LA-Z-BOY CASEGOODS COMPANIES ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE BY DESIGN CERTIFICATION
April 2009, High Point, NC – La-Z-Boy, Incorporated members, Kincaid Furniture Company, American Drew, and Lea Industries were certified as Sustainable by Design by the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA). Kincaid Furniture Company, the first casegoods manufacturer to achieve Sustainable by Design registration, is based in Hudson, North Carolina. In addition to the certification of its casegoods operation in Lenoir, North Carolina, its upholstery operation in Taylorsville, North Carolina also received certification as Sustainable by Design. American Drew and Lea Industries, based in High Point, North Carolina, were recognized for the certification of their manufacturing operation located in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
Among the first steps in the registration process was to have all of these domestic facilities complete AHFA’s environmental management system called EFEC for “Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture.” All locations completed EFEC in September, 2008. Hammary, the fourth company in La-Z-Boy’s Casegoods Division, is scheduled for an EFEC Board of Examiners review in April.
“The EFEC program is an excellent first step for Sustainable by Design, because it required us to analyze and gain a better understanding of the environmental impact of our processes, raw materials, and finished products on a facility-by-facility basis,” says Steven Kincaid, president of Kincaid Furniture as well as president of La-Z-Boy’s Casegoods Division.
La-Z-Boy Casegoods has been making measurable environmental improvements for several years.
At Kincaid Furniture Company:
• Over the past nine years, approximately 13,000 tons of wood dust have been recycled annually for use as boiler fuel;
• Energy use has been reduced about 18 percent per year since 2005;
• Natural gas consumption was reduced by 50 percent from 2007 to 2008;
• 87 percent of the company’s domestic lumber is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and another 10 percent of domestic lumber is from forests within the Appalachian Hardwood Verified Sustainable program.
• 82 percent of the company’s imported lumber (components, panels and dimension stock) is FSC certified.
At American Drew and Lea Industries:
• American Drew and Lea Industries domestically utilizes 100% Appalachian Hardwood Verified Sustainable lumber.
• Because of the AHFA's EFEC and SBD programs, American Drew and Lea Industries have realized a 12% reduction in electrical energy used over the past 2 years.
• Since our environmental commitment, American Drew and Lea Industries have reduced water usage by 3% or 300,000 gallons in the first year.
• 140 tons of solid waste was diverted from the landfill to a recycling center in the first year.
• Though supply chain management, many of American Drew and Lea Industries overseas suppliers are taking the initiative to incorporate their own environmental and social policies in order to improve business relationships.
“At the heart of EFEC is a corporate culture of conservation and environmental stewardship,” explains Bill Perdue, AHFA vice president. “Sustainable by Design extends that culture throughout a company’s entire supply chain.” To attain Sustainable by Design certification, these companies were required to conduct a rigorous evaluation of its corporate environmental footprint, as well as its global climate impact. For each key area on a lengthy “checklist,” the company established numerical goals and a system for evaluating annual achievement and establishing new goals. These key areas include:
• Energy conservation, water conservation, recycling and solid/hazardous waste minimization;
• Use of low VOC/low HAP coatings, renewable fuels, certified lumber, low-emitting UF resins;
• Greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint.
In March, Kincaid Furniture Company, American Drew, and Lea Industries documentation of all systems and measures were audited by the Sustainable by Design Board of Examiners. The companies will be subject to an annual maintenance audit in order to maintain its certification.
Kincaid Furniture Company, American Drew, and Lea Industries are now able to include the “Sustainable by Design” logo in their marketing materials. The companies also will be promoted on AHFA’s consumer website, www.findyourfurniture.com, in an upcoming new section designed to educate consumers about environmentally-friendly companies and products in the home furnishings industry.
AHFA’s first member company to achieve Sustainable by Design status was upholstery furniture manufacturer, C.R. Laine of Hickory, N.C.
The American Home Furnishings Alliance – located in High Point, N.C., and Washington, D.C. – is the largest association of home furnishings companies in the world and represents more than 240 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, as well as nearly 200 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.
Founded in 1946, Kincaid Furniture Company is the nation’s leading manufacturer and marketer of solid wood furniture. Kincaid’s growth is based on a commitment to quality solid wood case goods, fashionable upholstery, and the best service the industry has to offer. Kincaid Furniture Company is part of La-Z-Boy Incorporated’s family of companies. For more information on Kincaid, please visit www.kincaidfurniture.com.
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