On Monday, April 10, Steelcase hosted a group of companies in the Grand Rapids Learning + Innovation Center. This forum was organized by the Roundtable for Product Social Metrics, which has developed an open source methodology for measuring social impact over the life of a product. Sustainability professionals from Dow, Whirlpool, BASF, Kohler, Solvay, and PRé Sustainability attended.
At the forum in Grand Rapids, a brief history and current status of the Roundtable were shared, including the roots of the group in Europe and the development of the Handbook for Product Social Metrics. We also shared several case studies that have been completed to test the methodology and show that product social impact could be assessed, including the one to which Steelcase contributed. The participating companies provided their feedback and expressed their motivations for interest in the Roundtable. We are still finalizing exactly what the next steps might be, but one potential next step is expanding the Roundtable’s reach to other regions beyond Europe.