Posted by The BiOH Team on February 14, 2013
Mattress industry executives and management will get to see and learn about the environmental, manufacturing and sleep comfort benefits of mattresses made with BiOH polyols when they visit the Latexco booth at the upcoming ISPA Industry Conference, to be held March 6-7 at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, Florida.
Latexco will feature its BiOH Gel Latex, a non-toxic latex foam, which was introduced during last year’s ISPA EXPO. The Latexco product is available in a wave pattern to provide pressure-point relief and back support. The high density of the gel evenly distributes pressure, while pinholes in the surface allow balanced ventilation. Cooler sleep is an advantage of BiOH polyol technology.
“BiOH Gel Latex has clear benefits for the environment, but it also has other features, such zoning and load-spreading flexibilities,” comments Kevin Callinan, vice president of sales for Latexco, which has worldwide headquarters in Tielt, Belgium. “Since all of our bio gel toppers are open-cell products, we can adjust the zoning to maximize air flow and enhance thermal-regulation properties.”
Today’s environmentally conscious consumers are increasingly seeking green products for their homes. BiOH Gel is produced with BiOH polyols which completely replaces 100 percent of the petroleum based Polyols used in most urethane gels. Preliminary life cycle analysis indicated that manufacturing BiOH polyols requires 60 percent less non-renewable energy and results in less global warming emissions than manufacturing the petroleum polyols we replace.
For every one million pounds of BiOH polyols used, more than 2200 barrels of crude oil are saved. Considering that the industry uses billions of pounds of petroleum polyols, BiOH polyols can have an impact on using less petroleum.
Posted by The BiOH Team on January 24, 2013
We are very excited about the Sustainable Furnishings Council’s One Good World program, which includes its One Good Guide Winter 2013 for the Las Vegas Market, January 28-February 1 at the Las Vegas Design Center. This guide will make it easy for buyers to find eco-friendly products at the Market.
To participate in the One Good World program, exhibitors must have submitted an application which included providing documentation that at least two of their collections meet very stringent benchmark criteria as well as standards for low formaldehyde emissions.
The benchmark criteria for latex or bio hybrid foam products require that 100 percent of the foam used is latex or bio hybrid, which reduces petroleum use. Qualifying Las Vegas Market One Good World exhibitors displaying products made with soy-based BiOH Polyols will include G. Romano, Inc. (B-0701), Lazar Industries (B-0612) and Rowe Fine Furniture (C-1312).
We also encourage you to attend the Specialty Sleep Association’s panel presentation, What’s in YOUR mattress? on Monday from 4-5 p.m. Moderated by “eco-chick” designer Sarah Barnard, the panel will discuss growing sales with consumer disclosure labeling.
Interest in eco-friendly materials continues to flourish. We look forward to exploring the Las Vegas Market next week!
Posted by Kelsey Ness on November 12, 2012
Claims that a product helps the environment are enticing to consumers. In fact, the 2012 Green Home Furnishings Consumer Study found that people may be buying less but they are buying eco-friendly. Now the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a 314-page update to its Green Guides, which are intended to help eliminate confusion among consumers about “green” marketing claims by requiring marketers and advertisers to use clearer, more detailed language.
The Guides also help marketers avoid making sweeping claims without proof or qualification. With the furniture and bedding industry using an increasing amount of “green” materials – from recycled wood to soy-based polyols – it is essential that you understand how the finished products in your store’s inventory may now be marketed and advertised.
What are Green Guides?
First issued in 1992, the new Green Guides clarify and modify guidance on environmental claims, some of which have become increasingly more common since the last revisions such as carbon offsets, non-toxic claims, and claims that products are made from recyclable or renewable materials. While not enforceable by law, the FTC can take action under the FTC Act if a marketer makes an environmental claim inconsistent with these Green Guides.
Helping you to avoid over-stating the truth
In issuing these Green Guides, the FTC wants to help marketers avoid making sweeping, over-the-top claims that can’t be substantiated. For example, simply stating that a product is “eco-friendly” may be leaving too much up to consumers’ interpretation. The Guides further state that, “Marketers should not state or imply environmental benefits if the benefits are negligible” and clarify what information may be needed to substantiate a claim.
Say, for instance, that a manufacturer increases the recycled content of his product from two to three percent. He then states on his label: “contains 50% more recycled content than before”. While the claim is technically true, it likely gives the false impression that the manufacturer has significantly increased the use of recycled materials.
