HUG.Y: Interview with Johannes Brennig

HUG.Y - A product offering outstanding ecological merits

Our sustainability expert reveals what he finds particularly impressive about the new HUG.Y office chair

In the HUG.Y, we have launched a chair that consists of 65.5 % recycled material. This represents a further major step for us in the direction of eco- and resource-friendly business practice geared to the circular economy. Our sustainability expert Johannes Brennig provides some background information on how the chair came about and shares his enthusiasm for this true innovation with us.

What prompted König + Neurath to develop this particularly sustainable office swivel chair?

Johannes Brennig: As a business enterprise we have a responsibility towards the environment. Manufacturing sustainable products constitutes an integral element of our corporate philosophy. And this has long been the case – not just since our customers have come to develop a growing awareness of environmental issues. We are of the view that only sustainable products are future-viable. Consequently, the topic receives due consideration in every product development process.

In what stage of the development process were you involved as a sustainability expert?

Johannes Brennig: We have a fixed process in place which applies to all development projects. This involves all areas of the company in the development process – each at the appropriate time, of course. In accordance with our “Design for Environment” approach, the subject of sustainability pervades the entire development process and represented a key focus right from the concept phase for HUG.Y. The various aspects of environment-friendly product design have long been firmly incorporated into our development operations. I am involved as necessary – especially when new materials are involved which require ecological evaluation. 

Sustainability is a matter very close to the heart of every developer at König + Neurath.

What target groups will the HUG.Y appeal to, and why?

Johannes Brennig: Our HUG.Y swivel chair is sure to be very interesting for companies committed to high sustainability standards, as it meets all the relevant requirements on an ecological, social and economic level. It is suitable for a user weight of up to 130 kg, which will make it a viable proposition for a large proportion of office staff. The HUG.Y features automatic weight setting. This means that the backrest pressure adapts automatically to the user’s weight. As such, the HUG.Y is also ideal for office concepts in which the chair will be used by several different people. Fine adjustment of the backrest pressure to individual needs is also possible.

Does the HUG.Y come with any special sustainability certificates?

Johannes Brennig: Yes, the HUG.Y boasts broad-ranging certification: It bears the German government’s “Blue Angel” eco label (DE-UZ 117) and has been certified as meeting the highest possible standard under the the European LEVEL sustainability programme, which covers a whole range of sustainability criteria.  It also comes with a Gold certificate under the SCS Indoor Advantage programme, confirming that it meets the highest standards with regard to indoor air emissions.  The HUG.Y also sports the “Made in Germany” cachet, attesting to its special durability and quality and its compliance with the high environmental and social standards which apply in Germany.

What do you personally like best about the chair?

Johannes Brennig: Obviously, I’m most taken by its environmental performance! The entire backrest is produced using a post-consumer recyclate, which means that it is manufactured from recycled plastic originating from domestic waste. The new backrest cuts CO₂  emissions by some 2 kg and saves 42 kWh of electricity compared to primary plastics.

This is the most ecological choice of material in the area of plastics, as the plastic is reclaimed from domestic refuse.

At around 65 %, it incorporates a high overall share of recyclate. In addition, all the parts are replaceable, which means that the HUG.Y can remain in service for a very long time. And should it ever be dismantled, no adhesives are used in the seat or the backrest.

I also believe that it offers very impressive value for money: We’ve managed to develop a product with outstanding ecological merits which we can offer at an attractive price.

On a practical level: What’s it like to sit in the HUG.Y?

Johannes Brennig: ASitting in the HUG.Y feels really good. As I like a somewhat firmer chair, I prefer the “Basic” variant. For users who like a chair with a slightly softer feel, there is the “Comfort” seat featuring a slightly thicker foam cushion. The HUG.Y is also right on the mark for me when it comes to ergonomics, proudly bearing the ergonomics certificate of the TÜV Rheinland” technical inspection association. In addition to the seat height, I can also adjust the seat depth. This comes as a standard feature and is very useful. As I spend a lot of time working at a computer screen, I also find the support provided by the armrests on my HUG.Y very pleasant. I have basic armrests, but here too there is a broad range to choose from.

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