Sourcing better materials: Our progress

The materials we choose affect a design’s sustainability more than anything else. We’re striving to use fibers and chemicals that are better for the environment. When materials are grown, not extracted, we ensure they’re harvested responsibly.

A white line drawing of a tree that represents sourcing better materials, overlaying a background of a green forest.


Our 2023 goal was to add 1,000 tons of recycled plastic to our production.
We’re over halfway there.

Sourcing materials thoughtfully

All products across the collective will contain at least 50 percent recycled content by 2030. In 2023 alone, Herman Miller’s Eames Shell Chairs and Sayl Chairs used 215 tons of recycled plastic. Browse sustainable products using the environmental impact calculator, Ecomedes.

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A black Sayl Chair and a pile of recyclable content, visually divided by a thin black line, overlaying an image of ocean water.

Reducing harmful substances

Everyday products can house harmful chemicals. We help organizations minimize their exposure to chemicals like PFAS, formaldehyde, VOCs, and more by carefully vetting our products and rethinking our manufacturing processes.

Two pink Nerd Chairs, and a collection of Around Coffee Tables in different colors.

Considering chemicals

We maintain a database of approximately 4,000 chemicals that have been profiled for their limited ecological impact. We use these chemicals in more than 3,000 materials to ensure the safety of products across the MillerKnoll collective. 

A variety of different fabrics, overlaying an image of ocean water.

Adding more variety for higher performance

MillerKnoll brands offer upholstery solutions from Knoll Textiles, Maharam, and others that combine high-performance textiles with recycled content and biodegradable fiber. These choices divert waste and reduce fiber degradation from potentially hundreds of years to less than 10.

Recyclable items in a pile on top of a variety of upholstery solutions. To the right are images of plastic bottles, and biodegradable fibers.
Small pieces of plastic sorted into piles, representing the tasks of collecting, processing, re-engineering, and incorporating plastic into a product.

Diversifying supply chains

Herman Miller was a founding member of the NextWave consortium. Today, MillerKnoll continues to partner with NextWave as together, we develop the first global network of ocean-bound plastic supply chains, processing materials collected from coastal areas.

  • Collect

    When plastic waste builds up in coastal cities, suppliers work with local pickers to collect the profitable plastics.

  • Process

    Collected materials are ground, washed, and pelletized.

  • Re-engineer

    Pelletized materials are sold to manufacturers who then re-engineer the plastic.

  • Incorporate

    We incorporate re-engineered plastic into products. Currently five product lines across our collective of brands incorporate ocean-bound plastic into their designs.

Turning the tide on ocean-bound plastics

As part of the NextWave initiative, we’ve joined a commitment to collectively divert a minimum of 25,000 metric tonnes of plastic—the equivalent of 1.2 billion single-use plastic water bottles—from entering the ocean by the end of 2025.

Three light pink Newson Task chairs around a Saarinen table.

Responsibly sourced wood

FSC® certified products (FSC-C028824) are widely available for MillerKnoll customers. Our brands have won three FSC Leadership Awards (2015, 2018, and 2020).

2015 - Herman Miller North America

2018 - Knoll North America

2020 - Herman Miller North America and Geiger

A person working with a piece of wood, overlaying an image of a green forest.

Our 2030 sustainability goals

Sustainable design leads to more inspiring products, as well as a culture of people committed to doing things right. Our goals for 2030 continue our collective’s tradition of designing for a world we all want to live in.

A white line drawing of a wind turbine representing reducing our carbon footprint, overlaying a background of blue sky.

Reduce carbon footprint

We aim to reduce carbon emissions from our products and operations by 50 percent, building off our 7,000-ton carbon reduction by mid-2023.

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A white line drawing that represents designing out waste, overlaying a background of ocean water.

Design out waste

We aim to eliminate waste from our processes, including single-use plastic packaging and waste in landfills, air emissions, and water use.

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