Herman Miller, Inc.

Herman Miller, Inc., a furniture manufacturer in Zeeland, Michigan, saves $ 1.4 million each year through waste prevention. The company first performed a waste audit to target problem areas and train employees. Big savings resulted when the company started packing chair seats in plastic and cardboard containers that can be reused up to 100 times, rather than in single-use cartons. Cardboard edges and plastic film -- which is recycled -- protect other furniture in shipping, and leave 70% less waste than boxes.

Each year, Herman Miller sponsors a popular waste exchange fair where businesses can trade, sell, or give away surplus materials, while helping participants learn how to make less garbage.

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