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The Embody Chair: Environmentally Friendly Production

Herman Miller's Design Protocol

Herman Miller's commitment to corporate sustainability naturally includes minimizing the environmental impact of each of their products. Their Design for the Environment team (DfE) applies environmentally sensitive design standards to both new products like the Embody Chair as well as existing products, utilizing the McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) Cradle to Cradle Design Protocol. Cradle to Cradle Design Protocol goes beyond regulatory compliance to thoroughly evaluate new product designs in three key areas:

  • Material Chemistry and Safety Inputs: What chemicals are in product materials, and are they the safest available?
  • Disassembly: Can the product be taken apart at the end of its useful life to recycle its 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?


MBDC Cradle to Cradle Certification

Cradle to Cradle Silver Certified

Embody is MBDC Silver Cradle to Cradle certified, depending on configuration. This means that Embody is composed of environmentally safe and healthy materials, is designed for material reuse in a closed-loop system (such as recycling or composting), and is assembled using 100% renewable energy.


Material Content

The Embody chair's components are comprised of steel, plastic, aluminum, textile, foam, and other materials. The Embody chair is up to 95 percent recyclable at the end of its useful life. Embody is comprised of 42% recycled materials. The recycled content breaks down to 28 percent post-consumer and 14 percent pre-consumer recycled content.

  • Every material has been scrutinized down to the molecular level.
  • Steel and aluminum components are 100 percent recyclable.
  • Most metal components have a powder-coat paint finish that emits negligible volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Plastic components are identified with an ASTM recycling code whenever possible, to aid in returning these materials to the recycling stream.
  • No polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used; self-skinning urethane is used for arm skin.
  • Foam and textile materials are part of an open-loop system and can be recycled into everything from automotive components to carpet padding at the end of their current life.
  • Textiles used in Herman Miller products can be made from natural or synthetic fibers. Several textiles are available with 100 percent recycled content.
  • Returnable/Recyclable Packaging: Packaging materials include corrugated cardboard and a polyethylene plastic bag. These materials are part of a closed-loop recycling system, for repeated recycling, meaning they can be recycled repeatedly. Whenever possible, shipments between Herman Miller and its suppliers include the use of pallets and other returnable packaging to minimize waste. On large North American orders, disposable packaging can be replaced with reusable shipping blankets.

Embody Chair Materials

Embody Chair Recycled Content


Manufacturing Process
  • Green Energy and Emissions: Embody is manufactured on a production line that utilizes 100% green power – 50% from wind turbines, and 50% from captured landfill off-gassing. No air or water emissions are released in Embody's production.
  • ISO: Embody is manufactured in West Michigan at an ISO 14001-certified site. This plant also is a LEED Pioneer building.
  • Worker Health and Safety: Herman Miller strives to meet or exceed OSHA standards.


Product Performance
  • Easy assembly for cost-efficiency and quick parts replacement.
  • Easy disassembly for recyclability.
  • Designed for durability, an important environmental criterion.
  • Backed by Herman Miller's 12-year, 24/7 warranty.


Indoor Air Quality

Greenguard Certified

GREENGUARD® certification as a low-emitting product that meets current indoor air quality standards is pending for the Embody chair. GREENGUARD certified products also meet the emissions requirements of the State of Washington Furniture Systems criteria and the U.S. EPA Procurement Guidelines for Office Furniture.



Embody may contribute to LEED credits due to its returnable/reusable packaging, durability, pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content, and GREENGUARD certification. Depending on project location, Embody also may qualify to contribute to a LEED Regional Materials credit.

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