Some of the Green Guides that may apply to the furniture and bedding industries
• Recycled content: Do you carry reclaimed or recycled wood furniture? For products that contain used, reconditioned or re-manufactured components, the Green Guides state that, “Marketers should make recycled content claims only for materials that have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process or after consumer use.” If a product is only partially constructed of recycled content, “Marketers should qualify claims for products made partly from recycled material. For example, “Made from 30% recycled material”. The Green Guides further advise that, “Marketers whose products contain used, reconditioned or re-manufactured components should qualify their recycled content clearly and prominently to avoid deception about its components.”
• Recyclable content: Mattresses are recyclable, right? The recycling language used may depend on your location. A product should not be marketed as “recyclable” unless “it can be collected, separated or otherwise recovered from the waste stream through an established recycling program for reuse, or use in manufacturing or assembling another item.” When recycling facilities are available to at least 60 percent of consumers or communities where the item is sold, marketers can make unqualified recyclable claims. Otherwise, a marketer can state, “This product may not be recyclable in your area.” If recycling facilities for a product are available to only a few consumers, the FDA says a marketer should use stronger qualifying language: “This product is recyclable only in the few communities that have appropriate recycling programs.”
• Made with renewable materials: In its review process, the FTC discovered that consumers often misinterpreted this claim to mean that the product was recyclable, made with recycled content or biodegradable. To minimize the confusion, the Green Guides recommend that marketers “identify the material used clearly and prominently, and explain why it is renewable. For example, “Our flooring is made from 100% bamboo, which grows at the same rate, or faster, than we use it.” By identifying the material used and explaining why it is renewable, the marketer has minimized the risk of unintended claims. New BiOH technology allows our customers to create products with typical levels of renewable content at greater than 50 percent.
• Carbon offsets: It wasn’t all that long ago that the concept of a carbon footprint was foreign to most people. Now most everyone has a general idea of what it means. In its Green Guides, the FDA cautions that marketers should, “have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support carbon offset claims. They should use appropriate accounting methods to ensure they measure emission reductions properly and don’t sell them more than once.”
Preliminary life cycle analysis indicated that manufacturing BiOH polyols requires 60 percent less non-renewable energy and results in less global warming emissions than manufacturing the petroleum polyols we replace. Additionally, for every one million pounds of BiOH polyols used, more than 2200 barrels of crude oil are saved. Considering that the industry uses billions of pounds of petroleum polyols, BiOH polyols can have an impact on using less petroleum.
To view the complete Green Guides, information for business, and legal resources related to environmental marketing, go to business.ftc.gov. A summary of the changes is available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2012/10/greenguidessummary.pdf.
Posted by admin on September 14, 2012
Last month’s Las Vegas Summer Market was one of the strongest ever! Dozens of mattress and bedding manufacturers debuted new products and innovations. Earth-friendly and consumer-friendly was a theme woven throughout the event, from re-usable mattress shipping cartons to products designed to dramatically enhance the sleep experience. Mattresses that conform to body contours, and new variations on sleep products made with gel, continued to be among the hottest trends. Manufacturers are clearly building on the momentum that we saw earlier this year at High Point Market.
We scoured reports from several industry publications to uncover which manufacturers and products had the greatest impact on attendees. We weren’t surprised to discover that several of our customer partners made big impressions. Among them were:
• Comfort Solutions: Emphasized gel, latex and toppers in its expanded features and price points. Its Natural Response collection now has four models, each containing Gel Response latex. The Natural Response Luxury bed features a reversible/removable topper made with gel foam and latex layers. Its iMattress beds feature iFusion gel foam and Gel Response latex.
• Sealy: Introduced a premium pillowtop mattress to its gel memory foam line, the Posturepedic Optimum mattress collection. Sealy also announced the addition of gel foam to its more affordable Sealy Comfort Series Memory foam collection. In addition, you’ll want to watch for new poured gel technology products by Comfort Revolution, Sealy’s specialty sleep partner, to be introduced early next year.
• Serta: Unveiled a new Trump Home mattress collection, which features its proprietary iSeries gel memory technology. It also revealed two new iSeries constructions, one with three layers of gel foams (KoolComfort Memory Foam, Cool Action Gel Energy Foam and Cool Action Gel Memory Foam) and the other with two layers of gel foam.
• Spring Air: Made its World Market Center showroom debut by showcasing its newly acquired Natura World and NexGel product lines.
