Posted by Nicole, BiOH Polyols Marketing Manager on March 4, 2011
If you have been keeping up with the news lately, you might have noticed a new challenge by ABC World News called Made in America. Part of the feature challanged one Texas family to empty their home of all foreign made products and replace them by purchasing products “Made in America.”
This feature gave exposure to many furniture and bedding industry partners who manufacture American made products every day and who also use BiOH® polyols in their cushioning. One company, Harden Furniture was featured in a video segment talking about how they are responsibly managing the forests that they obtain for their wood products.
One common mistake consumers can often make is thinking that domestically made furniture and appliances cost more money. This segment shows consumers where to purchase products “Made in America” and how they could even save money by doing so! For more information, you can also visit the Made in the USA Foundation.
The Sage Award is an opportunity to recognize excellence in the home furnishings and bedding industries through honoring and acknowledging companies who lead in area of:
Reducing their environmental footprint
Expanding their positive social impact
Running a profitable business
This is the third year BiOH® polyols has partnered with the AHFA to present the Sage Award winner with a $2,500 donation to any non-profit organization of its choice. The purpose of the Sage Award is to seek out, discover and recognize true industry innovators from whom others can learn. This award is founded on the belief that environmental excellence is an ongoing journey requiring flexibility, insight and constant learning. The annual Award honors businesses that demonstrate a passion for and a sustained commitment to that journey.
Zenda Leather embodies these environmental requirements and many more by having internationally-recognized ISO 14001 environmental management certifications for its factories. This certification controls use of natural resources, handling and treatment of waste, and energy consumption. Over the last five years they also have:
Developed practices to reduce over 3 million kilograms of solid waste per year by producing compost.
Opened the first private energy plant in Uruguay that transforms waste into energy, eliminating the company’s need to buy power from an outside source
Built a waste treatment plant in which the biological sludge is used as organic fertilizer for local farmland and also saves an estimated 2 million liters of water per day by recycling rainwater.
Invested in developing more eco-friendly products and introduced “Eden” leather to the residential market in 2008. Only natural extracts – no metals – are used in the tanning process for Eden leather. They have over 10 years of experience making chrome-free leather for the automotive industry.
Edith Ledzema and Juan Diego Casaretto of Zenda Leather
Finalists Flexsteel Industries, Inc. was the first AHFA member company to implement the program EFEC – “Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture” – a voluntary environmental management program for furniture manufacturers in all seven plants. As a result of the new practices and policies established during implementation of EFEC, they:
Reduced its waste to landfill from 554 tons per quarter in March of 2009 to 114 tons per quarter as of June 2010.
Energy consumption has declined every quarter since March 2009.
Water consumption and natural gas have also been reduced and the company has increased its use of recycled materials in operations and product development.
Pushed sustainable practices through the supply chain by requiring vendors to establish environmental goals – an effort now completed by 86 percent of its suppliers.
Finalist TLS by Design, which stands for Total Life Style, is an innovative, family-run business striving to follow an environmentally-responsible path. They are seriously committed to the environmental journey and on their way to be LEED® certified. In addition to energy efficient practices they also:
Use soy-based BiOH® polyols for foam cushioning, locally purchase recycled steel springs and all wood finishes are water-based.
70 percent of the company’s products are produced and sourced within a 75-mile radius of its base in Portland, Indiana including using local forests and mills for wood.
Repurposed their facility section by section, including buying old bowling alley lanes for a “new” 60-foot long cutting table and hired locally displaced employees.
Finalists TLS by Design’s Jeff Day and guest
The competition for this year’s award was challenging. Thankfully we had a handful of incredibly talented judges. Ten environmental, media and industry leaders accepted the responsibility of reading and judging the entries. They included:
Ray Allegrezza,Editor in Chief of Furniture Today.
Mary Frye, Executive Director of the Home Furnishings Independents Association
Heather Gadonniex, managing partner of MindClick, a San Francisco-based consultancy specializing in sustainable business
Leslie Guevarra, associate editor for Greener World Media, the online publishing group founded by Joel Makower
Susan Inglis,Executive Director of the Sustainable Furniture Council,
Robyn Griggs Lawrence, Editor in Chief of Natural Home Magazine
Jean Nayer, former editor-in-chief of Woman’s Day Special Interest Magazines and author of “Green Living by Design”
Richard Prisco, professor of industrial design, department of technology, Appalachian State University
Ryan Trainer, President of the International Sleep Products Association
Steve Walker, Assistant Directorof the Furniture Manufacturing and Management Center at North Carolina State University
Criteria for judging is based on three key points; Sustainable Business Practices, Commitment to Social Responsibility and Profitable Growth. We commend all entrants for their dedication to these efforts. For more information about the Sage Awards please visit: www.sageaward.org.
Posted by Nicole, BiOH Polyols Marketing Manager on October 15, 2010
Have you ever wondered where everyone in the furniture industry is during the entire month of October? Well, I have a little secret and if you didn’t already know… it’s time for the season’s hottest event for the Home Furnishings industry! High Point Market is “the world’s home for home furnishings” and runs October 16-21, 2010 in High Point, NC. This is where the furniture industry comes together to share, collaborate and connect with some of the industry’s most influential retailers and manufacturers.
The BiOH® polyols team is hitting the road and headed to the beautiful state of North Carolina where I get to experience my first High Point Market. Of course we are thrilled to kick-off the week at the Century Furniture showroom with the Project UDesign tweet-up on Monday evening. Don’t forget that UDecide the winner! So hurry up and visit the BiOH® polyols fan page before 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, October 19, 2010. We will announce the winner at the WITHIT student mentoring breakfast on Wednesday, October 20. Check back for more details on the winner… Until then, watch this video about the top three SCAD student designs and view inspirational quotes on sustainability from passionate interior design bloggers.
