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Going Green: Scarborough company aims to be the first manufacturer off the grid

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Tired of your old office furniture? According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, consumers discard several million tonnes each year of used chairs, desks, and cubicles.

Jamie Ecclestone, partner and product manager for furniture manufacturer Calstone Inc., says this wasteful practice is bad for the environment, and bad for your wallet.

In fact, the Calstone team believes so strongly in their message of environmental responsibility that they offer customers a Remanufacturing Program, guaranteeing their products won’t end up in a landfill. “When our customers decide it’s time to replace their Calstone office furniture, we’ll arrange for pick-up of the old products when we deliver the new,” Ecclestone says. “This eliminates the headache and downtime associated with such a move, and saves them a substantial amount in handling fees.”

The old furniture is then returned to Calstone’s manufacturing facility in Scarborough, ON, where it is either recycled, or refurbished and put back into service. This remanufacturing program is just part of Calstone’s efforts towards environmental sustainability. As Ecclestone explains, “going green” means far more than resurfacing a few scratched-up conference room tables.

For starters, Calstone orders its steel cut to size, to reduce the amount of material that goes to the dumpster. It uses eco-friendly soap-based solvents to degrease sheet metal parts before painting them with reduced chemical content paints specially ordered from Sherwin Williams. And it collects rainwater on the roof of its manufacturing facility, and use it to flush toilets and cool spot welding equipment.

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