Humanscale’s 2022 CSR Report: Showing How Manufacturing Can Make the Planet Better

The 2022 CSR Report demonstrates measurable progress toward a planet positive impact, marching ahead with Science-Based Targets and a 94% waste diversion rate, challenging the rest of the industry to measure up.

Humanscale, the leading manufacturer of high-performance ergonomic solutions, releases its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report reflecting on 2022, and laying out its determined course toward truly sustainable design and manufacturing. The escalating environmental crisis underscores the urgent need for manufacturers to reform their practices for the planet. Guided by CEO Bob King and Chief Sustainability Officer Jane Abernethy, Humanscale’s comprehensive sustainability program remains unwavering in its commitment to a planet positive, not just net zero, environmental impact by creating “handprints” and reducing carbon footprints.

“As always, Humanscale’s success in sustainability is measured not by our promises, but by the measurable actions we’ve already taken. Our goal is to pioneer new ways of operating sustainably, not just for us, but for the entire industry,” says King.

In its 2022 CSR report, Humanscale outlines its progress in six categories: climate & energy, healthy materials, circularity, water, wildlife preservation, and social responsibility. All categories demonstrate Humanscale’s environmental leadership across the industry.

Climate & Energy

In 2022, Humanscale made a groundbreaking stride in climate action as the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) approved their ambitious emission reduction targets. Aligned with cutting-edge climate science to confine global warming to well below 1.5° C (2.7° F) by 2030, Humanscale has set Scope 1 & 2 reduction targets along with a Scope 3 supplier engagement target, meeting the SBTi’s stringent standards.

Using advanced analytics, Humanscale continually examines and reduces its energy use. As of 2022, Humanscale’s absolute energy reduction reaches 50 megajoules across all factories, and 47% of Humanscale’s electricity comes from renewable sources, demonstrating their commitment to meeting the SBTi. Humanscale keeps careful track of the energy they use during production and continuously looks for ways to use less.

Healthy Materials

Humanscale continues its mission to eliminate Red-List chemicals, often found in coatings, finishes, and additives. The company has already eliminated chemicals like Chrome 6 and PFAS and continues to set goals to make its products without harmful toxins. Understanding the importance of consumer health and well-being, in 2022, the company completely eliminated halogenated flame retardants (HFRs), furthering its commitment to environmental health and consumer safety.

To help customers choose to avoid toxins, Humanscale publicly shares all the ingredients in their products. In 2022, they continued to lead the furniture industry in materials transparency. 100% of new Humanscale products are launched with an ingredients label, 83% of Declare Labels have been verified by a third-party auditor, and 81% of Humanscale products are sold with materials ingredients labels.


Humanscale’s global waste diversion rate reached 94% in 2022, surpassing the target of 91%. All Humanscale factories are TRUE® Zero Waste certified and are third-party audited to ensure each one diverts at least 90% of waste away from landfills, the environment, and incineration. Humanscale can’t simply burn the waste instead of sending it to a landfill – they must find ways to use it. And on top of that, each factory must improve by 1% every year.


As water is a critical natural resource, Humanscale regularly looks for ways to reduce consumption and uses natural rain harvesting for 100% of production in all factories globally. In most cases, their production water is used in a closed-loop system and continually reused, with additional water input to the system mainly from evaporative loss. In 2022, Humanscale made progress towards its goal of reducing overall water use for production at their factories by 25%. A new engineering system, which will be installed in 2023, will assist in meeting this goal.

Wildlife Preservation

The successful launch of the Path chair, made with five times more ocean plastic than any other task chair, signals the brand’s ongoing dedication to cleaner oceans.

Fishing gear is the most harmful kind of ocean plastic since the fishing nets continue to “ghost fish,” needlessly ensnaring fish, turtles, dolphins, birds, sharks, and much other wildlife. A single net can catch hundreds of animals and damage the coral reefs, and continue doing so for centuries. The nets are commonly made of nylon, a very durable material, which is a major issue when they’re released in the ocean, but Humanscale saw it could be a benefit if used in long-lasting products like their task chairs.

Social Responsibility

Humanscale’s Sustainability Ambassadors lead various initiatives that offset carbon footprints and contribute positively to the environment. In 2022, the ambassadors were engaged in various community projects, including an Illinois Green Schools Project mentorship, the Kansas City vegetable gardens, and a Connecticut River cleanup. Humanscale also sponsored the installation of solar panels at three housing communities in Montclair, California, the distribution of nearly 12,000 energy-efficient CFL light bulbs to residents in New Orleans, and the installation of 6,000 trees in Mexico as part of the Monarch High Forest Restoration project. These are just a few examples of the “handprints” created instead of buying carbon offsets like most modern companies.

Considering the global reach of its operations, Humanscale understands the elevated risk of child labor, forced labor, and restriction to freedom of association in some regions. To counter this, all Humanscale supplier agreements explicitly forbid forced and child labor, supporting human rights and freedom of association. By the close of 2022, 75.6% of suppliers by spending had committed to these standards. Annually, first-tier suppliers undergo risk assessments related to labor and human rights, based on their operational type and location. In a progressive stride, Humanscale helped develop the Design for Freedom toolkit in March 2022, which was then launched in partnership with Grace Farms and architecture firms, to specify materials produced without child or forced labor.

Humanscale Pioneers Planet Positive Manufacturing

Recognizing the vast environmental impact of global manufacturing, Humanscale is committed to transcending the role of a passive contributor to global challenges. The company sees these challenges – from wildlife extinction to climate change – as a call to action, understanding that simply mitigating the damage isn’t enough. They believe that to truly make a difference, manufacturers need to actively improve the environment. It’s about being planet positive, not just neutral, and the industry as a whole must follow suit. Humanscale uses its philosophy of “handprints” (positive change) to offset inevitable “footprints” (a result of direct influence through actions or in the supply chain). Drawing inspiration from nature’s regenerative systems, Humanscale innovates in sourcing, manufacturing, and distributing materials, setting industry standards in prioritizing low-carbon, healthy choices, and leading manufacturing towards a sustainable future.

“When it comes to responsible manufacturing, the evidence is clear: aiming to leave a neutral impact on our environment many years in the future is simply not enough,” says Abernethy.

See here for Humanscale’s full 2022 CSR Report.


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.

Guided by the core philosophy that good design achieves more with less, Humanscale is committed to designing with the health of both consumers and the planet in mind. Humanscale has 26 products, which represent a majority of sales, certified by the International Living Future Institute’s Living Product Challenge (LPC) as planet positive. Humanscale has pioneered the use of transparency labels for its products, which allows consumers to make thoughtful decisions about the products they choose.

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