HIGH POINT, N.C. – The American Home Furnishings Alliance announced to day that member company Furniture Brands International has completed EFEC registration at all of its domestic facilities, including plants, warehouses and offices.

EFEC – or Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture – is the home furnishings industry’s environmental management system. The program was developed by AHFA in 1999. Furniture Brands International has registered 18 separate f acilities operated by Broyhill, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Hickory Chair, Lane, Lane Venture, Maitland Smith, Pearson and Thomasville.

“Our reductions in utility usage and waste going to landfills have been significant,” said David Stout, director, environmental compliance, for Furniture Brands. “Everyone has been surprised to see the extent of success of our EFEC programs in the amount of materials that can be diverted from landfills by reducing and recycling waste.”

Stout also noted that enthusiasm for the EFEC program has been contagious throughout the Furniture Brands network of plants and distribution centers. “As our p eople started seeing positive results, they got excited about the EFEC program,” he said.

Ray Johnson, senior vice president of global supply chain for Furniture Brands, added, “It is amazing to see what can be accomplished when we get all of our employees involved. This was truly a company - wide initiative with many bottom - line benefits.”

To achieve EFEC registration, a facility must:  1.) Improve management of resources and raw materials; 2.) Reduce energy and water consumption; and, 3.) Reduce waste disposal and as sociated costs. The last Furniture Brands facilities to be registered included two Lane Furniture plants, a Lane distribution center, and a Lane office/warehousing facility , all in Mississippi.

Lane’s Belden and Saltillo plants both produce motion upholstery. Kevin Keith, Belden’s plant manager, said the key to the EFEC program’s success was empowering his employees and then “getting out of their way” and allowing them to generate and implement energy - saving and waste - reduction ideas.

Altogether, EFEC is in place at 81 different U.S. facilities, including manufacturing plants, warehouses and corporate headquarters buildings in 15 states and Mexico. AHFA member companies pay nothing to enter the program.

A comprehensive guidance document helps steer the EFEC implementation team at each facility through the steps required for registration. In addition, assistance and training is available from the AHFA professional staff. An annual maintenance audit is necessary to remain in the program.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus about 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide. AHFA helps develop voluntary environmental, product safety and construction standards for residential furnishings and advocates on behalf of the residential furniture industry on legislative and regulatory issues that impact the health of the industry.

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