In addition to Project UDesign, we will be visiting with many of our incredible partners who share the soy love for sustainability and BiOH® polyols. If you happen to be at High Point Market, make sure to stop by one of these manufacturers and inquire about their furniture with BiOH polyols.
Slow Home means being mindful and knowledgeable about the furniture you purchase for your home and the impact on the environment of the materials that are used to make it. It means buying the best furniture you can afford so that it will last and not end up in a landfill. It means slowing down to appreciate and remember the memories that accrue to each well-loved piece you own.
Thank you, Gloria, for using furniture made by TLSbyDesign, an Indiana based manufacturer, who uses foam made with BiOH’s soy ingredient in each piece.
But, especially, thank you for sending us this beautifully produced and unsolicited video of your slow home living room to share with our readers. We wish you and your family many years of happy memories there.
Posted by Jessica, BiOH Polyols Marketing Manager on May 10, 2010
Jump for Soy! At the April 2010 High Point Market, LEE Industries introduced a new cushion option in their upholstered leather collection that is made with >30% soy content in the foam - the highest renewable content currently offered in the industry!
Two chairs from LEE's Leather Collection in their High Point Showroom
The cushions are made with Bio-Lux™ Max technology from NCFI Polyurethanes where 50% of the foam’s petroleum-based polyol is replaced with BiOH® Polyols. NCFI has been using BiOH technology in their foams since 2006 and continues to explore ways to add more renewable content to their foam products.
LEE has a long history of embracing sustainable processes and materials. In fact, they were the first manufacturer to adopt soy-based foams made with BiOH® Polyols back in 2006. Additionally, they are founding members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. We shared some fun facts about LEE Industries in a previous blog post - including their extensive fabric and leather options! You can contact LEE directly to inquire about their furniture and/or new cushion options.
LEE's leather collection featured a new cushion option with Bio-Lux Max Technology
Hats off to LEE Industries and NCFI for embracing the soy story and taking the lead in ”raising the bar” around renewable, soy content in foams! As BiOH® Polyols are incorporated at higher levels across the industry, the positive environmental impacts and petroleum savings can continue to increase. Every additional percentage of soy embraced by manufacturers along with each individual furniture or mattress purchase decision adds up!
PS – For those that would like to learn more about Bio-Lux™ Max foam made with >30% soy content, contact NCFI around supply and performance questions.
Posted by Jessica, BiOH Polyols Marketing Manager on March 24, 2010
Did you know that you might be sitting on soy while waiting for your next flight? Arconas became the first airport-seating manufacturer to incorporate soy-based BiOH® polyols from Cargill in late 2009. Arconas is a global leader in airport seating, servicing some of the world’s largest airports such as Boston Logan, Dallas/Fort Worth, JFK, Hong Kong, La Guardia, Lisbon, and Orlando, among others.
So where will you be able to sit on soy? Arconas seating with BiOH polyols is coming soon to these airports:
Los Angeles International Airport, CA
Raleigh-Durham International Airport, NC
Winnipeg International Airport, MB
Des Moines International Airport, IA
Newport News International Airport, VA
Calgary Executive Flight Center, AB
San Antonio International Airport, TX
Flyaway Seating from Arconas
This week the Arconas team is highlighting their innovative products – including those containing soy foam with BiOH Polyols - at the Passenger Terminal Expo in Brussels, Belgium. Among other things, visitors to their booth may receive a reusable shopping bag crafted by Arconas from 100% recycled textiles as shown in the picture below!
These reusable shopping bags from Arconas made from 100% recycled textiles will be handed out during the Passenger Terminal Expo.
You can keep up with Arconas and their innovative products on Facebook, Twitter: @Arconas, or their You Tube channel. And next time you’re at the airport… consider if you might be sitting on a soy innovation while waiting for your flight!
Copeland Furniture was singled out among this year’s entries for its “exceptionally focused” approach to sustainable business operations. The company holds a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody certificate and currently manufactures eight product groups that qualify for FSC on-product labeling. Wood for these collections is sourced from forests within 100 to 500 miles of the plant. Ninety percent of the electricity used to power the manufacturing equipment comes from low emission sources.
According to Copeland President and CEO, Tim Copeland, the company is in the process of converting its heating plant from oil-fired hot water to wood-fired, using its own waste scrap as fuel. The scrap not used as fuel is reprocessed into wood pellets that are being sold locally to fuel wood stoves – a popular item in Vermont households.
Copeland was also recognized for urging its finish suppliers to formulate better water-based wood finishes – a key challenge for eco-minded furniture producers. Further, the company is taking steps to reduce the use of non-recyclable materials in product packaging and is posting its entire product catalog on its website rather than printing hundreds of copies for retail customers.
Copeland was awarded a $2,500 check from Cargill’s BiOH® polyols business unit to be donated to the charity of the company’s choice. Copeland chose to add another $2,500 to the amount, so $1,000 could be contributed to each of the following: Bradford Conservation Commission, Bradford Food Shelf, Orange East Senior Center, and the Bradford Library, all in Bradford, Vt.; and Dougscamp.org, Plymouth, Vt.
Copeland Furniture is a 32-year-old family owned and operated enterprise that produces quality bedroom, dining room, living room and home office furniture crafted from sustainably harvested hardwoods from the American Northern Forest. The company also holds the exclusive license to produce the furniture designs of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The BiOH experience offers resources for you to learn and participate in helping communities and the environment. It is brought to you by the BiOH polyols business — a maker of soy-based ingredients for foam. Please explore our site and then share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you!
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