The Knoll 8
1. Protection of the Biosphere
We will strive to make continued progress toward reducting or eliminating the release of any hazardous substance in an effort to safeguard habitats affected by our operations.
We will continue to reduce the use and/or emissions of hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds from our manufacturing operations through the introduction of clean technologies.
• In 2011 Knoll U.S. manufacturing facilities were more than 95% hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and VOC free.
• More than 95% of PVC has been replaced by ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) for standard edges on laminate work surfaces
• The Grand Rapids facility's Clean Corporate Citizen designation was renewed by the State of Michigan in 2011. Knoll is the only furniture manufacturer in Michigan to achieve the honor, which recognizes excellence in clean technology, waste management and other key environmental factors.
We will provide water treatment facilities that meet or exceed discharge criteria.
• In 2011 Knoll U.S. manufacturing facilities were more than 95% hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and VOC free.
• In 2011, the state-of-the-art water treatment facility in East Greenville treated approximately 21,283,000 gallons of wastewater.
We will monitor storm water, conserve water use, and develop processes to minimize water pollution.
• In 2011 the plaforization process for pre-treating metal parts at the East Greenville facility delivered savings of approximately 1,000,000 gallons of water.
• The East Greenville facility established new protocols for testing and manually closing shut-off valves to reduce water flow in targeted processes. Instituted in mid-2011, the practice saved an estimated 3,223,000 million gallons of water over 2010, a savings of 23.3%.
• The Muskegon facility’s counter-flow system for reducing washer usage and discharge completed its first full year of operation in 2011. The facility saved approximately 1,462,096 gallons of water over 2010, a reduction of almost 20%, even as production volume increased.
• The Muskegon facility continued to pipe wastewater to a county treatment facility that employs sludge ponds and settling ponds to treat water, which is then used to irrigate foodproducing farm plots on the property.
2. Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
We strive to make the best use of renewable resources, such as water, soil and forests, and conserve non-renewable natural resources.
We will make sustainable use of renewable natural resources through efficient use and careful planning.
• In 2011 KnollTextiles offered a wide range of fabrics made with natural fibers (e.g., linen, cotton, wool) from rapidly renewable sources.
We will continue to seek opportunities to use sustainable forests in our products.
• In 2011, Knoll provided FSC® Certified Wood as standard without asking, at no surcharge and at standard lead times on office systems, casegoods and tables with the exception of certain products from the KnollStudio Collection. The FSC® standard applies to 95% of wood-containing products manufactured at Knoll facilities.
• Knoll is committed to meeting certification requirements set forth by the FSC® and implemented by the Rainforest Alliance.
We will minimize the use of wooden pallets.
• Knoll continued to repair, reuse and recycle pallets at all facilities. In 2011 1,430.5 tons of wood pallets were recycled.
We will attempt to recycle or make beneficial use of wood scrap generated in our manufacturing operations.
• Knoll facilities recycled approximately 6074 tons of wood scrap and 4029 tons of sawdust in 2011.
• In 2011 East Greenville sent 100% of its wood scrap to a waste-to-energy facility, diverting from landfill 3459 tons of sawdust and scrap.
• The Toronto facility continued to burn wood scrap as heating fuel in the winter and use excess heating capacity to provide hot water for finishing processes in the warmer months. Burning wood scrap in place of natural gas reduced total gas consumption by 17,791,000 cubic feet in 2011, or 24% of total Toronto facility fuel needs.
We will continue to seek recycling opportunities for scrap generated in our manufacturing operations.
• In 2011, Knoll facilities recycled a total of more than 868 tons of corrugated cardboard, 124 tons of paper and 127 tons of textiles.
• The Grand Rapids and Muskegon facilities recycled powdercoat waste in 2011, keeping 284 tons of material out of landfill.
We will continue to utilize post-consumer and post-industrial materials in our products where practical.
• In 2011, the majority of the wood used to make composite board products at the Knoll Toronto, East Greenville and Grand Rapids facilities contained 100% post-industrial material.
• KnollTextiles fabrics include products made of 100% post-consumer recycled content.
• 93 KnollTextiles fabrics carried a "Green Bar" on their label in 2011, indicating 49%+ recycled content or 75%+ natural fiber.
We will be environmentally responsible in our purchase of materials.
• The Knoll FSC® Certified Wood Standard and Sustainable Wood Policy certified through The Rainforest Alliance ensured that wood materials used in our products in 2011 came from environmentally responsible sources.
• All Knoll leather goods were obtained as byproducts of the meat packing industry. No hides or skins from endangered species were used.
3. Waste Reduction and Disposal
We will reduce, recycle, and where possible, eliminate waste, and we will dispose of all waste using safe and responsible methods.
• At the East Greenville facility compactor trash waste decreased on an absolute basis even as production volume increased, as overall recycling went from 87% in 2010 to 92% in 2011.
• Knoll facilities also recycled 2.33 tons of waste batteries and 29 tons of waste glass in 2011.
