As the leading manufacturer of ergonomic office products, Humanscale aims to have a net positive impact on people and the planet. Humanscale’s largest facility in Piscataway, New Jersey produces the greatest percentage of our products and, as a result, has been the testing ground for many of our sustainability initiatives. The facility is equipped with a 775 kW solar panel system and a rainwater harvesting system that provides 100% of the water used in manufacturing. In 2017, the facility received the NJDEP Recycling Award for our efforts toward waste reduction.
Humanscale aims to use materials as sustainably as possible. Achieving and maintaining TRUE certification is a company-wide effort that requires participation and support from multiple departments. Our Packaging Engineer and Sourcing team is called on to eliminate waste before it occurs – working diligently with suppliers to rethink and redesign packaging that enters our facilities with the goal of reducing the amount generated in the first place. They also ask suppliers to prioritize packaging that can be reused or recycled.
Our Operations team works tirelessly to ensure that the waste management systems in place are working so that the material entering our facility is being properly handled and sorted. Periodic waste audits are conducted by Operations to assess the efficacy of these systems. Any time contamination is found in a waste stream, a corrective action is taken to prevent it from reoccurring. Together, the Sustainability and Operations teams review the results of waste audits to confirm as much material as possible is meeting best use. The Sustainability and Contracts teams work together to review waste vendor agreements and pickup schedules. To meet a 90% diversion rate target, our teams met to review our progress monthly, and in 2020, Humanscale Piscataway achieved the goal of diverting over 90% of non-hazardous waste from landfill.
Some specific waste strategies Piscataway implemented to achieve over 90% waste diversion included reusing incoming packaging as outbound product packaging, eliminating single use cutlery in the cafeteria, and asking employees to bring their own reusable items from home, along with refurbishing products for purchase by our employees.
Humanscale has an overall goal to achieve a net positive impact on people and the planet. Reducing and managing waste and material use in a responsible and sustainable manner is imperative to realizing this goal. TRUE certification has validated that our processes are effective and that our calculations are accurate. Achieving TRUE certification taught us best practices and substantiated our waste program.