updated 9/17/2010 7:45:51 AM ET 2010-09-17T11:45:51

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS), the global leader in the office furniture industry today announced that Climate Counts, a New Hampshire based non-profit dedicated to fighting global warming, ranked the company first in its industry for combating climate change.

Climate Counts uses a 0-to-100 point scale and twenty-two separate criteria to score and rank companies to determine how their corporate climate responsibility compares to sector competitors. The scorecard measures a company's efforts to assess their own climate footprint, reduce their emissions, support (or block) progress on major climate legislation, and publicly disclose their actions clearly to consumers.

In the most recent scorecard, Climate Counts evaluated 47 companies in the pharmaceutical, home and office furnishing, toys and children's equipment and large appliance sectors.  Rankings of companies in 12 other sectors will be released in November. The scorecard, developed along with oversight from a panel of business and climate experts, helps identify the innovative leaders dedicated to tackling global warming. 

"At Steelcase we are constantly mining for new ideas that will help us reduce our impact on the environment. We celebrate this ranking because it's a signal that we are continuing our forward progress -- one person, one idea at a time.  It's an achievement but also a reminder that our work in this area will never be complete – and we look forward to continuing our journey," said Angela Nahikian, director, Global Environmental Sustainability, Steelcase Inc. 

Since 2006, Steelcase has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 37%. One way the company has achieved this is by utilizing an energy purchase strategy with a significant commitment to renewable technologies that do not produced greenhouse gases. One example of this is the company's investment in a wind energy farm in Panhandle, Texas. In 2009, Steelcase became the first renewable energy buyer to sponsor an industrial-scale wind farm in the United States. The project capacity represents 20% of its US electricity usage and more than 17% of its global fossil fuel-generated electricity usage. It will prevent more than 61 million pounds of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere each year. As the sole sponsor of this farm, Steelcase is the largest investor in wind power in the furniture industry.

Additionally, in June Steelcase began shipping products with EcoCradle™ packaging, a bio-based material made from agricultural byproducts developed by Ecovative – a natural composite materials company. Composed of materials such as cotton seed hulls and mushroom roots, EcoCradle requires very little energy to produce since the material is grown, not manufactured. The entire process uses approximately 10 times less energy per unit to create than synthetic foams. Moreover, the material actually contributes to the environment with its ability to compost and add nutrients to the soil in just 30 days. Steelcase began using this solution with its Currency™ ready to assemble product, and is exploring future opportunities across its product portfolios.

For more information, visit the sustainability section of www.steelcase.com .

About Steelcase Inc.

Steelcase Inc. helps create great experiences -- wherever work happens. Our brands offer a comprehensive portfolio of workplace furnishings, products and services, inspired by nearly 100 years of insight gained serving the world's leading organizations. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 650 dealers. We design for social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Steelcase is a global, publicly traded company leading our industry with fiscal 2010 revenue of approximately $2.3 billion.

The Steelcase Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4484

About Climate Counts

Climate Counts is a non-profit organization bringing consumers and companies together in the fight against global climate change. It was launched with financial support from organics pioneer Stonyfield Farm. Please visit  www.climatecounts.org  for the full scores and more information.

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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