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Humanscale Announces Five Sustainable Initiatives

Humanscale announces five new sustainability initiatives that aid in its mission to create a net positive impact on the earth.

New York, NY, April 2017 – Humanscale, the leading manufacturer of ergonomic tools for the workspace, is announcing five new sustainability initiatives that aid in its mission to create a net positive impact on the earth. The company will also host an Earth Day event in its New Jersey facility to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable design and manufacturing and to educate the local community.

Over five years ago, Humanscale Founder and CEO Robert King hired Sustainability Officer Jane Abernethy to transform Humanscale’s sustainability program into a globally recognized model of excellence. King comments, "Being a net positive manufacturer is not only about reducing harm, but about actively making a positive impact on our communities and the environment. Abernethy adds, "We want factories to be like trees and companies to be like a forest. A tree’s job is to grow and thrive. It uses some resources, but it gives back more than it takes."

Living Product Challenge

Last year, Humanscale became the first ever company to achieve full Living Product Challenge certification with two products. This new certification created by the International Living Future Institute sets the most rigorous standards for sustainable manufacturing and design. With a special focus on products, it asserts that Living Products create habitats, build soil, improve quality of life and provide inspiration for personal, political and economic change. To achieve the standards set by the Challenge, Abernethy and her staff made significant changes to Humanscale’s facilities, implementing solar panels and a rainwater-capture system. The team also studied the lifecycle of each ingredient in every part of Humanscale’s products and found alternative materials or methods of production if anything was deemed harmful to people or the environment.

Net Positive Project

Humanscale is one of the founding members of the Net Positive Project. Advocating for a world where companies drive financial success and create "Net Positive" impacts by putting more into society, the environment, and the global economy than they take out, the Net Positive Project is bringing sustainability leaders across industries together to promote a net positive impact as a shared goal. Pooling knowledge and resources, each of these industry leaders aims to work together to create a healthier environment for all.

Health Product Declarations

Humanscale is committed to sourcing healthy, non-toxic materials for all products and is advocating for transparency in material selection, compelling other manufacturers to do the same. One of the company’s primary goals for 2017 is to ensure that its lighting offerings contain zero red-list (harmful) materials. To support this goal, Abernethy recently signed onto the board of the HPD Collaborative (Health Product Declaration Collaborative), an organization that shares this mission and brings together like-minded representatives from across the industry.


King and Abernethy have long been leading the sustainability movement at Humanscale, but the effort is truly company-wide. It was a natural step when the company partnered with WeSpire, an employee engagement platform that enables companies and their employees to pursue social impact programs. Under King and Abernethy’s leadership, Humanscale has designated interdepartmental "Sustainability Champions" to lead in these efforts. They’ll be tapping into WeSpire’s employee engagement sustainability program, providing each employee with content and inspiration to impact social and environmental outcomes beyond the workplace.

Earth Day Event

Humanscale is inviting the local community to come together for an Earth Day event at its Piscataway, NJ facility on April 22. The activations will include a factory tour, in which Humanscale representatives will demonstrate how sustainability is built into the company’s manufacturing processes. Visitors will learn about the factory’s solar power, the process of waste diversion and the company’s efforts to conserve water. The presentation covers the process behind achieving Living Product Challenge certification, powering a factory with solar power, manufacturing with captured rainwater and limiting parts and resources in the design process. The activations will also include an overview of Humanscale’s work with the World Wildlife Fund. Visiting children can participate in hand-printing activities to learn how to make a net positive contribution to the earth. They will leave with a handprint to take home and a packet of wildflower seeds to support local bee populations.

In an age when every company has a sustainability page on their website and green-washing is common, Humanscale reminds consumers that the importance is not what a company says about sustainability, it’s what they’re actually doing. The company is working to develop the tools and resources to make manufacturing a sustainable and healthy enterprise and sets the bar for the industry to follow suit. It is also spreading the message that sustainability in design no longer asks companies to put environmental concerns above economic growth. The increase in both sustainability efforts and company growth at Humanscale makes it clear that the two missions can work hand in hand.

Images can be found at bit.ly/sustainablehumanscale.

Media Contact
Katie Bone
Novità Communications

About Humanscale

Humanscale is the leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance ergonomic products that improve the health and comfort of work life. Through leveraging new technology in functional yet minimal designs, Humanscale transforms traditional offices into active, intelligent workspaces. Committed to making a net positive impact on the earth as well as our customers, Humanscale offers award-winning products designed with a focus on function, simplicity and longevity. 

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