The TELLUS Bench Is the 1st Furniture Made of 100% Fossil-Free Steel

10.25.23 | By
The TELLUS Bench Is the 1st Furniture Made of 100% Fossil-Free Steel

Vestre’s TELLUS bench, designed by Swedish multidisciplinary designer Emma Olbers, has released the first piece of furniture that uses SSAB’s 100% fossil-free steel. The Norwegian furniture company and celebrated designer have both been proponents of sustainability within the industry, and Tellus is the milestone result of their collaboration. By doing so, they hope to inspire others to follow suit.

steel outdoor bench placed against a light brown and rust building

”For me, it is important that form and design follow the planetary boundaries and aim to be part of the solution in the green transition,” said Olbers. “Therefore, it´s great to collaborate with companies that also want to be at the forefront and have actually realized that we are sawing off the very branch we are sitting on. These are companies that set Science Based Targets (SBTi) to contribute in meeting the Paris Agreement.”

steel outdoor bench overlooking water

TELLUS is timeless and inviting, with a design that makes it ideal for parks and other city environments. The bench received its name because it was designed “with Tellus in mind,” in accordance with planetary boundaries. ”TELLUS is great example of what steel can be used for. There is little that is more social, tangible, and accessible to people than a park bench in a public space. A place where people can sit down, talk to each other, and get to know each other,” said Bjørn Fjellstad, CEO at Vestre.

detail of steel outdoor bench

Like Olbers, Vestre has made moves to be at the forefront of testing new technologies and solutions to reduce the brand’s overall climate impact. Traditional steel production relies on coal burning – and the large emissions of greenhouse gases that accompany it. Globally it accounts for 7% of all CO2 emissions, and for Vestre, steel makes up more than 60% of its total carbon footprint.

steel outdoor bench in a green space at sunset

“The main goal was to create a bench with as few emissions as possible. An outdoor bench for public environments must also withstand a lot of wear and tear. Therefore, a strong construction is important,” Olbers shared. “We have striven to use as little material as possible, but still maintain the strong construction. I think it should both radiate a metal feel and a tactility, but also look welcoming, hence the wide armrests which visually is inviting and functionally provides space for a coffee cup.”

detail of steel outdoor bench

Vestre aims to be the world’s most sustainable furniture company, pushing forward developments while transitioning to more sustainable materials and production methods. “To get there, we need to be ahead of the curve,” says Øyvind Bjørnstad, CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) at Vestre. “Early estimates show that converting all our steel to fossil-free could reduce our overall footprint by around 60 percent.” Vestre will go into production in 2026.

detail of steel outdoor bench

detail of steel outdoor bench

steel outdoor bench in a green space

To learn more about the TELLUS bench and SSAB’s 100% fossil-free steel, visit

Photography by Einar Aslaksen.

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.