The Swabian office furniture manufacturer INTERSTUHL takes its commitment to its customers just as seriously as its responsibility to its employees and the environment.

Commitment to home: Sustainability is in Interstuhl’s DNA. The centre and origin of the family-operated company is the Swabian village of Tieringen

Feel-good furniture: Interstuhl | News

Commitment to home: Sustainability is in Interstuhl’s DNA. The centre and origin of the family-operated company is the Swabian village of Tieringen

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Show me how you sit and I will tell you who you are. A chair doesn’t merely express one’s taste, budget or seating predilections – it reflects all the complexity of our modern world. Even in our choice of office chairs, ecological and social aspects play a key role, because we all now realise that our consumer behaviour and the products we surround ourselves with have a decisive influence on the world in which we and our fellow humans live.

Some companies try to retroactively enhance their ecological image through greenwashing. At others, sustainability is interwoven into the very corporate DNA. For example, sustainability has been on the agenda of the family-owned enterprise Interstuhl, based in Tieringen in Germany’s Swabia region, since the early 1990s – out of conviction.

‘We come from humble beginnings,’ says Interstuhl managing director Joachim Link, grandson of the company founder, Wilhelm Link. In the 1960s, with horses falling out of fashion as a means of transport, Joachim Link changed occupations, from blacksmith to chair maker. He had great success. ‘With a lot of hard work in close collaboration with our employees, we managed to build up and develop our company,’ he explains. ‘And that still informs what we do.’

Corporate architecture – the Interstuhl headquarters was designed by the Stuttgart architect Werner Sobek. The firm’s present, third-generation managing director, Joachim Link, is the grandson of the company founder

Feel-good furniture: Interstuhl | News

Corporate architecture – the Interstuhl headquarters was designed by the Stuttgart architect Werner Sobek. The firm’s present, third-generation managing director, Joachim Link, is the grandson of the company founder

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The firm’s deep, local rootedness is the source of a keen sense of responsibility towards the region. As early as 1994, the state environment ministry of Baden-Württemberg officially recognised Interstuhl for its ‘outstanding achievements in promoting company environmental protection and ecologically oriented corporate management’ – an unwieldy distinction, but one that indicated the direction of the company’s further development.

Interstuhl is a pioneer of holistic entrepreneurial thinking. Driven by its owners’ ambition to leave their children and grandchildren an intact ecological, economic and social world, the company pursues a clear environmental policy. For this singular stance, it has been repeatedly singled out – most recently with the ‘European LEVEL’ sustainability certificate from FEMB, the European Office Furniture Federation.

The ‘European LEVEL’ certificate serves as an important guide to developers, architects, interior designers and the producers and purchasers of office and contract furniture who seek comprehensive information on criteria for sustainable commerce. In the selection of recipients, all economic, ecological and social aspects are taken into account. Interstuhl was one of the very first companies to be awarded this certificate. Indeed, it garnered a ‘Level 3’ designation, the certificate’s highest.

Interstuhl’s new office chair for dynamic sitting, PUREis3, adjusts automatically to the body and its movement – without complex, heavy mechanics. This is made possible by ‘Smart Spring’ technology, which was developed through five years of research

Feel-good furniture: Interstuhl | News

Interstuhl’s new office chair for dynamic sitting, PUREis3, adjusts automatically to the body and its movement – without complex, heavy mechanics. This is made possible by ‘Smart Spring’ technology, which was developed through five years of research

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Interstuhl executive Joachim Link is convinced: ‘The new European LEVEL sustainability standard creates a comprehensive certification for office furniture for the first time – one that will allow the gradual replacement of existing national labels, which up to now only cover certain areas of sustainability.’

The firm sees itself as a co-creator and driver of a social-ecological society, and it demonstrates this in every furniture detail, no matter how small. Thanks to its ingenious ‘Smart Spring’ technology, its latest product, the PUREIS3 office chair, does without elaborate mechanics and uses significantly less material than do conventional office chairs.

The sustainability idea extends far beyond the product itself. Interstuhl is committed to renewable energy and meets its own heating needs with biogas, thus saving around 100,000 litres of heating oil annually. It generates fifteen per cent of the electricity it consumes with solar panels and supports company employees who cycle to work. All wood varieties and wood-based materials it uses are derived from sustainable forestry, and packaging material is, as far as possible, replaced by means of a reuse and take-back system. These are but a few of the firm’s ecological practices. Social aspects, such as the integration of refugees and the observance of a quota for female employees, are likewise part of the manufacturer’s company policy.

More than just a beautiful view: Today, an intact, clean environment and low energy consumption are the most elementary expression of quality of life and a wise corporate philosophy. This insight is the basis of all action at Interstuhl

Feel-good furniture: Interstuhl | News

More than just a beautiful view: Today, an intact, clean environment and low energy consumption are the most elementary expression of quality of life and a wise corporate philosophy. This insight is the basis of all action at Interstuhl

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In this way, Interstuhl brings the reputedly Swabian virtues of preservation and thrift into harmony with a modern, change-embracing understanding of the world. The third generation of this at once globally active and locally rooted, family-operated enterprise is creating products that are pointing the way for an entire industry.



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