Fifteen years ago, Janice Leone (WBE), Principal of Corporate Interiors, became aware of the many tons of workstation components being dumped directly into landfills as businesses purchased new office furniture. Envisioning an alternative that extended the life of office furniture and kept functional material out of the waste stream, she was inspired to create Renewed Environments, a division of Corporate Interiors that combines remanufactured components of existing furniture with sustainable new components to provide eco-friendly, cost-effective office furniture. She lists the investment in this environmentally friendly initiative as one of her best business decisions.
Renewed Environments offers three paths to creating sustainable office environments, each geared to saving companies money. Through Renewed Environments’ comprehensive refurbishment process, clients can rejuvenate existing furniture that may otherwise have been discarded. Furniture can be reconfigured to provide a more open footprint, or compressed to optimize real estate. The remanufacturing path takes worn or outdated furniture components from a variety of sources and completely remanufactures them by disassembling, prepping and painting each metal piece, applying new fabric to panels and building new eco-friendly work surfaces. The result is like-new furniture, updated with modern finishes.
For office environments that need to start from scratch, Renewed Environments also manufactures quality new office furniture using the most environmentally friendly materials and processes available today, from DuPont™ Corian® solid surface products to a complete line of tables, desks and storage components. “Renewed Environments is committed to creating efficient and productive office environments using the most cost effective solutions possible without compromising quality or our environment,” says Leone.
Corporate Interiors also represents Steelcase a global leader in the manufacture of green office furniture headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Steelcase has invested heavily a portfolio of products that, at the end of their life cycle, can be reused or recycled in numerous ways. Steelcase’s Wood Products plant, located in West Michigan, was the first manufacturing facility in the world to be certified under the LEED™ Pilot Program. “These products are built to last, and help contribute to LEED certification,” says Timothy Jackson, LEED AP Workplace Consultant at Corporate Interiors.
Renewed Environments offers additional eco-friendly solutions for clients who have existing office furniture, including a charitable re-use program that provides furniture to U.S. cities devastated by natural disasters and to countries desperately trying to rebuild their infrastructures. Theprogram offers significant benefits to both donors and recipients, and extends the useful life of thousands of furniture products each year, dramatically reducing the amount of waste dumped to landfills.
Since its inception, Corporate Interiors has always looked at their impact on the planet. “From the products we sell, to the services we offer our clients, to the way we do business,” says Leone. “We seek solutions that are good for the earth.”
by Julianne Mesaric