Carbon-Neutral Chairs: A Leap for Sustainability in the Office

The undeniable reality is that our planet is facing significant challenges. The global economy, which is primarily based on extracting resources from the Earth, manufacturing goods, consuming them, and then discarding them as waste, is contributing to these issues.

As furniture suppliers, we're doing what we can to help our clients make more sustainable choices but at the moment it's unfortunately impossible for manufacturers to make new chairs without consuming resources. Unless you are going to only use second-hand furniture, the focus should be on making the most sustainable choices possible that have the least impact on the environment.

That's where the idea of the new Steelcase CarbonNeutral® chair range comes in. 

CarbonNeutral® Think, Gesture, Please, Steelcase Series 1 & Steelcase Series 2

CarbonNeutral® Certified Steelcase seating includes (from left to right)

Think, Gesture, Please, Steelcase Series 1 & Steelcase Series 2

The new Steelcase CarbonNeutral® chair range - reducing your impact on the planet, one chair at a time. 

Steelcase’s high-performance seating is now offered with CarbonNeutral® product certification. Having brought out the Series 1 CarbonNeutral chair last year, the range has now been widened to include more of its best-selling task chairs.

The result is cradle-to-grave product carbon neutrality. The same chairs, ergonomics and quality you’d expect. Now, better for the planet to help you achieve your sustainability goals and LEED certification.

CarbonNeutral® Steelcase Series 2

CarbonNeutral® Think, Gesture, Please, Steelcase Series 1 & Steelcase Series 2

Why Carbon Offsetting?

First and foremost, Steelcase’s main goal is to design its products to have lower carbon footprints, but the act of creating products generates unavoidable emissions. Therefore, Steelcase offsets those emissions, recognising its impact and taking counter-measures.

“Our goal is always to create products with the smallest carbon footprint possible. Then, we finance projects that make up for the carbon we are unable to eliminate through the product’s entire lifecycle.

“Those projects make a real difference to improve our planet and the wellbeing of people on it. They include efforts to support renewable energy, pristine woodlands and waterways, electric rail systems in India and efficient cookstoves in Africa.

“We know leading organisations want to reduce their carbon footprints right now. So while we continue to work on mitigating our own emissions, we are also creating ways to help our customers meet their own carbon neutrality goals." 

Mary Ellen Mika, Director of Sustainability for Steelcase

Steelcase was one of the first in the industry to achieve carbon neutrality in 2020 – and is on track to reduce its absolute emissions 50% by 2030. But until there is a way of making new office chairs which don’t consume any resources, carbon offsetting remains the only way to counteract the carbon used in manufacturing and purchasing new furniture.

How does carbon neutrality work?

Steelcase measures the lifecycle embodied carbon of all its high-performance seating through a Lifecycle Assessment - from material acquisition through end-of-life. They invest in projects that remove or avoid 100% of the emissions from the production of each chair to achieve the CarbonNeutral® product certification.

That means every time you purchase one carbon-neutral chair, it offsets greenhouse gas emissions from 360 miles driven by an average petrol-powered passenger vehicle (according to the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator). By buying a thousand chairs, you offset carbon sequestered by 2,300 or more seedlings grown to maturity for about ten years.

In other words, purchasing a thousand carbon-neutral Steelcase office chairs equates to the greenhouse gas emissions of 6.9 rubbish trucks of recycled waste rather than ending up in landfill.

Which projects do you indirectly contribute to when you buy a Steelcase CarbonNeutral® certified chair?

Steelcase worked with Climate Impact Partners to identify high-impact, verified, environmentally-sustainable projects around the world that are supported by every purchase of a Steelcase chair with CarbonNeutral® product certification.

Examples of the projects they run include renewable energy, forest restoration, more efficient cookstoves, and electric transportation. Climate Impact Partners are the founding members of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance.

Renewable Energy Projects

These projects advance innovation, infrastructure and the adoption of clean, affordable energy around the world. It is made up of more than 600 carbon removal and reduction projects in 56 countries with a goal of delivering 1 billion tonnes of emissions reductions by 2030.


Forest Restoration 

The Darkwood Forest Conservation Project in southeastern British Columbia.

Started in 2008, Canada's largest private land conservation project, the Darkwood Forest Conservation Project, monitors and targets areas of Boreal forest for strict biodiversity protection by limiting roads, infrastructure, and activity; public access; invasive species control; conservation research; and a low level of sustainable harvesting.

The project delivers approximately 415,000 tonnes of emissions reductions annually by preventing the release of carbon through timber harvesting, road building and other forestry operations.

Electric Transportation 

India's Delhi Electric Rail System supports electric rail systems that radically reduce emissions. The rail system provides safe, cost-effective and efficient transport in a region with significantly high population and pollution-related deaths. 

The project replaces conventional transport trips with metro. It’s a more efficient, reliable, faster, and safer means of transport. It achieves emission reductions and contributes to sustainability by lowering the gas emissions per passenger-kilometre compared to conventional modes of transport.

It’s estimated that the project will deliver approximately 500,000 tonnes of emission reductions each year along with a range of other socio-economic benefits.


Image source: Climate Impact

Improved Cookstoves, Kenya 

The project focuses on making locally produced cookstoves more accessible to rural families in Kenya, addressing health issues caused by traditional cooking methods like open fires and smoke-producing stoves. 

By offering more efficient cookstoves, the project reduces CO2 emissions and indoor air pollution, with an expected reduction of around 950,000 tonnes of emissions. These energy-efficient cookstoves decrease the wood needed for cooking and help preserve local ecosystems to protect flora and fauna. Locally manufactured cookstoves cater to the needs of local communities, improving indoor air quality and reducing the risk of respiratory diseases and other health problems. Additionally, the project saves time and money for local communities by reducing the time spent gathering wood for fuel.


Image source: Climate Impact


We're are all responsible for looking after the planet we live on. By making better choices, we can make a difference and reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprints. By choosing the new Steelcase CarbonNeutral chairs, you are helping to create a sustainable office, contributing to your sustainability goals as well as supporting carbon-offsetting projects that make a real difference to improve our planet and the wellbeing of people on it. 

Making the world more sustainable - one chair at a time.

The sustainable office ebook download

New call-to-action