Herman Miller

Topics: Aeron chair, Sustainability, Ethics Pages: 3 (1046 words) Published: February 23, 2013
Founded in 1905, throughout the years Herman Miller has become a leader of residential and office furniture (BUAD 100L WA Course Syllabus, 2012). During the entire duration of its proficient presence, it has been accurately focusing on financial, environmental and socially responsible achievement in order to fulfill and perpetuate its leading market position. Appropriately, Herman Miller created itself as an industrial forerunner of environmental stability.

In 1990, Bill Foley who was the research manager for Herman Miller started assessing the two current woods used in Miller’s signature chair, the Earnes chair (BUAD 100L WA Course Syllabus, 2012). The Earnes chair was constructed of two class of trees; Honduran Mahogany and rosewood. After dong his assessment, Foley came to the realization that use of such woods was dismantling the rain forests (BUAD 100L WA Course Syllabus, 2012). Despite Foley’s decision to not use these woods again would turn out to be financially debilitating, Foley knew that for the greater good of mankind it had to be done. While the stakeholders would be greatly affected by this decision, they had to appreciate the willingness of Herman Miller to adhere to its environmental friendly principle. Ethically speaking, the stakeholders should not have expected anything less as Miller was striving to become a sustainable forerunner in the office and residential industry.

Changing the design of Miller’s signature chair would prove to be a green strategy, but would also have great financial impact on the company. With earnings previously moving downward one would think that Foley’s decision couldn’t have come at a more imperfect time. Knowing that the “effects on sales could not be quantified” Foley surged on to show a net profit destruction of a70% downward loss of profit (BUAD 100L WA Course Syllabus, 2012). One would think that maybe Foley should have decided upon a better time to make such enormous modifications, but is there...

References: Case: Jennings, M. (2009). Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Readings 6th ed. Mason,
OH: South-Western, retrieved from BUAD 100 L WA Course Syllabus
The Triple Bottom Line, Andrew W. Savitz and Karl Weber, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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