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Herman Miller Darden Case Study 8Nov05.doc

Herman Miller’s Design for Environment Program
November 2005
Mark Rossi, Scott Charon, Gabe Wing, and James Ewell 1
Herman Miller launched its Design for Environment (DfE) program in the 1990s. At the core of the Herman Miller DfE program is the McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC)
Cradle to Cradle Design Protocol, which evaluates new product designs in three key areas:

Material Chemistry -- What chemicals are in the materials we specify, and are they the safest available?
Disassembly -- Can we take products apart at the end of their useful life to recycle their materials?
Recyclability -- Do the materials contain recycled content, and more importantly, can the materials be recycled at the end of the product's useful life?

Herman Miller’s commitment to DfE includes requiring all new products be evaluated within the MBDC Protocol.
Material Chemistry Assessment
When Herman Miller launched its DfE program, the challenges for the DfE team were substantial: Learn how to use and integrate the MBDC protocol into the launch of new products, modify MBDC’s protocol to meet the needs and unique circumstances of Herman
Miller, gather the data necessary to meet material evaluation criteria as required by MBDC’s material health protocol, gain acceptance from product development teams for design process changes, and complete all this work on a schedule that would not delay the launch of products.
A core component of the MBDC cradle-to-cradle method is its materials assessment protocol, which evaluates the hazards posed by the chemical constituents of materials. All chemical constituents of a material, down to 100 parts per million, are included in the assessment. The goal is to select materials that are based upon non-hazardous chemical inputs. The difficulty of collecting chemical…...

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