Steelcase Inc. will take a giant step toward reducing emissions when it opens its new office furniture manufacturing facility in 2001. Located in Gaines Township, Mich., the new Steelcase Wood plant will emit 70% fewer emissions -- 380 fewer tons per year -- than Steelcase's existing plant in Kentwood, Mich. The new plant will produce wood furniture including desks, file cabinets, and seating. Steelcase is working with the U.S. Green Buildings Council to use the building as a pilot project in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. It is the first manufacturing building of its size to seek registration as a LEED facility. At the new plant, Steelcase will switch from a largely solvent-based finishing system to a water-based one. "As one of the largest employers in west Michigan, we understand the importance of a healthy environment and its impact on the community," says David Rinard, director of corporate environment, health, and safety for Steelcase. "That is why it is our responsibility to set the standard for other companies throughout Michigan and the U.S. in creating the most environmentally advanced facilities possible."