Consumer demand for better sleep is resulting in skyrocketing interest in gel/memory foam products. Bedding manufacturers are turning to soy-based BiOH polyols because they are made from renewable resources, reduce the need for petroleum-based chemicals, and help create “cool sleep products” that easily fill the needs in today’s bedding marketplace.
Posted by Kelsey Ness on August 14, 2012
There is renewed debate about the safety of fire retardant chemicals used in mattresses and foam furniture cushions. At issue: Ensuring that these products meet fire safety standards versus any potential health risks associated with the flame retardant chemicals used for them to meet those standards.
The long-term implications aren’t clear; changes are possible at state and national levels. The current national open flame mattress flammability standard, approved unanimously by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has been in place since July 1, 2007. Its intention is to give people more time to escape from fires started by such things as matches, lighters and candles. Mattresses must currently meet both of these measures:
• The peak rate of heat release for the mattress set must not exceed 200 kilowatt at any time during the 30 minute test; and
• The total heat release must not exceed 15 megajoule for the first 10 minutes of the test.
According to the Sleep Products Safety Council, the CPSC researched the potential chronic health risks for a variety of available flame resistant materials that can be used to meet these current standards. Some of the materials have been used in other consumer products for decades including food packaging and eye drops. Details on the safety analysis can be found on the SPSC’s website.
Legislation currently under review
In California, there is an effort to modernize Technical Bulletin 117 (TB 117). The goal of Assembly Bill 2197, authored by Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), is to pass new standards that would increase fire safety without the use of toxic and untested chemicals. Proponents believe that the flame retardants used to meet the current TB 117 standards are a threat to public health, and that there are more effective ways of preventing fires that do not pose this level of health risk.
And last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Inez Tenenbaum urged federal lawmakers to speed the removal of hazardous flame retardants from new upholstered furniture. Partially in response to a four-part series of articles that appeared last spring in the Chicago Tribune, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will conduct a broad investigation into the flame retardants used. There is also a call within the U.S. Senate to conduct a sweeping overhaul the nation’s chemical safety law, The Toxic Substances Control act, which could impact not only mattresses and upholstered furniture but also electronics, toys, household products and cosmetics.
The furniture industry responds
Earlier this year, Furniture Today brought the debate in perspective by explaining that much of the information now making headlines has been known for quite some time. In his column, writer Heath E. Combs remarked, “Furniture manufacturers and trade association officials, some of whom have been working on the FR (flame retardant) issue for decades, said much of what the Tribune reported was already widely known in the industry. Still, many welcome any new look at whether FR laws and regulations take the best approach and are effectively enforced.”
Combs’ article cites Cambridge of California owner Ben Nielsen, who is a board member of the California Furniture Manufacturers Association. He is quoted as saying, “The (Chicago Tribune) article itself, after many, many years, got all the facts on the table of who the players were,” he said. “We always thought that behind the scenes, there were different people involved – the chemical people, the tobacco people, fire marshals – it got all the facts on the table.” Nielsen added that he supports a national furniture flammability standard that would result in a fair playing field for all manufacturers. He also supports more aggressive efforts to alert consumers –including having hangtags on every piece of upholstery shipped – about the dangers of upholstery catching fire due to cigarettes, candles and matches.
This debate is far from over. We will continue to monitor the situation and report updates.
Posted by Kelsey Ness on July 16, 2012
Mattress recycling is a somewhat controversial topic. Nearly all of us know of operators who participate in the highly questionable, and potentially hazardous, practice of re-covering and re-selling mattresses to consumers for high-profit sales. BiOH stands with the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) as it seeks legislation to prevent this from happening.
The recycling issues
Some reports estimate that Americans dispose of some 20-40 million mattresses each year. Most end up in landfill, where they take up a significant amount of space and their chemical flame retardants pose potential contamination hazards. Some disreputable and deceptive companies are taking advantage of the situation by simply recovering old mattresses and selling them as new. It is, as one Furniture Today blogger noted, “a dirty little problem.”
When not properly sterilized, renovated mattresses have also been tied to hygienic problems include dust mites, bedbugs as well as forms of human contamination.
The answer lies in legislation
Most mattress components are recyclable. The used foam, for example, can be transformed into carpet underlay, and the cotton has many textile applications. However, as some ISPA spokespeople point out, collecting, dismantling and recycling discarded used mattresses can be a complicated process. Not only are mattresses bulky and difficult to transport, but the materials are often difficult to separate.
