Environment

Value The World In Which You Live

Stem is committed to environmental sustainability. A core principle of the business, we make responsible decisions to reduce any negative impact on the environment and the world in which we live. These ethics impact on every aspect of the business from our green procurement program to product design and manufacturing. Further, our product stewardship program includes a take-back program for the decommissioning, reuse and recycling of all products.

We believe in leading by example, as such Stem actively promotes ways to reduce waste, PVC content and other toxoids as part of our corporate and social commitment towards the protection of our environment. This dedication and commitment is evident in our Eco-design and manufacture of all our seating products.

Factors such as economic, environmental and social conditions significantly influence the nature in which we service our market. These factors including the ever-evolving challenges regarding compliance mean that it is imperative and inevitable that our corporate sustainability strategy also changes. With our finger on the pulse, sustainability shapes our organisation in the way we design, purchase, manufacture, deliver and market our products. Working closely with our partners, Stem have developed and established in-house initiatives that drive our sustainability program.

The main areas of focus in our sustainability program consider design and durability and utilize environmentally friendly and recyclable components. Essential elements include:

Foam

At Stem, we only use CFC-free foam.

At Stem, we insist on using premium quality foam and diligently adhere to safety protocols throughout the entire manufacturing process. 'Enduro' foams are manufactured by combining liquid and solid chemicals to form a solid, flexible, porous material. Only a nominal amount of chemical vapour escapes during this process. Specialists at our treatment plant ensure that this vapour is filtered off at a very high level of efficiency to EPA approved levels. All areas where toxic vapours may be present are enclosed and well ventilated.

Additionally, Stem advocate foam recycling. All off-cuts generated during conversion from blocks to cushions are collected and recycled accordingly. Processed foam crumbs are marketed under the trade names of Omarlay (carpet underlay) and Repol (blocks of bonded crumbs).

Plastics

Stem's strict manufacturing and safety protocols ensure that all plastic components are handled and manufactured under strictly controlled conditions.Where possible, glass reinforced nylon is used. Nylon (a by-product of petrol) is recognised as an environmentally clean plastic.

Waste is negligible as all reject plastics are processed utilising a granulating machine and re-directed into production (as a small percentage) to be mixed with virgin material. Our injection moulding machines and dyes are water cooled, and this water is recycled, treated and filtered in accordance with health regulations.

Timber

All timber products used and produced by Stem are made from plantation timber that is specifically grown for furniture. No rainforest timbers are used.

Powder Coating

Powder coating is not only durable and aesthetically pleasing, but it also has virtually zero negative effects on the environment. As an eco-friendly alternative to other coating methods such as wet painting, Stem promotes the use of powder coating for a multitude of reasons including:

  • All over-spray is collected, mixed with fresh powder and re-used resulting in a 99.5% usage with the filtration and mechanical systems.
  • Powders are 100% solids. No solvent loss occurs during spraying, and no solvent is given off during the curing and drying process.

Chroming

In Victoria, the environmental effects of Chrome-plating are monitored by the Melbourne Water EPA Task Force. Stem Industries consistently adhere to and comply with all regulations set.

Regulations stipulate that every plating step must have nil effect on the environment, including accidental spillage. Dispersal through sewage is strictly limited to one part per million, and all fumes are suppressed.

The chroming process must occur in two places, namely the operating tanks and the internal perimeter of the factory.

Packaging

Stem chairs are stylishly and professionally packed in recyclable cardboard boxes or low-density polyethylene bags. Our packaging materials are reusable as requested upon purchase, or may be returned to Stem for reuse if possible or recycled via Visy recycling.

Recycling

Stem's recycling program is extensive. Waste materials such as sawdust, foam, cardboard and plastic are processed and converted into reusable material for future use. Our program incorporates office waste such as paper that is also shredded and collected for recycling. Additionally, all promotional material is printed on recyclable paper in an attempt to further protect the environment.

Energy

Stem established an energy saving program across our entire organisation from the factory to every office space. We actively seek to reduce our current energy consumption by 5% over the next five years in an attempt to reduce our corporate footprint.