Haworth honored for circular design process

Since 2012, Haworth Inc.’s global manufacturing operations have been zero waste to landfill.

Last year, the Holland-based office furniture manufacturer gathered 64 of its top leaders and developed a strategy centered on three key areas of continuous improvement. One, a sustainability strategy focused on the circular economy, was identified as critical for the long-term viability of the business.

“Sustainability is part of our core,” says Dominic Daunter, Haworth's global design innovation and sustainability director.

The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum honored six local companies and institutions with the West Michigan Sustainable Business of the Year Awards at the Seventh Annual Triple Bottom Line Bash last month at the Fulton Street Farmers Market.  

Haworth received the West Michigan Circular Economy Leadership Award, which honors an organization for promoting waste diversion and the development of a circular economy in West Michigan. The zero-waste-to-landfill company developed a new process to encourage circular design in its product development this year, and had a breakthrough in its efforts to compost key waste materials from laminate surfaces.

“The environment is a big part of our contribution back to the community we live in,” Daunter says. “When our customer is done with a product, it doesn’t go to a landfill. We have a plan for where that product goes next.”

Conceptualizing second-life uses at the beginning of the manufacturing process helps make Haworth's process a 100% circular design.

“Business should be a force for good,” Daunter says.

The city of Grand Rapids received the 2020 Triple Bottom Line Leadership Award.

El Granjero is the 2020 Person of Color Led Sustainable Business of the Year.

Consumers Energy received the 2020 Climate Leadership Award.

Mercy Health received the West Michigan Social Responsibility Leadership Award.

John Ball Zoo received the West Michigan Clean Water Leadership Award and the West Michigan Sustainable Business of the Year Award, selected annually by a vote of the WMSBF membership, honoring the local company that best represents the values of the triple-bottom line.

Attendees at the outdoor event received a parking space adjacent to their table for a “tailgate” program with socially distanced traffic and networking. Video content allowed for more time for recognition and networking, and social distancing.

Haworth Inc. is a privately held, family-owned office furniture manufacturer headquartered in Holland.  Founded in 1948 by G.W. Haworth, the company designs and manufactures adaptable workspaces, including movable walls, systems furniture, seating, storage, and wood casegoods.