For a number of years, the ISPA has encouraged responsible recycling of used mattresses, and supported the development of legitimate recycling operations. The ISPA is currently leading the push for a federal mattress recycling program, rather than state-level solutions.
“(The) ISPA firmly believes that the best approach to efficient and legitimate mattress recycling lies in federal legislation. A federal recycling program would permit efficiencies and economies of scale that are not possible at a state or local level,” commented ISPA President Ryan Trainer. “It would apply consistent collection and processing practices across the country that would benefit all parties concerned by driving down recycling costs for both consumers and manufacturers while also increasing recycling rates.”
In May 2012, the ISPA announced that it supported the decision by Connecticut legislators not to enact a mandatory used mattress recycling law, agreeing that the bill would have imposed unreasonable costs and burdens on mattress manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Similarly, in June 2012, the ISPA opposed Rhode Island bills that it says would have “imposed unreasonable costs and logistical burdens on the industry.” The state’s legislature adjourned without voting on these bills.
BiOH agrees with the ISPA that national legislation must address the needs of consumers, retailers and manufacturers under one unified, consistent and efficient program. Trainer says, “The association will continue to work with state and local governments to address the mattress disposal challenges that municipalities face while continuing to advocate for a broad-ranging federal solution.”
Legislation proposed by the ISPA, called the Used Mattress Recycling Act, which would create a mattress recycling council comprised of manufacturers, retailers, consumers and government representatives charged with developing a robust recycling program; collect a small, visible fee for mattress recovery at the retail level to help fund legitimate mattress recycling operations as well as the program administration; combat illegitimate and dangerous mattress recycling operations; and operate with federal oversight from the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
We will monitor and report on news from the ISPA on this very important issue.
Posted by Kelsey Ness on June 13, 2012
After reviewing the 2011 International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) Report, and looking at the more recent March 2012 numbers, we are very optimistic about the state of the U.S. mattress industry. We are particularly encouraged by the numbers related to specialty and non-innerspring mattresses, such as those made with BiOH® polyols. In addition to foam (latex, visco-elastics/memory foam and other foam cares), the non-innerspring category also includes air, hybrid-type flotation ensembles and electric adjustable ensembles.
The 2011 ISPA Reports: “Sales remain below pre-recession levels, and several important head winds still buffet the economy, but consumers are returning to mattress and furniture stores in growing numbers.”
Some figures that popped out at us from the Report:
• U.S. mattress producers shipped 34.9 million units in 2011, an increase of 0.2 percent over 2010; however the value of U.S. mattress shipments increased 7.7 percent in 2011.
• Geographically, the North Central region experienced the largest sales value increase (8.7 percent) as well as the most substantial unit gain (5 percent).
• In the fourth quarter of 2011, domestic mattress shipments were up 15.8 percent.
Our attention was drawn to the specialty mattress category, which appears to be carrying the industry’s recovery. The ISPA reports, “… the dollar value of non-innerspring mattresses increased substantially (29.6 percent) during 2011.” Market share for the non-innerspring segment also improved. The ISPA report says that it accounted for, “20.4 percent of total mattress sales value (compared to 25.2 percent in 2010) and 13.8 percent of units (compared to 11.2 percent in 2010).
How’s this year progressing?
The momentum continues, especially for non-innerspring mattresses. We jumped onto the ISPA’s website to check the numbers for the first quarter of 2012. According to the ISPA’s Bedding Barometer survey results, non-innerspring mattresses held their own against a decline in other segments. From January through March, non-innerspring mattresses experienced a 43.9 percent unit gain vs. a total unit gain of 10.1 percent for all mattress types and foundations; and a 49.4 percent increase in sales value vs. 19.2 percent increase in sales value for all mattress types and foundations.
This demonstrates that innovations in better sleep technology are attracting the attention of American consumers, and a good night’s rest is something that they value.
Posted by Kelsey Ness on March 15, 2012
It is getting easier for consumers to learn exactly what’s inside a natural or “green” mattress. The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA), as part of its Environmental Program for Consumer Education, Retailer Training and Truth in “Green” Marketing, has created a mattress labeling program designed to help consumers make better informed mattress buying decisions.
The SSA is a non-profit advocacy and education association advocating and promoting the full spectrum of new technology bedding using both synthetic and green or sustainable solutions. Cargill Inc, producer of BiOH® polyols, is a full founding member of the SSA’s Environmental & Safety Program/Green Initiative Board of Governors.
