Humanscale becomes first manufacturer to achieve Living Product Challenge Certification

Humanscale, the ergonomics pioneer committed to making a net positive impact, has just become the first manufacturer in any industry to achieve Living Product Challenge certification.

The certification, which presents the most rigorous standard for sustainable manufacturing, was officially announced at the International Living Future Institute’s Living Product Expo in Pittsburgh, where Humanscale’s Sustainability Officer Jane Abernethy, a featured speaker at the event, was on hand to accept the award. As a result, two Humanscale products — the Float table, a height-adjustable desk, and the Diffrient Smart task chair — are now to be classified as “Living Products.”

“The goals of the Living Product Challenge closely align with Humanscale’s core values and our goal as a company to have a net positive impact on the earth,” says founder and CEO Robert King. “Being a net positive manufacturer is not only about reducing harm, but about actively making a positive impact on our communities and the environment. With certified Living Products, every time someone makes a purchase they are not only getting highly functional, healthy products, they are also making a positive contribution to the environment.”

The challenge calls on manufacturers and suppliers to create products using processes powered only by renewable energy and within the water balance of the places they are made. With the message that Living Products create habitats, build soil, improve quality of life and provide inspiration for personal, political and economic change, it addresses design and construction methods and draws on the ideas of biophilia and biomimicry.

To complete the challenge, participating companies must meet 20 Imperatives addressing categories such as Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty, as well as the four Core Imperatives: Safe Human Exposure, Red List, Responsible Industry and Inspiration and Education. The Float table and Diffrient Smart chair went through two rounds of reviews with the International Living Future Institute. The lifecycle of each product was analyzed and Humanscale’s manufacturing facilities were visited and assessed. Humanscale is the first to complete the full challenge. The achievement demonstrates the company’s commitment to making a net positive impact and is also an indication of the larger potential for the industry as a whole.

In addition to the Living Product Challenge, Humanscale continues to drive towards achieving a net positive impact through their work supporting ecosystems in Cambodia with the World Wildlife Fund, their developments and improvements in Health Product Declarations, and their work with ANEW, an organization through which they can donate or locally recycle used products. The company has also consistently improved their design and manufacturing processes through efforts including a rainwater capture system, which ensures only chemical-free rainwater is used in the manufacturing process, and by increasing conservation of waste through compost.

“Humanscale has really taken the Living Product Challenge to heart,” says James Connelly, Director of the Living Product Challenge. “They are challenging our current manufacturing paradigm and fundamentally transforming their products and processes to be as beautiful and efficient as anything found in the natural world. We haven’t always known if creating truly net positive products is possible. Humanscale is taking their role as an innovator in human and life-centric design to the next level and proving that if you set your aspirations high enough, you can achieve incredible things.”

Learn more about Humanscale’s participation in the Living Product Challenge at and find images of the Float table and Diffrient Smart task chair at