Most eco-friendly furniture is aimed at the home; but what do you do for an office? There are actually many choices. Here two for starters: Studio eg, and Legare. Both have a unique approach.
We should have written about Studio eg long ago: they have been around for over ten years, have won a long list of awards, and one of the founders (Erez Steinberg) even attended the first Worldchanging Summit two years ago. Their Ecowork line of office furniture uses almost entirely second-use materials, and low-energy manufacturing processes. Desktops & shelves are made from a particleboard of recycled materials and FSC-certified wood fibers; the legs are tubes of recycled cardboard, with feet of shredded tire rubber. The acoustic wall panels are made from 100% recycled compressed newsprint, and all of these are colored without toxic paints or dyes.
A newer kid on the office furniture block is Legare (though they aim as much at individuals as big buyers). Their products are not recycled, but are all made from FSC-certified wood (why they don't tout this all over their website, I don't know), and they try to maximize materials efficiency (creating extremely little manufacturing waste). They design all their systems for slot-and-tab assembly, so they ship flat and assemble/disassemble with no tools. This gives their products a certain clarity of detail visually, and the robust construction means their products should last through many users and years.
Yet another pure flash built design site that is a WAI/Section 508 nightmare. When oh when are web designers going to get the standards/accessibilty message? :(
There are also other office chairs produced by the 'big boys' that 'close the loop' - reuse all components as technical nutrients for the next chair: Herman Miller's Mirra Chair and Steelcase 'i-think' chair. Ever since these two chairs were Cradle-to-Cradle certified, other manufacturers have produced similar ones. Jeremy: Great stuff!
Studio EG stopped production of ecowork in 2002 due to the dramatic decline in office furniture business following 9/11 and the tech crash. Erez Steinberg & I connected in late 2005 and have brought the ecowork product line back to market under the business name of ecowork*. We are located in Washington State and can be found at www.ecowork.com or 509-427-4100