Building the foundation for new industry standards
The SSA’s labeling program may one day result in more uniform labeling standards for green manufacturers, and more consistent, industry-wide definitions for what constitutes natural, green and sustainable.
The three-step seals and consumer discloser label tags appear on mattresses from manufacturers who join the program. They help consumers to understand the environmental and safety attributes of participating manufacturers’ products. Specifically, they make it easier for consumers to see at a glance:
• The minimum environmental and safety compliance levels that apply to that particular product.
• The material content by percentage for components in the mattress. Manufacturers certify what natural materials have been used and list those materials by weight. If the manufacturer claims any part of the mattress is organic, it has to substantiate that claim. Periodic product testing authorized by the SSA will help ensure compliance.
So far, products and manufacturers that have earned the SSA’s Environmental & Safety Program Seal of Approval are: Boyd Specialty Sleep, Natura World, Naturepedic and Spring Air International.
Manufacturers pay a fee to the SSA to use the label and seal. There are three different levels of seals that may be used.
To display the Level I seal, a manufacturer must:
• Disclose materials used in construction and percentages of natural/bio-based and/or pre-consumer recycled content if applicable
• Achieve a minimum of 20 percent of natural/biobased or pre-consumer recycled content in component categories of fabric and quilt
• Participate in an annual survey to identify carbon footprint issues and commit to continuous improvement
• Meet all federal safety flammability requirements
• Meet all safety requirements for children’s products if applicable
• Provide a warranty for the product
For the Level II seal, a manufacturer must meet all the requirements of the first threshold and in addition, the products must:
• Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 20 percent natural/biobased, pre-consumer recycled content material, and/or steel in component categories of fabric and quilt and 10 percent for core
• Certify the top fabric (closest to consumer during sleep) through either Oeko-Tex Standard 100 or Global Organic Textile Standard
• Flexible polyurethane foam products must achieve CertiPUR-US certification
• Latex foam products must achieve Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification.
The Level III seal is the highest that can be achieved. To meet the Level III requirements, a manufacturer must comply with the previous two levels’ requirements and:
• Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 70 percent of natural/biobased and/or pre-consumer recycled content material in component categories of fabric and quilt
• Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 50 percent natural/biobased, pre-consumer recycled and/or steel for core
• Certify the final mattress through Oeko-Tex Standard 100 or Global Organic Textile Standard
• Test the mattress for VOCs emissions
The SSA is currently considering proposals for a Level IV of the program. In addition, the SSA has developed an Environmental Glossary Marketing Guide, available on its website, explaining many definitions and regulations governing the “green” industry.
Posted by Kelsey Ness on January 16, 2012
We are so excited about attending this year’s Las Vegas Market, January 30-February 3 at the huge World Market Center. Each year, there are always plenty of new and exciting things to see and do, so even if you have attended in the past, you’ll want to spend time planning out this year’s adventure.
On opening day, make the First Look Exhibit in the Building B lobby one of your first stops. You will be able to pick up a copy of the First Look Book (limited quantities available) and see a showcase of the new product trends to be discovered at the show.
Speaking of trendy, we’re looking forward to the Food Truck Festival, to be held opening day at 6 p.m. in the Grand Plaza. The courtyard will be transformed into a four-wheeled, gourmet food fiesta. There will also be a DJ spinning favorites from the 50s and 60s. Should be a fun evening!
If you prefer something a little more low key, check out high tea, taking place Monday through Thursday in C512 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. You’ll enjoy complimentary tea sandwiches, cocktails and a selection of gourmet teas.
First Time Buyers Orientation
If you haven’t attended this event, this special orientation can be extremely helpful. It takes place from on January 30th from 10-11 a.m. in room C368, and is designed to help you maximize your buying time. You’ll get a rundown on all of the resources, destinations, seminars and events happening at the Las Vegas Market.
Seminars and Continuing Education Credits
There are a number of valuable seminars planned. One that sounds intriguing to us is LuxeEco and One Good World: Designing the Future, happening on January 30th from 11 a.m. to noon. This is a panel discussion among the Sustainable Furnishings Council’s distinguished DESIGNINGGreen Leaders, and should be quite informative. It’s also worth 0.1 CEU.
Verified Eco-Friendly Exhibitors
Perusing the list, we found many eco-friendly exhibitors including Artists Guild of America, Jordan Spence Design, Matt Downer Designs and a company called Groovystuff, based in Dallas, that features seven distinct one-of-a-kind collections. You’ll find everything from artwork to bedding and decorative accessories made with materials that are kind to Mother Nature. Of course, be sure to watch for products made with BiOH. Our partners who will be exhibiting at the show include: Broyhill (A1053), Harden (A901), Hickory Springs (B-0918), Klaussner (A847, A801), Comfort Solutions (A538, A542, A546) and Natura (A946).
