Second Update: Steelcase Supports 'First' 100% Green Energy Claim
By Rich Christianson | Posted: 04/01/2014 5:06PM
Editor's note: Woodworking Network posted the news item below - Steelcase Matches Consumption with Renewable Energy Investment - on March 19 based on a press release issued by Steelcase Inc. dated March 13. We have since added the following two updates based on communications with representatives of Herman Miller and Steelcase dated March 25 and April 1 respectively.
FIRST UPDATE: Posted March 25
On March 21, Mark Schurman, director of corporate communications for Herman Miller, a Steelcase competitor based in Zeeland, MI, sent an e-mail to Woodworking Network Contributing Editor Wade Vonasek calling into question the accuracy of Steelcase's claim that "it is the first major company in its industry to purchase non-emitting renewable energy equivalent to 100% of its global electricity consumption."
"Noted your article cited Steelcase as first to achieve 100% green energy use, however we reached that milestone in 2010 and have maintained since," Schurman said. Schurman also sent a link to a press release issued by Herman Miller on April 22, 2010, since posted verbatim on Woodworking Network, headlined, Herman Miller Achieves 100 Percent Green Electrical Energy Use.
Woodworking Network's multiple attempts to obtain a comment or clarification from Laura Van Slyke, listed as the press contact on the Steelcase release, were unsuccessful.
Woodworking Network will post comments or clarifications from Steelcase if and when they are received.
SECOND UPDATE: Posted April 1
Woodworking Network spoke with Angela Nahikian, head of Steelcase's sustainability team, on March 27. She explained that Laura Van Slyke of Steelcase's public relations department, was not able to respond to previous Woodworking Network requests for comment because she was on maternity leave.
Nahikian said that to the best of her knowledge, Steelcase is the first major office furniture manufacturer that is purchasing solely "non-emitting renewable energy" to achieve 100 percent of its electricity needs worldwide.
“Steelcase celebrates all those investing in the future of our shared energy resources," Nahikian said. "In making our sustainable investment decisions, we make strategic choices we believe will result in the biggest and most positive impacts. The choice we made to invest in non-emitting renewable energy, at such a significant scale, was very intentional and central to a much larger energy investment strategy. Though we are proud to have contributed to expanding the clean energy market over many years, and most recently in this way, lowering our reliance on fossil fuels remains an urgent priority.”
About the Author
Rich ChristiansonRich Christianson is Associate Publisher and Editor at Large of Woodworking Network. During his 25+ years covering the wood products industry, Rich has toured hundreds of manufacturing plants throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His reporting has covered everything from the state of the industry and impact of wood imports to technology and environmental issues. In his current capacity he is responsible for editing the daily Woodworking Network Update newsletter and coordinating events including the annual Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and Canada’s biennial Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Google+.
Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.