Merchants of Virtue

Posted April 27, 2014

“In Merchants of Virtue the author shows that innovation at Herman Miller extends well beyond new product development and training and developing people.  It was no surprise to me that they implemented the EVA Management System right down to the shop floor even on Day One.  This insightful story about their journey with business sustainability efforts puts them up there with the other cutting-edge organizations.”

The excerpt below is an article about Merchants of Virtue that was featured in the Holland Sentinel in 2011:

Merchants of Virtue book cover

“In March 1990, Herman Miller faced what could have been a corporate crisis.

Officials at the Zeeland furniture company discovered the exotic wood that was the trademark of its signature piece of furniture was being harvested from endangered tropical forests.

In the world of fine furniture design, building the well-known Eames Lounge chair without the option of Rosewood was something akin to sacrilege. The company, however decided to quit using Rosewood, opting instead for wood from easier-to-replace trees such as walnut and cherry.

The story of that decision, the precedent it set and other environmentally minded decisions that it prompted are featured in a new book: “Merchants of Virtue: Herman Miller and the Making of a Sustainable Company,” published by Palgrave MacMillan last month.

The book, aimed at the business crowd, is an “easy read” written in a narrative journalism style, said author Bill Birchard.”

For the complete article, please see click here, or visit the website for Merchants of Virtue by clicking here.

Below, find additional praise for the book:

In Merchants of Virtue the author shows that innovation at Herman Miller extends well beyond new product development and training and developing people. It was no suprrise to me that they implemented the EVA Management System right down to the shop floor even on Day One. This insightful story about their journey with business sustainability efforts puts them up there with the other cutting-edge organizations.”  – Joel M. Stern, Chairman and CEO, Stern Stewart & Co. and Stern Stewart Capital Partners

“Merchants of Virtue is a business story for our times.  An American story of risk taking, vision, values and pluck.  Before all the management fashions of our era, there was Herman Miller.  Bill Bichard shows you how this Midwest manufacturer led the way to sustainability.”  – Judith Samuelson, Executive Director, Business and Society Program, The Aspen Institute