We love the Buyer Lounges, located in each building. They are a great place to rendezvous, relax and grab a snack. Each building also has a Business Center where you can connect with your home office via Internet, phone or fax. This is also where you can make copies or send mail. The Internet Lounges in Buildings A and B have WiFi and communications devices available.
Transportation and Concierge Services
The complimentary M Line shuttles run all day between the World Market Center and select host hotels. Once you arrive at the event, convenient skybridges connect all of the buildings. If you want to take in more of the sights and sounds of Las Vegas, there is a Vegas.com computer kiosk concierge in Building A where you can find dining options and even buy show tickets.
One last word of advice: wear comfortable shoes! The World Market Center is a five million square foot campus!
Posted by Kelsey Ness on October 31, 2011
The BiOH® Polyols team extends our congratulations to Sauder Woodworking, which was named the 2011 winner of the home furnishing industry’s prestigious Sage Award for environmental excellence. The award was given last month during the Open Day Press Breakfast at the High Point Market. Other finalists included Crypton Super Fabrics and Leggett & Platt Home Furniture Components. This was the fourth consecutive year that 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 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
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.
North America’s leading producer of ready-to-assemble furniture, Sauder Woodworking, embodies these environmental requirements and many more. Long before “sustainability” was a global concern, Sauder Woodworking’s reuse of scrap material and efficient, RTA shipping was setting a standard for sustainable business practices for the future.
Today the company uses:
- Over 95 percent of the wood fiber used to produce the wood components of Sauder furniture comes from post-industrial or post-consumer recycled wood.
- All engineered wood components meet or exceed California’s formaldehyde emissions limits.
- The composite wood panels used in Sauder furniture use up to 95 percent of the wood resource, compared to an average of 60 to 65 percent that is used when constructing solid wood furniture.
- Back panels are constructed using 100 percent post-consumer recycled material.
- All coatings and adhesives are either water based or are 100 percent solids. None are solvent based.
Since 2010 alone, the company has invested over $2 million in processes to recover and reuse wood waste; $1.5 million to convert lighting in over 4 million square feet of manufacturing space; and $1.7 million in a system to optimize air flow and reduce energy use.
Finalist, Leggett & Platt Home Furniture Components, has been producing furniture components for over 125 years and sells its engineered components to over 1,500 furniture makers worldwide. All 13 of the company’s Home Furniture Components facilities in six states are implementing A-H-F-A’s EFEC – “Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture” environmental management system. Since beginning the efforts in 2008, the 13 facilities have realized enormous reductions in energy and water use. They also have reduced the use of raw materials and packaging and minimized waste production. Packaging innovations alone reduced tons of corrugated waste and saved tens of thousands of dollars.
Finalist Crypton Super Fabric is a specially engineered fabric system with an integrated moisture barrier. Unlike applied fabric protection coatings, Crypton’s environmentally friendly, patented process is engineered into the fabric, encapsulating every fiber. The company’s manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain, N.C., leverages best practices and manufacturing technologies to consume less water and energy, emit less pollution and reduce the use of packaging materials. The company also supports the development of the Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric.
The competition for this year’s award was challenging. The incredibly talented judges representing furniture and bedding industry leaders, environmental journalists, sustainability experts & the furniture industry business press were:
- Sharon Bradley, Executive Director of the Wester Home Furnishings Association
- Heather Gadonniex, Environmental Product Declaration program manager of the Underwriters Laboratories
- Leslie Guevarra, associate editor for Greener World Media, the online publishing group founded by Joel Makower
- Jessica Kellner, 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”
- Powell Slaughter, Editor at Home Furnishings Business
- Ryan Trainer, President of the International Sleep Products Association
- Steve Walker, Assistant Director of 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.
Andy Counts, CEO of AHFA with finalist from Crypton Fabrics and Kelsey Ness, Cargill's BiOH Marketing Specialist
Andy Counts, CEO of AHFA, with 2011 Sage Award Winner Kevin Sauder from Sauder Woodworking and Kelsey Ness, Cargill's BiOH Marketing Specialist
Andy Counts, CEO of AHFA with the Leggett & Platt finalists and Kelsey Ness, Cargill's BiOH Marketing Specialist