• The Muskegon facility collected beverage cans, which employee volunteers redeemed for the ten-cent Michigan deposit, and the proceeds were donated to Toys for Tots.
We will dispose of our waste only in well-operated and permitted facilities.
• All Knoll manufacturing facilities adhered to stringent mandates for disposal of waste in approved and monitored facilities.
We will conserve energy by improving the efficiency of our internal operations and the goods and services we sell. We will make every effort to use environmentally safe and sustainable energy sources.
We will conserve energy and improve energy efficiency.
• In 2011 the Toronto facility continued its Air Wars energy conservation program focused on increasing efficiency and reducing waste in compressed air operations. This resulted in energy reductions of 671,130 KWH and savings of approximately $78,388.
• The Toronto facility designed, engineered and installed a new operation-specific high-efficiency dust collection system with demand control fan motors that ramp up and down according to production load, saving electricity and reducing exhaust to improve worker health and safety. The new system resulted in savings of approximately 267,213 KWH and $29,333 in 2011.
• Estimated 2,108 trees saved
• Estimated 862,172 gallons of water saved in processing
• Recycling paper vs. using new paper reduces air pollution by 95% and water pollution by 80%.
• Estimated 4,520 tons of iron ore saved
• Estimated 217 tons of limestone saved
• Recycling steel vs. using new steel reduces air pollution by 86% and water pollution by 76%.
• Estimated 1,400,000 KWH of electricity saved
• Recycling aluminum vs. using new aluminum reduces air pollution by 95%.
We will implement a program to upgrade existing low-efficiency motors to higher efficiency motors.
• In 2011 Knoll continued to specify high-efficiency motors on all new equipment purchases at all North American facilities as part of its sustainable Procurement Policy.
• Total Preventive Maintenance (TPM) was performed at all manufacturing facilities. It requires machine operators to monitor and maintain motors to optimize energy efficiency.
We will implement a program to upgrade existing lighting, where practical, at each facility.
• Lighting upgrades (bulbs and ballasts) to T8’s have been completed at Knoll East Greenville, Grand Rapids, Toronto and Muskegon East and West facilities. In 2011 the final phase of lighting upgrades at Muskegon West reduced CO2 emissions by 67 tons, saving $9.474 per year in energy costs.
5. Risk Reduction
We will strive to minimize the environmental health and safety risks to our associates and the communities in which we operate through safe technologies, sound transportation practices, safe facilities and operating procedures, and emergency preparedness.
We will design our processes to prevent injury to the health and welfare of Knoll associates, the community, and the environment.
• Knoll facilities overall incident rate in 2011 was 20% better than the 2010 • In 2011 the Grand Rapids facility, in consultation with an Occupational Therapist, developed a function-specific stretching program for production workers. The East Greenville facility worked with a Physical Therapist to develop taskspecific stretches for machine operators and a stretching module for office workers.
We will develop and implement health and safety policies and programs to help prevent injury and illnesses to our associates.
• The Knoll East Greenville facility has been recertified as an OSHA VPP Star site, placing Knoll among a select group of companies to achieve that honor. The VPP (Voluntary Protection Program) is a partnership with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reserved for companies that demonstrate exceptional long-term success in reducing risk and protecting the health and safety of employees.
• The East Greenville facility installed thirty Dock Locks in 2011. These fail-safe mechanisms prohibit trailers from pulling away from the dock while they are being loaded.
• In 2011 The revision of PPE (personal protection equipment) policies at East Greenville resulted in the purchase of new equipment and a requirement that makes hearing protection mandatory for all workers and visitors in production areas.
• At the Toronto facility noise abatement measures were taken in 2011 to protect employee hearing. Sound-absorbing cladding was installed on dust extraction ducts, reducing the level of indoor noise. Hearing protection equipment is mandatory throughout the Toronto plant.
• In 2011 Knoll facilities continued to conduct ongoing ergonomic reviews at workstations under the Knoll Employee Health and Safety Analysis program. This practice identifies how work processes might be redesigned and what additional working aids are required.
• In 2011 the Grand Rapids facility dramatically reduced its incidence rate by instituting weekly safety classes and installing a stop light system that alerts workers when an injury has occurred, raising awareness and reminding workers to observe rules and precautions.
• The Toronto facility continued to employ a Safety Score Card system to assess accountability of supervisors on the floor, providing data for ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations and targeting areas for improvement.
• The East Greenville facility instituted a Safety Score Card for production managers similar to that in Toronto.
• Knoll U.S. manufacturing facilities continued to offer a voluntary stretching program that includes instruction and 10 minutes of free time at the start of each shift for stretching exercises.
• All facilities continued to maintain safety teams, regular safety inspections and monthly safety meetings.
We will develop and implement health and wellness awareness and illness prevention programs.
• Knoll manufacturing facilities continued the hearing conservation program that includes testing of all workers in in-house hearing booths with physician review of test results, provision of hearing protection and education.
