key concepts guided the design of this facility:  occupant comfort, health and communication; the integration of the exterior landscape; and maximum use of daylighting.  At the new Miller SQA facility, the attention to the social and physical conditions faced by the employees guided the design of the entire project.   The designer's response is a long, open street to establish a public urban connection between office and manufacturing areas. 

Awareness Statement.

As a corporate steward in our communities, through continuous
improvement we will:

1.  Minimize waste by following the     priority order of reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, incinerate, landfill

2.  Implement technologies to use energy resources efficiently

3.  Strive to surpass conformance to the law, compliance being the minimum standard by which we rate our performance

4.  Use company resources to promote environmental knowledge and awareness to those involved in our business, including employees, customers, regulators, suppliers, neighbors, and competitors

5.  Review and improve the environmental impact of materials used in our products and processes

Herman Miller's stewardship of the land, water, and air

Because Herman Miller recognizes the complex interrelationships among the land, water, and air, it is working concurrently in a variety of areas, from the management of solid and hazardous wastes to
participation in various governmental initiatives.


Herman Miller and its subsidiary companies' environmental goals, to be achieved by December 31, 1998, are to:

1.Eliminate the use of landfills.
2.Require an environmental life-cycle analysis for all new
products; the data will be used to make decisions regarding the selection of materials.
3.Reduce material waste by 30 percent, such waste defined as materials that enter the manufacturing facility but are not shipped to customers.
4.Reduce the volume of packaging materials for finished goods by one half.