Looking to do your part for the environment on your next office chair?
When it comes to shopping for eco friendly furniture, there is a lot of misinformation out there. The truth on just how environmentally friendly a product is gets obscured in confusing marketing hype and even outright lies.
To cut through all the confusion, one of the best indicators of truly green office chairs are ones that are Cradle to Cradle Certified.
In this article we’ll go over just what the cradle to cradle certification is, plus 8 modern office chairs that are not just eco-friendly, but highly ergonomic even for long term sitting. It’s a win-win for both you and mother nature.
What Is the Cradle to Cradle Certification?
The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certification is a globally recognized quality certification for safer, more sustainable products. Established by William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart, it encourages companies to make products that are eco friendly throughout their entire life cycle, from the raw materials used to when it is finally discarded and recycled.
Every product from fragrances to flooring, clothing to water bottles and office chairs can be Cradle to Cradle Certified.
The C2C Certified Product Standard rigorously assesses products across five critical categories:
- Material Health
- Material Reutilization
- Renewable Energy & Carbon Management
- Water Stewardship
- Social Fairness
There are 5 achievement levels available – Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum – with the lowest achievement level being the product’s overall mark.
Once a product has been certified, the company needs to show good faith effort towards optimization to get recertified every 2 years.
No matter if you’re an individual looking to purchase one office chair for your home office or a company aiming for a total green overhaul, check the following C2C certified ergonomic office chairs first.
Here are the 8 best environmentally friendly office chairs that are also highly ergonomic:
1. Herman Miller Mirra 2 Chair
The Herman Miller Mirra 2 is a highly customizable and green office chair that is great for office workers who tend to change positions a lot.
To start, the C2C Certified Bronze Mirra 2 is made of 46% recycled content and has 93% recyclability. This Mirra update is also 22% lighter than the original version, reducing its carbon footprint by as much as 25%. Not to mention that it’s made in a greenhouse manufacturing facility that uses 100% renewable electric energy.
When it comes to ergonomics, you won’t be disappointed with the Mirra 2 either. Designed after a high-performance running shoe, it fluidly responds to provide ample support even with the smallest movements. This is due to its Butterfly Back which has cutouts for movement and ventilation as well as a lumbar brace.
Buyers love that the Mirra 2 has a lot of adjustment points as well. Everything from its tilt mechanism (support forward and backwards tilt), seat depth and angle to its armrests and lumbar support can be tweaked to better support you.
Check out the following helpful video that goes over and reviews the Mirra 2 in good detail:
2. Giroflex 313 Office Chair
The Giroflex 313 Office Chair is the perfect sustainable choice for conference rooms or workstations with multiple users thanks to its self-adjusting feature.
Created with environmental consideration, it has been C2C Certified Bronze since 2014. The 313 was designed with a minimalist concept, keeping the number of parts at a minimum to use fewer resources. This swivel green chair uses materials that can be recycled with no quality loss at the end of its product life as well.
Additionally, the 313 shines for being able to reflexively adapt to different users. Thanks to its synchronized mechanism, the seat and back automatically align according to the user’s body weight. Of course, there are still some functions that you’ll have to adjust manually, namely the seat height and locking mechanism for the upright position.
3. Steelcase Amia Chair
Give your problematic back ample support as you work long hours with the eco-friendly Steelcase Amia.
C2C Certified Bronze since 2007, the Amia is manufactured using low-emitting materials and 34% recycled content. Aside from being 97% recyclable, this green chair was also made with minimal mixed materials that are hard to separate, making recycling the chair easier. Once you decide to resell, donate, or recycle your Amia, the Steelcase Environmental Partnership program can help you dispose of the product in socially, economically, and environmentally responsible ways.
Performance-wise, the Amia offers responsive support, 4D armrests, a tilt lock, and adjustable lumbar support, tilt tension, seat depth, and seat height. According to one buyer, the high level of adjustability made it easy to customize the chair to her body, leaving her pain-free after an entire day of work.
But, for us, what makes this Steelcase Amia office chair shine is its Live Lumbar technology. The backrest is made up of a system of flexors that enables it to continuously support and contour to your spine even if you change positions.
There is still room for improvement though. The padding is a bit on the thin side and the backrest isn’t suitable for very tall people.
Below is a helpful video explaining the various adjustable functions of the Amia:
4. Allsteel Acuity Office Chair
Next, we have another environment-friendly chair that can instantly fit users of any body type, the Allsteel Acuity.
A newly C2C Certified Bronze office chair, the Acuity is assembled using 100% green wind energy. Allsteel also provides detailed disassembly instructions and has partnered with some recycling organizations to keep the chair out of landfills. The company follows socially responsible business practices as well, and only work with suppliers with the same values.
As for its features, the Acuity boasts of Acufit, a weight-activated mechanism that keeps the seat and back in sync to provide ample support regardless of the body type and task. Then, there’s the S-shaped mesh back for lumbar support and ventilation, lockable 4D armrests, recline tension and tilt lock, and seat depth and height adjustments. If you’d like some padding on the backrest, just snap the padded upholstered sleeve into place.
5. Herman Miller Aeron Chair
The Herman Miller Aeron is an environmentally-sensitive and highly customizable chair that has more than two decades of ergonomic innovation under its belt.