• In 2011 Knoll US facilities provided free flu shots to associates and their families. Additional nurses were brought in to administer the program.
• Weight loss programs at all facilities provided nutrition and exercise guidelines and weekly weigh-ins to improve employee health.
• At East Greenville, a 10,000-step walking program encouraged employees to measure and increase walking time and awarded prizes for success.
• The Knoll East Greenville, Grand Rapids and Muskegon facilities conducted successful blood drives.
We will design and develop training programs to provide Knoll associates with the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill the objectives of the Environment, Health and Safety Plan.
• In 2011, Continuous Improvement Teams (CIT’s) at all Knoll facilities conducted regular safety meetings, showed safety videos, trained volunteer safety observers, and created safety posters and newsletters.
• Knoll facilities continued to train employee First Responder volunteers in CPR, AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and first aid.
• In 2011, Knoll EHS teams monitored ISO/OSHA (OHSA in Canada) compliance and best practices through uniform procedures in all facilities.
ISO 14001 Environmental Policy Statement:
It is the policy of Knoll to manufacture affordable, well designed office furnishings in the most environmentally responsible way.
6. Safe Products and Services
We will reduce, and, where possible, eliminate the use, manufacture or sale of products and services that cause environmental damage or health or safety hazards. We will inform our customers of the environmental impacts of our product or services in an effort to prevent unsafe use.
We will design and engineer durable products; investigate using recycled materials in the design of our products; and design safety features and ergonomics into our products.
• In 2011 three additional Knoll products earned BIFMA level® 3 certification. They joined seven other Knoll products already certified, including the first system product in the industry to achieve that distinction. level® is a voluntary product standard, developed by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association, to support safe, healthy and sustainable workplace environments. The three Knoll products to earn level® 3 certification in 2011 were the Reff Profiles, Morrison™, and Series 2 Files and Storage. These join Knoll products already certified at level® 3: Antenna® Workspaces, Autostrada™ and Dividends Horizon® Systems; Generation and Multi-Generation seating; Calibre® storage system, Calibre®; and Reff Casegoods, a wood office system.
• In 2011 Knoll continued to design and engineer durable products that use recycled materials in their manufacture, have high recyclability, and include ergonomic and safety features.
• Knoll Design for the Environmental(DfE) guidelines were followed in the design and development ofnew products in the pipeline. DfE principles include economy of materials, recycled content, clean technology, ergonomics, durability and ease of assembly and disassembly. In 2011 LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) was completed for Template™, Reff Profile, Autostrada™, Series 2 Files, Antenna® and Morrison™ products and an EfW Full Circle project.
• In 2011 KnollTextiles added 11 new fabric lines with environmental attributes to its collections. These bring to 93 the total number of Knoll Green Bar designated fabrics, which contain at least 49% recycled content, at least 75% rapidly renewable material (natural fiber), or Eco-Intelligent fiber. All new fabrics are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality® certified.
• KnollTextiles continued to offer Crypton® Green fabrics that combine post-consumer recycled polyester fibers with an optimized chemistry for reduced environmental and indoor air quality impact; Terratex fabrics made of 100% recycled content; Ultrasuede® textiles made with 80% postindustrial recycled microfiber; and Eco-Intelligent Polyester fabrics made of fiber that is a “technical nutrient” designed to be safely recycled into new fabric with no hazardous by-products.
We will provide independent testing to help assure the safety of our products.
• All Knoll systems and seating, all KnollTextiles fabrics, most KnollStudio furniture and all KnollExtra accessory products except poster boards are GREENGUARD certified.
• All Knoll office seating, the Template™ and Calibre® Storage Systems, the Antenna® and Morrison™ Office Systems, and Wood Casegood products are GREENGUARD for Children and Schools(SM) certified.
• Knoll performs structural testing of our products using ANSI/BIFMA protocols. Products are tested in our Quality Assurance Laboratory and independently at outside labs certified by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB).
• All Knoll urethane foam cushioning on seating products meets or exceeds requirements of California Technical Bulletin 117 (CAL 117).
• Most Knoll seating products include upholstery options that comply with California Technical Bulletin (CAL 133), the most stringent flammability test protocol in the industry.
• All Knoll systems are listed products with Underwriter’s Laboratories. Listing includes periodic testing of upholstered vertical panels and UL audits of Knoll and component suppliers’ factories four times per calendar year.
7. Environmental Restoration
We will comply responsibly with the law to address conditions we have caused that endanger health, safety or the environment.
• In 2011 Knoll caused no conditions that endangered health, safety or the environment.
8. Informing the Public
We will comply with the law to inform in a timely manner those who may be affected by conditions caused by our operations that might endanger health, safety, or the environment, and will encourage associates to report dangerous incidents or conditions to management.
• No pollution incidents occurred in 2011 at any Knoll North American facility that affected the surrounding community or required public notification.