Sustainable design considers the social, economic and environmental impact of business on people and the planet to develop processes and products that protect our future. For nearly 40 years, Knoll has acted on our commitment to sustainability in the design and manufacture of products for the workplace. We have established ambitious standards and we measure our performance against them.
Knoll is an industry pioneer in advocating for, and submitting our products to, independent third-party certification. We believe that respected third parties provide the most impartial and trustworthy foundation for broad compliance.
Click on the logos below to see more information about each program as well as relevant certifications and documents.
U.S. Green Building Council® & LEED
The USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building rating system is the accepted benchmark in North America for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Knoll is aligned with the USGBC and can help companies, governmental agencies, healthcare organizations and educational institutions achieve LEED certification. Many of our products are eligible for LEED credits and can contribute to LEED certification; we publish environmental databases for all Knoll systems and seating products.
The level standard is a voluntary product standard developed by BIFMA, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association, to support safe, healthy and sustainable workplace environments. The program establishes prerequisites, requires third party certification including audits of manufacturing plants and mandates annual reviews to maintain certifications. Certification is awarded at three levels: Entry level 1 (32-44 points); level 2 (45-62 points) and level 3 (63 -100 points).
We submit our products for level 3 certification, the highest rating, and we are proud that we have achieved level 3 certification for all of our principal workplace product lines.
The International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge (LBC) is a rigorous design framework used to create built environments that positively impact human and natural systems. It encourages the design of healthy and beautiful spaces. Natural light, fresh air, healthy food, exposure to nature, integration with the surrounding community, and a focus on energy neutrality are integral elements of the program.
The Living Building Challenge is organized into seven performance areas known as Petals. Each Petal is further subdivided into Imperatives, which address specific issues through detailed requirements. The Knoll constellation of products contributes to Imperatives under several LBC Petals. For example:
Health & Happiness Petal - Imperative 8: Healthy Interior Environment and Imperative 9: Biophilic Design
Materials Petal - Imperative 10: Red List and Imperative 12: Responsible Industry<
Declare is a labeling program administered by the International Living Future Institute in support of Living Building Challenge projects. The label is a materials transparency platform and associated database that provides consumers with an at-a-glance reference for where a product is made, what it contains, and options for end-of-life disposal. Knoll is dedicated to achieving Declare labeling for our products.
The International WELL Building Institute’s WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) is a set of performance standards and research-backed strategies created to advance human health, happiness, and productivity in built environments.
The WELL requirements are separated into ten Concepts that address various influences on well-being: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Temperature, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community. Knoll products can help clients meet a wide range of WELL credit requirements. Some of these include, but are not limited to:
Hazardous Material Reduction: Limit Hazardous Materials (Newly Installed Furnishings and Furniture)
Enhanced Material Precaution: Select Optimized Materials
Active Furnishings: Provide Active Workstations (Sit Stand Desks)
Visual and Physical Ergonomics: Support Visual Ergonomics, Ensure Desk Height Flexibility, and Ensure Seat Flexibility
Material Transparency: Promote Ingredient Disclosures
UL GREENGUARD ensures that products meet rigorous chemical emissions standards, helping reduce indoor air pollution. All Knoll North America systems and seating is UL GREENGUARD certified. In addition, Knoll Office seating products have received the UL GREENGUARD Gold certification, which imposes even more stringent standards to ensure products are acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities.
The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) is the international standard setting organization for defining and measuring a well-managed forest and providing traceability though a chain of custody certification. Knoll FSC certification (FSC® C028824) ensures that Knoll products bearing the FSC mark are manufactured with wood from forests that protect environmental, social and economic values. FSC principles represent the industry’s most rigorous standards of forest stewardship.
Our FSC Certified Standard Program covers all general office plan open systems, casegoods and tables, with the exception of certain products from the KnollStudio Collection. The standard applies to the core of all Knoll products with laminate and domestic cherry, maple, oak and walnut.
As a result of furnishing projects, there is often a significant quantity of no-longer-needed facility assets that require de- commissioning. The Knoll Full Circle Program can help do so in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible way. Full Circle is the first program in the contract furniture industry to provide comprehensive, integrated services for surplus furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E). Full Circle includes the traditional buy-back and re-selling of FF&E assets as a first alternative, but also includes repurposing, recycling and avoiding landfills through Energy-from-Waste conversion options for those assets that may not have re-sale value.