1900 - Milliken begins reusing packing materials.
1945 - Roger Milliken establishes the Milliken Research Corp. for textile research purposes.
1947 - HON begins to take interest in lean manufacturing.
1953 - Herman Miller Founder DJ DePree declares that the company will be a "good steward of the environment."
1960 - Roger Milliken mandates that Milliken "responsibly use natural resources and reduce the company's imprint on the environment."
1965 - Steelcase initiates its first environmental program to help better understand its environmental impact.
1967 - Tandus invents a new flooring material without a damaging, wet adhesive.
1973 - Steelcase initiates a VOC-reduction program.
1974 - Kohler introduces a line of low-water-consumption toilets, faucets, and showerheads.
1978 - Kohler engineers receive a U.S. patent for an innovative timed flushing system that increases the efficiency of the company's one-piece, low-flow toilets.
1979 - Steelcase installs a waste-to-energy incinerator at Grand Rapids' energy center.
1979 - Tandus' powerbond flooring is installed at the Fairbanks Intl. Airport, and is still performing today despite the harsh weather conditions and 18 million travelers who walked on it.
1980 - Steelcase's environmental engineer is on call 24/7 for environmental emergencies.
1981 - Herman Miller's energy center begins burning waste to generate electrical and steam power to run its million-square-foot Main Site manufacturing facility.
1983 - Steelcase's new corporate headquarters building includes features to promote energy conservation.
1986 - Milliken develops a PVC-free modular carpet.
1988 - Steelcase makes a commitment to work toward a 50-percent reduction of ozone-depleting substances.
1989 - Herman Miller employees create the Environmental Quality Action Team (EQAT) to coordinate environmental programs companywide.
1989 - Sensitive to new requirements for water conservation, Kohler introduces a 1.5-gallon toilet.
1989 - Revest is founded to help Steelcase's customers reuse, remanufacture, and recycle office furniture.
1990 - Phase 1 of Herman Miller's Design for the Environment (DIE) begins, establishing criteria for product design.
1991 - Steelcase recycles 5 million pounds of steel scrap per month.
1992 - Steelcase's office recycling program collects 747,663 pounds of paper. Its Wood Division also commits to using wood obtained only from domestic sources or sustained yield programs.
1992 - Rapid Continuous Improvement (RCI) is introduced at Allsteel's parent company (HNI) to empower employers to find ways to eliminate waste.
1993 - Haworth begins an on-site corporate recycling center.
1993 - Herman Miller becomes a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Cherry and walnut from sustainable sources also replace the endangered rosewood on a Herman Miller-brand lounge chair and ottoman.
1993 - Steelcase begins using ash, shipped from a Grand Rapids power plant, to create cement, reducing raw materials and landfilled waste by 79 percent.
1994 - Ray Anderson is asked to address the environmental mission at Interface Inc., setting in motion a revolution.
1994 - KI recommits to reducing its environmental impact.
1994 - Steelcase initiates more environmentally friendly finishing methods in several plant locations by installing powder-coat finishing systems and converting to water-based adhesives.
1994 - Tandus creates the carpet industry's first closed-loop recycling program (infinity initiative).
1995 - DesignTex introduces a collection of textiles manufactured, used, and disposed of with no negative environmental impact.
1995 - QUEST (Quality Utilizing Employee Suggestions & Teamwork) is born at Interface. The employee-led team targets waste in all forms. Interface also joins the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
1995 - Herman Miller's GreenHouse building opens, which employs the latest environmental thinking and practices. The building wins the LEED pioneer award.
1996 - Tandus introduces 100-percent recycled content vinyl backing.
1997 - Interface publishes its first Corporate Sustainability Report. It is the first company in the United States to adopt the Natural Step. Sustainability begins corporation-wide. Interface also begins its carpet reclamation program; first attempts yield a backing of 5-percent post-consumer vinyl.
1998 - Mid-Course Correction is published. Ray Anderson's book tells the story of his realization that businesses need to embrace principles of sustainability. President Clinton appoints Ray Anderson to co-chair the President's Council on Sustainable Development. Other Interface initiatives include a phasing out of piece-dyed and printed operations in favor of solution-dyed and tufted products. Interface becomes the first in the commercial interiors industry with a Trees for Travel Program, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions from business air travel.
1998 - Steelcase reduces VOC emissions from its Grand Rapids, MI, plants by 28 percent in 1 year.
1998 - Tandus is awarded innovative New Product of the Year by the National Recycling Coalition.
1999 - Allsteel begins receiving fiber glass cut to size to improve waste recycling and promote a healthy manufacturing environment.
1999 - Milliken sends zero waste to landfill and employees closed-loop recycling.
1999 - The Mohawk Group begins rubber tire collection.
2000 - Allsteel manufacturing waste begins to be recycled as car trunk liners.
2000 - Interface introduces the first commercially viable carpet to use recycled nylon face fiber and a 100-percent recycled secondary backing layer.
2000 - Tandus is the first company to promote the use of the Federal Trade Commission's "guides for the use of environmental marketing claims."
2001 - Interface introduces the world's first climate-neutral flooring.
2001 - Lees Carpet receives more than 100 percent of its electrical energy from renewable hydroelectric sources.
2002 - Watson Furniture receives the Washington State Governor's Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices.
2003 - AIS is the first furniture system to be awarded the Shingo Award for excellence in lean manufacturing.
2003 - Allsteel is presented with the U.S. General Services Administration's Evergreen Furniture Award, acknowledging the company's environmental efforts.
2003 - Harden Furniture certifies its 10,000 acres of timber properties with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
2003 - Herman Miller introduces a chair line that is 96-percent recyclable, made of 42-percent recycled content.
2003 - The Mohawk Group begins using a post-consumer and post-industrial recycled material that contributes to LEED value.
2003 - Steelcase archives the goal of becoming VOC-free.
2003 - Teknion's waste diversion rate reaches 45 percent. The company is also aligned to standards set by LEED.