Design for the Environment
A Design for the Environment (DfE) process was put in place to address the life cycle concerns of our 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 conforms to a third party certification program for environmentally and socially responsible forest management 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. Steel 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.
Product Life Cycle
After years of usage, our products can be disassembled and recycled. Disassembly instructions are available for all of our products upon request. We also offer a Take Back Program. If your Versteel product has reached the end of its life cycle and you would like to return it, just contact us and we’ll work on a solution together.
All Versteel products currently listed in the Price List hold the BIFMA level® 2 Certification. BIFMA level certificates can be viewed at http://levelcertified.org/ or delivered upon request.
All our products currently listed in the Price List 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.
We understand the importance of conserving energy as part of our overall environmental strategy. We strive to comply with local, state, federal, and other requirements to which we subscribe. We also develop and set objectives and targets to continuously improve our energy efficiency.
This is expressed in our goal:
To reduce our total energy use by 25% by 2018, compared to the baseline year 2012.
Continuous tracking will be used to monitor results and will be evaluated and adjusted annually per management discretion (this policy is available upon request).
Sustainable energy is a challenge in Jasper, IN because of the limited wind and sun exposure; therefore, we commit 20% of our energy use to Renewable Energy Credits to make a bigger impact, putting money toward renewable energy projects that are better geographically situated.
Conservation of Energy
We participate in the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s VIP (Voluntary Idling Program). The program is geared toward reducing energy usage and emissions through more effective and efficient practices in the trucking industry.
Even though we diverted over 280,000 lbs of trash from the landfill in 2012 through our recycling efforts, we believe in reusing 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 of hazardous chemicals. For this reason, we go to great lengths to eliminate or replace hazardous chemicals. As a direct result 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 that volunteer 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.
ETL Listed to the UL962 Standard
Not only are we committed to delivering the best quality and performance in all of our furniture, we go a step further and ensure the safety of the products that we manufacture. That is why all of our soft-wired, linked powered table systems are ETL Listed to the UL962 Standard. The ETL listed label tells you that the entire table system, from the electrical components to the materials used on the tables and the interaction of these different components, has been rigorously tested by ETL Laboratories for safety. This is different from a product that is simply UL Recognized. UL “Recognition” only applies to electrical components that meet applicable standards but need to be incorporated in specific ways in order to be safely used. If a product displays only a UL Recognized label, it has not been tested to the requirements of being “Listed” and therefore does not comply with any requirements for “Listed” products. For more information, please contact a Versteel sales representative at 1.800.876.2120.
We believe strengthening our communities is equally important to protecting our environment. Therefore, we encompass both community involvement and environmental initiatives. We contribute to the community through both financial and non-financial means. Recent activities include:
• Supporting clean-up efforts of local streets
• Proving youth with educational opportunities through internships
• Supporting The Common Thread for the Cure
• Providing financial support to a local community college