11/15/2022 • 4 min read

Toward Net-Zero Emissions: We Can’t Do It Alone

Working with the global community to slow climate change

by Haworth, Inc.

As we all know, climate change caused by human activities is among the defining issues of our time. Widespread, rapid, and intensifying, it is affecting every region on Earth, including the oceans. Averaged over the next 20 years, global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming. If not limited to this temperature rise, critical tipping points will be crossed with unprecedented consequences that affect our future and the well-being of future generations.

To avoid the most significant effects of climate breakdown, we must cut greenhouse gas emissions in half before 2030, achieve net-zero emissions before 2050, and halt global temperature rise to 1.5°C, according to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The following article, originally published in our Corporate Social Responsibility Report, describes how and why we at Haworth are committed to the global effort to limit climate change.

Ambitious Goals Are Necessary

Haworth is dedicated to reducing our corporate carbon footprint in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Endorsed by our President and CEO, Franco Bianchi, we have globally committed to the business ambition for limiting global warming to 1.5°C of the SBTi. A global, non-governmental organization, SBTi drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by supporting companies in setting science-based emissions reduction targets.

Carbon accountability is an important element in Haworth’s sustainability strategy. With our 2025 Commitments, we set out to take immediate climate action. Our near-term target is to source manufacturing electricity from 100% renewable options to reduce emissions from our production processes by more than half. This pledge is accompanied by initiatives that focus on improving energy efficiency of our infrastructure, equipment, and logistics.

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“This initiative is first about measuring where we are,” says Bianchi. “Second, is creating a path—science-based targets so we know what we use—where and how much. Third, to take the journey—how much is enough? And is enough enough? Half of the work is to create the understanding of where we are, so we have a thoughtful, business driven, decision-making process to put a stake in the ground—targets that are rational, not just value based.”

As a next step, we will set and further develop suitable science-based greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction targets to address the different stages of our value cycle. “Change happens when the closest person to the change embraces it,” says Bianchi. We know it’s a journey, and there’s much to do.

Haworth has a long tradition of sustainability—ISO 14001 certification for all manufacturing sites, corporate social responsibility reporting since 2005, signatory of UN Global Compact and CDP reporting. Working to make the world better is part of our corporate values. We maintain valuable resources within material cycles and avoid emissions through maintaining our zero-production waste to landfill status. We are tackling greenhouse gas emissions upstream and downstream within our supply chain to mitigate and counteract negative environmental and social climate change impacts. “None of us alone can do this,” says Bianchi. “We are impacting not only the footprint of what we make, but also the services around us—like travel and supply chains.”

Several European sites have converted to sourcing renewable and carbon neutral energy for manufacturing electricity in 2021. In fact, 5 of our 12 Haworth manufacturing sites globally sourced 100% renewable and carbon neutral energy in 2021.

Immediate Climate Action: Renewable Electricity*

Menziken, Switzerland
22 tonnes CO2eq

Agueda, Portugal
297 tonnes CO2eq

Queluz, Portugal
316 tonnes CO2eq

*2021 emission reductions in Europe through renewable and carbon neutral sources

Just like many of our customers, we believe that we have an obligation and opportunity to make an impact. Businesses play a vital role in building a resilient, zero-emissions economy and driving down greenhouse gas emissions—we are linked together through our supply chains and customers. The Haworth team is excited to be joining this ambitious group of organizations and businesses dedicated to reducing our corporate carbon footprint and slowing climate change for the benefit of human society and nature.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility

Find out about more about our Values and all the things we’re working on to help make the world better.


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