SOURCE: The HON Company

November 05, 2007 08:00 ET

Cubicles Go Green

MUSCATINE, IA--(Marketwire - November 5, 2007) - When the word "cubicle" is mentioned, words like "noisy," "no privacy" and "Dilbert" may pop into your head. But how about "green," "sustainable," or "environmentally friendly?" Why aren't these making the top of the list?

One Iowa-based company is driven to change that perception. The HON Company, one of the largest designers and manufacturers of office furniture in the U.S., has developed a new cubicle "filler" for inside cubicle walls which provides sustainable benefits, as well as improved indoor air quality. The material, Nature Core™, is the first of its kind for the office furniture industry, and is made primarily from kenaf, an annually renewable crop that is second only to cotton in the volume grown around the world.

Kenaf isn't a new crop -- in fact, its roots are based in ancient Africa, more than 4,000 years ago. Its main uses are for rope, twine, coarse cloth and paper (for newsprint, printing and writing paper); however emerging uses of kenaf include: engineering wood, decking, animal bedding, and as an additive for various types of matters, such as seeded grass mats for instant lawns. In addition, kenaf seeds yield a vegetable oil that is edible and high in omega antioxidants, and is used for cosmetics and as bio-fuel. The product potential for kenaf is really unlimited.

And the best part about kenaf is that it provides manufacturers an annual crop base for fiber that doesn't endanger or deplete our forests and the environment. One acre of kenaf produces 7 to 11 tons of usable fiber in a single growing season; compared to an acre of U.S. forest, which produces approximately 1.5 to 3.5 tons of usable fiber in per year.

The HON Company's Nature Core material is now standard on the company's most popular panel (a.k.a. "cubicle") system, Initiate®, without an increase in price. Office workers won't notice a difference between traditional cubicles and those with Nature Core, as it is extremely durable and offers excellent sound-blocking characteristics.

For more information on Nature Core, visit

About The HON Company

The HON Company is a leader in the design and manufacturing of workplace furniture including chairs, storage, panel systems, tables and desks. Headquartered in Muscatine, Iowa, The HON Company has numerous manufacturing facilities strategically located throughout the United States, and markets its products through a nationwide network of dealers and retailers. The HON Company is an operating company of HNI Corporation (formerly HON INDUSTRIES). For more information, visit

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