At Herman Miller, the impact that their business has on the environment is an important concern to them. Their Resource Smart approach means acting on the prevention of pollution, the elimination of all forms of waste and the efficient use of all resources, while their eco-inspired design approach advocates for manufacture of better, more sustainable products.
Since March 2017, an outstanding partnership between Herman Miller and EGGER/Timberpak has developed, which sees waste wood products being reclaimed and recycled into new office furniture products.
Becci Ricardo, International Head of Safety and Sustainability at Herman Miller explains: “We use EGGER board in the manufacturing of our desks and worksystems. The waste that is generated is sent to Timberpak for initial reprocessing and then to EGGER for further reprocessing. The clean recycled wood is then used as part of the mix to make new particle board, which we then use to make more furniture.”
1. Offcuts and wood waste generated at the Herman Miller production facility is collected and delivered to Timberpak, utilising empty vehicle space and back loading.
2. Wood is sorted into chipboard or MDF before being broken down to a suitable size.
3. Graded material is transferred to EGGER for sophisticated cleaning and broken into chipped wood.
4. Finer wood dust which cannot be used in board production goes into EGGER’s heat plant, generating heat for EGGER’s chipboard production processes. Helping EGGER achieve a 98% recycling figure.
5. Clean recycled material goes into the production of new EGGER particle board, used to construct Herman Miller products such as the Ratio desk.
The recycling of waste wood into new products has both environmental benefits as well as business efficiencies.
Becci adds: “This successful closed-loop process enables Herman Miller to ethically dispose of more than 1,000 tonnes of wood waste each year, which previously was sent for heat recovery. Closed-loop recycling is a more sustainable concept and supports our priority to reuse and recycle any production waste. In this case, conversion of the waste material back to raw material allows repeated making of new particle board over and over again.”
Gavin Ball, Timberpak Customer Relationship Manager concludes: “Herman Miller’s Resource Smart approach is an excellent fit with our closed-loop production process. We are delighted to be working in partnership with them to provide a long-term sustainable solution for their waste wood.”