Allsteel eyeing ISO50001 certification

With the endorsement of the U.S. Department of Energy, Allsteel Inc. is seeking ISO50001 certification, the most recent and vaulted energy management standard for manufacturing facilities globally. The certification would be for the contract furnishings manufacturer’s manufacturing facility in Iowa. Allsteel is the only company in Iowa being considered for this energy management standards under the Demo Program and is preparing for the rigorous phases of review. To this end, it is incorporating additional energy saving systems into its operations to yield a 25 per cent reduction in energy intensity over 10 years. With the ISO50001 certification, which is expected to be awarded by March 2012, Allsteel will be the first furniture manufacturer in the world to meet this new standard.

According to Tom Eberhard, Allsteel’s vice president of operations, “The DOE saw Allsteel as a qualified candidate because the company is a Save Energy Now leader, a Superior Energy Performance Certified Partner (SEP), has aggressively pursued LEED certification for its facilities, and has a 30-year-plus history of commitment to sustainability that pervades process, products and policy.”

Less than a year ago, Allsteel installed a rooftop solar array that has the capacity to generate 10,000-13,000 kilowatts of energy annually at the production facility. Another comparable solar installation is planned for this year, along with numerous other innovations to help meet the energy reduction criteria. Probably one of the more interesting changes will come with lighting the facility.

“Lighting is a large energy spend,” said Eberhard. “So, we’re planning to add skylights and a daylight harvesting system that will sense the amount of natural lighting pouring in and control the amount of artificial lighting needed.”