HOUSTON, MS – Franklin Corporation has implemented the home furnishings industry’s comprehensive environmental management system known as EFEC in a 1.1 million square foot manufacturing facility in Houston, Miss., that includes the company’s corporate headquarters.

EFEC – or “Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture” – is a voluntary program created for the residential furniture industry by the American Home Furnishings Alliance. To achieve registration, companies must:

* Improve management of resources and raw materials;
* Reduce energy and water consumption;
* Reduce waste disposal and associated costs; and,
* Increase recycling efforts.

“Every viable business today is seeking ways to drive down costs in work processes and raw material usage,” notes Franklin Chairman and CEO Hassell Franklin. “It just makes sense to implement a program to measure and reduce (our) environmental impact. EFEC was tailor-made for not only reducing solid waste and water usage in our facilities, but also for increasing our employees’ awareness of environmental issues.”

Since initiating implementation of the EFEC program at the beginning of 2010, the Houston facility has reduced its landfill waste by 14 percent – despite working more hours in 2010 than 2009.

“We achieved this by reusing many items in our facility, recycling as many items as possible, and making a push to bale all scrap cardboard throughout the facility,” explains Carl Daniel, safety and environmental director and head of the EFEC management team. By baling 21 percent more cardboard in 2010 over 2009, the company not only reduced its waste-to-landfill but also generated recycling revenue.

“Franklin is also proud of its truck fleet’s fuel economy,” Daniel continues. “Our logistics department challenged our drivers to reach a 6.5 mile per gallon goal. New trucks with emission control systems designed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce the amount of exhaust were very instrumental in helping our fleet achieve their goal.”
In 2011, the Franklin EFEC team is shifting its focus to energy consumption and exploring new ways to improve energy efficiency, as well as ways to reduce water usage.

“The most challenging part of our EFEC journey has been educating our employees,” Daniel notes. “We have over 1,200 employees here at Franklin, and educating them about EFEC proved to be a daunting task. However, we worked hard using handouts, weekly communication meetings, posters and even the recycling stations to give our employees an idea of the importance of being ‘green’ both at work and at home.”

EFEC – which requires participants to make continual improvements in order to retain their registration – has been implemented at 50 different locations, including factories, warehouses and headquarters buildings, in 11 states.

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The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., is the largest association of home furnishings companies in the world and represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus about 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

SOURCE: AHFA

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