The first C2C Certified Silver chair on our list, the Aeron is made up of 39% recycled content and is up to 91% recyclable. Just like the Mirra 2, this green chair is also manufactured using 100% renewable electric energy. Moreover, the company only works with suppliers who are as committed as them in reducing environmental effects.
This remastered version of the iconic Aeron features the PostureFit SL which cradles the natural S-shape of the spine. There’s also the 8Z Pellicle seat and back material which evenly distributes pressures while also keeping you cool. One satisfied customer lauded the smooth tilt mechanism of the Aeron as well.
We like that the Aeron can be customized to fit your needs and body type. Available in 3 sizes, you have the option of using a tilt limiter with seat angle and fully adjustable arms with armpad depth with this green and ergonomic office chair. As one of the best mesh office chairs in the market, the only real drawback to the Aeron is its very high price.
6. Keilhauer Simple 9323 Task Chair
The Keilhauer Simple 9323 Task Chair is another sustainable chair that can be adapted to the environment and the user’s needs.
It is one of the two oldest C2C products on our list, having been certified silver since 2006. It is manufactured using 19.15% recycled content and 100% renewable electricity. The manufacturing facility creates 0 waste and uses no water in its processes. Keilhauer also works with its suppliers to include recycled materials and to source raw materials from sustainable sources.
Finally, the Simple 9323 uses a recyclable plastic bag for packaging which the shipper takes back at delivery. Alternatively, you can ask the company to use recyclable cardboard boxes instead.
7. Steelcase Think Chair
Just as its name suggests, the Steelcase Think Chair is an environmentally-conscious chair that is smart enough to understand how you sit and adjust itself to better support you.
The world’s first Cradle to Cradle product, the Think Chair has been certified bronze since 2006. It’s made up of 28% recycled parts and is up to 95% recyclable. To make recycling the chair easier, it’s been designed to be disassembled in just 5 minutes using common tools. It has also undergone Life Cycle Assessment to make sure that only recycled content, regional materials, rapidly renewable resources, and low-emitting materials are used from its production, shipping, use, and end of life.
As for its ergonomic functions, first, there’s it Adaptive Bolstering. This enables the seat to conform to you no matter howyou change positions. It also has a Weight-Activated Mechanism which enables the Think Chair to automatically adjust to a recline resistance that’s suitable for your body type.
One happy customer commented that his back doesn’t hurt even after hours of work. He attributed this to the Think Chair’s Integrated LiveBack system which offers customized support with little adjustment needed. Other functions like the 4D armrests, flexible seat edge, and adjustable lumbar support, seat height, seat depth, and recline tension and angle complete the package.
Check out the different adjustments that the Think Chair has to offer here:
8. BMA Axia 2.0 Office Chair
Rounding off our list is the BMA Axia 2.0, an eco-friendly desk chair with concealed adjustable ergonomic functions.
C2C Certified Silver since 2011, the Axia 2 is 100% recyclable and is manufactured using 100% green energy. With its press mechanism, the green office chair does not use screws and is designed for easy disassembly to make parts replacement easier and improve reusability. Once the product has reached its end of life, BMA has a Next Life program that can maximize parts re-use.
At first look, the Axia 2 looks very simple with its clear lines. But, as we’ve mentioned before, the controls for the ergonomic functions are just strategically located and designed. It boasts of a synchronized movement mechanism and a mesh backrest with adjustable lumbar support, enabling you to stay cool and fully supported throughout the day.
You also have the option of customizing your Axia 2.0 by adding a tilt function, 3D armrests, and an adjustable headrest. To check out in detail what this environmentally-friendly office chair has to offer, watch the video below:
Going Green is now a Choice
With truly eco friendly office furniture – including office chairs – now available on the market, going green is now a choice, not an impossibility.
Shelby Blaese says
How about a list of non-toxic chairs? Like those without harmful flame retardants and glue fumes or those that don’t off-gas?
My son and I both have multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome. I save for a product for months only to find out that it gives us flu-like symptoms, chest pain, swollen ankles, etc. Then, I have to sell it for a fraction of the price since we can’t use it.
I’ve been looking for YEARS and wasted so much money in the process. When I go to the store and ask about low VOC non-toxic furniture, the employees either lie or are outright clueless.
Office chairs, gaming chairs, keyboards, mouse… if you can make a reliable list of non-toxic, no or low VOC ones, you’ll be our forever superhero. Please and thank you!!
Yuna Kadis says
Whoa! I didn’t know that the Aeron is pretty environment-friendly. That’s also really cool that Herman Miller would only work with suppliers who are as committed as them when it comes to sustainability.
Ever since I started working from home, I’ve decided to stick to eco-friendly living as much as I can. I’ve invested on energy-efficient technology and renewables. I even grow some of my food and have made my own compost pit.
To be honest, I wasn’t actually looking for environment-friendly office chairs. I was just curious if there are actually office chairs that’s good for both me and the planet. If there is, then I was going to start saving for it. Anyway, I’m really glad that the Aeron that I have already fits the bill.
Really useful post. Thank you!
Thanks for this great info. I’m loving seeing Cradle to Cradle certified chairs! I wanted to leave a note because I am in the process oof trying to return my brand new Aeron chair that I bought directly from Herman Miller. It arrived moldy, smelling like an old musty sponge. Such a huge disappointment but in looking online I see that many others have had this same problem. For those of us looking for super eco friendly and non toxic office chairs, I think Herman Miller needs to be removed from the list until they get their mold issue under control.