Design for the Environment
A Design for the Environment (DfE) process was put in place to address the life cycle concerns of the product from inception all the way to end of life. The DfE process also helps address harmful or problematic chemicals in the product that can be modified or replaced with a healthier, more sustainable option.
The wood used in our table tops is Certified to the Eco-Certified Composite (ECC) Sustainability Standard which addresses carbon footprint, local and renewable resources, recycled/recovered content, efficient use of raw materials, and wood sourcing from FSC, SFI, or comparable certifying body recognized by the Composite Panel Association. The wood also passes the State of California CARB 93120.2 Phase 2 requirements.
Frames are primarily made of steel which is the most recycled material in the world and its recyclability is one of its most valuable properties, saving precious raw materials and significant energy for future
generations. The steel is powder coated rather than wet coated for multiple reasons. Powder coating emits no volatile organic compounds (VOC) eliminating hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and off-gassing associated with wet-coat applications, not to mention it is a recyclable and durable material.
All Versteel products currently listed in the price list directory hold the BIFMA level® 2 Certification. The level certificates can be viewed at http://levelcertified.org/ or delivered upon request.
All Versteel products currently listed in the price list directory are also Green Leaf VOC Certified tested by Intertek to the ANSI/BIFMA Furniture Emissions Standard (M7.1/X7.1-2011). Certificates are viewable at http://www.intertek.com/furniture/indoorairquality/ or delivered upon request.
Another way we reduce waste is by working with customers in our Green Pack program. For qualifying orders, we minimize waste by optimizing our packaging and trailer utilization when sending products to our customers. For instance, a Green Packed Chela Chair will eliminate about 3 lbs of waste and will cut the unpacking/installation time by over 20% for the customer when they receive it. We also have a No Idling Zone Policy to help eliminate the wasted energy resources and carbon dioxide pollution from our trucking companies.
Sustainable energy is a challenge in Jasper, IN because of the limited wind and sun exposure; therefore, Versteel commits 20% of it’s energy use to Renewable Energy Credits to make a bigger impact putting money towards renewable energy projects that are better geographically situated.
Even though we diverted over 280,000 lbs of trash from the landfill in 2012 through our recycling efforts, we believe in refusing trash before it ever becomes part of the waste stream. For instance, we work closely with suppliers to eliminate waste by optimizing and reusing packaging. We currently recycle over 15 commodities and currently have a goal of “Zero Landfill” by 2020.
While we continuously improve our operations through our Environmental Management System, we aim to succeed from the beginning. There is no denying the harmful effects hazardous chemicals. For this reason, we go to great lengths to eliminate or replace hazardous chemicals which is a direct result why we are in the lowest Hazardous Waste Classification set by the EPA: Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator.
Partners for Pollution Prevention
The Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention is a group of businesses and other organizations thatvolunteer for a public-private partnership with Indiana Department of Environmental Management to promote pollution prevention and environmental stewardship in Indiana. Versteel has been a member since 2009.