ARCHBOLD, OH — RTA furniture giant Sauder Woodworking has been named a winner of the 2011 Sage Award for environmental excellence in the home furnishings field.

Since 2008 the Archbold, OH-based Sauder has reduced its domestic carbon footprint by nearly 32 percent. In 2011, the company launched a $3.2 million effort to further reduce its carbon footprint by 27 percent: a $1.7 million project to optimize its dust collection system, and $1.5 million to convert the plants’ lighting across 4 million square feet of space, to fluorescent.

Sauder’s facilities stretch over 4.5 million square feet of space and include a 1.4 million-square-foot distribution center, a recycling center and a co-generation facility located on the compound. According to the company, its co-generation plant consumes an average of 250 tons of wood waste daily, generating 4 megawatts of power. The company has not taken a load of wood waste to the landfill in more than a dozen years.

A sustainable manufacturer of furniture and ceiling tiles, Sauder said over 95 percent of the wood fiber used in its furniture components is from post-industrial or post-consumer recycled wood. In addition, Sauder said, the composite wood panels used in its products meet or exceed formaldehyde emissions levels set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). All coatings and adhesives are also environmentally friendly and are either water-based or 100 percent solids.

In the manufacturing arena, Sauder also uses the lean manufacturing technique of value stream mapping to analyze the production cycle and assess the best ways to improve the process flow and/or eliminate waste.

Sauder received its Sage Award at the November High Point Furniture Market. The Sage Awards are presented by the American Home Furnishings Alliance and Cargill’s BiOH polyols business.

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