Great design is sustainable by nature: Keilhauer

Photo Courtesy of Keilhauer
Photo Courtesy of Keilhauer

With corporate values such as creativity, fun and integrity, Keilhauer was founded on the principle that great business is about more than dollars and cents. Rather, the company has always measured their success alongside environmental stewardship and the health and happiness of their neighbouring communities.

Known as the Triple Bottom Line, Keilhauer has dedicated so much to this practice that it has taken over their world — thus inspiring their sustainability program’s name, Planet Keilhauer. To share the successes made to date, and to increase their accountability to the goals ahead, the company has published its first annual Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR).

“I believe that great design is sustainable by nature. Our approach has always been to examine the current state of affairs, to anticipate the problems ahead and then design into the foreseeable needs or gaps. There is a kind of futurism to it, and in the process of understanding what may be needed and why, we inevitably consider the environmental and social impacts of our products.” explains president Mike Keilhauer. “What kind of day-to-day challenges will the end-user experience? What kind of skills is required to produce that product? What kind of materials do we need? Great products require these questions, and the answers always return our focus to sustainability.”

Keilhauer’s 2016 CSR provides an overview of the company’s history in sustainable and ethical business practices. It also shares accomplishments from recent years and states targets for the year ahead as the company works toward achieving Closed-Loop Manufacturing. 

“Sustainability is equally about integrity and transparency,” says Amandine Johnson, Keilhauer’s Sustainability Officer. “This report accomplishes both, while ensuring that we are held accountable to our goals. Most importantly, this is an opportunity to contribute to the larger dialogue about environmental stewardship in manufacturing. We believe that sustainability requires a global team effort, and are dedicated to doing our part.”

Highlights of Keilhauer’s 2016 Corporate Sustainability Report include:

Awards and Certifications
  • Canada’s Greenest Employer 2016 Award
  • Canada’s Top Small-to-Medium Employer 2016 Award
  • Expansion of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified products
  • BIFMA level 2  for all products
  • SCS Indoor Air Quality Certification – Indoor Advantage Gold, for all seating and select tables
Reducing Environmental Impact
  • Zero waste to landfill – 89 per cent diverted through recycling alone
  • Near zero water usage in production
  • Offsetting 100 per cent of electricity use through purchasing renewable energy credit
  • Nearly 10,000 boxes saved in 2016 alone

The report also provides a behind-the-curtain look into life at Keilhauer and various initiatives that mark the company as a highly sought after employer. All manufacturing and administration are housed in the company’s two Toronto locations which provide ongoing learning, comprehensive benefits, health and wellness programs, company-wide profit sharing and a close-knit sense of community.

“We believe in respecting our employees and investing in their future. Because we hire and retain the most talented individuals out there, we’re able to produce a better product and prevent delays in our delivery. Success would not be possible without them,” says Mike Keilhauer.

To reduce waste and material use, the Keilhauer 2016 Corporate Sustainability Report will be distributed online. Access is available at the company’s website,