A good time to go green

Melanie Blythe

Melanie Blythe

The pressure for business to go green is building as consumers and shareholders consider the ethics and environmental impact of the products and companies they support.

One company that is taking the green leap of faith is Somerset West-based filing module producers, Orgafile.

Started by a father-and-son team, Orgafile has developed a modular filing cabinet that has an eco-friendly design and low environmental impact.

Arnold van Wijk - father of industrial designer Adrian - is a veteran of the South African filing industry. He founded Optiplan, one of the country's oldest filing companies, in 1976, and after selling the company 20 years later, has dedicated his "retirement" years to developing a world-first filing product.

It was his son Adrian, however, who prompted Orgafile's sustainable business practices and green design principles.

As a former president of the Association of Canadian Industrial Designers, Van Wijk junior is an impassioned environmentalist who lives out his ideals both in his personal life and through his profession.

"The future of our planet rests to some degree in the hands of today's industrial designers who need to look to nature for ways to create sustainable, eco-friendly products," he said.

The Orgafile filing units recently won top honours in the form of the Chairman's Award at the 2008 SABS Design Excellence Awards as well as first prize in the product design category at the Best of Canada Design Awards last year.

l Melanie Blyth is an editor at Rothko