SUSTAINABILITY

Our design for the environment approach includes our support of our manufacturers active membership in voluntary programs such as the U.S. Green Building Council, the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from industry and government working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places.

We’re also motivated to help clients in achieving GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification. Currently we carry, more than 20 product lines that are GREENGUARD certified. GREENGUARD tested furniture is part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-CI Program. This means that specifying certain United Interiors furnishings can contribute LEED-CI points for indoor environmental quality.

United Interiors believes that sustainable development is the basis of our future. Our initiatives yield meaningful insights on the economic, environmental, and social progress of our company. By prompting changes in policy and practices, we can focus on delivering high performance products while protecting the environment.

Product stewardship is our focus. We are actively pursuing ways to minimize the impact on the environment with our product offerings. This means offering furnishings that save resources, have longer life, use clean manufacturing, meet indoor air requirements, recycle easily, and portray many other sustainable attributes.

 

SUSTAINABILITY TERMS
Environmental Aspects: An element of an organization’s activities, products or services that can interact with the environment.

 

Environmental Chamber: A controlled, non-reactive testing device of known volume with dynamically maintained air change rate, temperature, and humidity.

 

Environmental Policy: Is a statement by the organization of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental performance, which provides a framework for action and for the setting of its environmental objectives and targets.

 

Environmental Management System: The part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the environmental policy.

 

Formaldehyde: HCHO, a volatile organic chemical which is a natural product of human metabolism, a byproduct of combustion process, and an important industrial chemical used to produce synthetic urea- and phenol-formaldehyde.

 

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Emissions of gases related to human activities that accelerate the “greenhouse effect.” The term “greenhouse effect” describes the natural heat-trapping qualities of trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Human activities have significantly increased the concentrations of natural greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. While carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas, it is the main contributor to warming. Other important greenhouse gases include nitrous oxide and methane, both of which have increased in the last century.

 

LEED-CI: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Commercial Interiors. A Rating system that provides specifications for interior office spaces to improve design, health, durability, affordability, and environmentally sound workspaces.

 

LEED-NC: Leadership in Energy and Environmental design for New Construction. A rating system that provides specifications for new building designs and construction materials & methods to provide environmental performance from a whole-building prospective.

 

Life-cycle: Means the total impact of a system, function, product or service from the extraction of raw materials through its end-of-life management.

 

Renewable Energy: A renewable energy source is defined as any energy source that is replenishable and replenished on some reasonable time scale. Renewable energy sources include, but are not limited to wind, solar, heat from the earth’s interior, oceans, rivers, and eligible biomass.

 

Renewable Raw Materials: A renewable energy source is any material that is replenishable and replenished on some reasonable time scale. Renewable material sources include, but are not limited to wood; grass fibers, plant-based plastics, fuels and 100 percent recycled content metals, papers, plastics and glass.

 

Resource Effectiveness/Material Intensity: Refers to the concept of continuously improving the utility and durability of the product or service provided while reducing its total material and energy throughput such as the use of less energy, the generation of less waste, and the use of less mass per unit produced.

 

Significant Environmental Aspect: A significant aspect is an environmental aspect that has or can have significant environmental impact.

 

Social Equity: Involves the identification of issues, the development of standards and the implementation of programs that address corporate responsibility for the ethical treatment of employees, communities and other stakeholders.

 

Source Reduction: This refers to a pollution prevention technique that eliminates the potential for pollution at the source, or where the polluting material enters the product or service cycle.

 

Sustainable Practices: This refers to efforts by industry to achieve sustainable development goals that call for simultaneous performance improvements in economic vitality; ecological integrity; and social equity.

 

Sustainable Business Codes or Practices: Refers to any voluntary business code of conduct or code of practice that calls for simultaneous improvements in economic, environmental, and social performance.

 

Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs): Sum of all airborne volatile organics collected and analyzed by a defined analytical method, typically encompassing C4 – C16 hydrocarbons.

 

Triple Bottom Line: Sustainable development involves the simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity. Companies aiming for sustainability need to perform not against a single, financial bottom line, but against the triple bottom line.

 

USGBC: Unites States Green Building Council. A national no-profit organization founded in 1993. The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.

 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Chemical compounds containing carbon with a typical boiling range of 0-290°C and vapor pressure greater than 102 kP @ STP (e.g. benzene and trichloroethylene).