HIGH POINT, N.C. - The American Home Furnishings Alliance today released a Responsible Sourcing Manual designed to help home furnishings companies establish comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

Many of the home furnishings industry's leading companies source from hundreds of factories around the globe. Even smaller companies may be doing business with a dozen or more overseas resources. Managing these supply chains and ensuring that they comply with current and emerging labor and environmental standards has fueled a growing interest in CSR programs.

AHFA's 28-page Responsible Sourcing Manual outlines the benefits of CSR programs in today's global marketplace, defines key program components, provides tips on implementation and governance, and outlines a process for assessing and monitoring suppliers.

A "resources" section provides sample supplier codes of conduct as well as an overview of key regulations helping to define the role of social responsibility in corporate America today, including the Lacey Act and the new California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, which went into effect on January 1.

The new Responsible Sourcing Manual is available in a downloadable PDF format for $249. AHFA member companies receive a significant discount. Orders can be placed online here.

The Responsible Sourcing Manual is available at no charge to participants in AHFA's Sustainable by Design (SBD) program, which helps home furnishings companies extend sustainable business practices throughout their supply chain. The SBD program includes social responsibility as one of four key areas for improving global environmental performance. Companies are required to develop policies that:

  • Define the corporate commitment to human rights and internationally-recognized labor standards;
  • Facilitate compliance with existing and emerging legal requirements related to social responsibility (including the Lacey Act and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act);
  • Identify the company's potential impact on communities and manage any potential risk; and,
  • Address the impact of the company's products on health and/or safety.

The Responsible Sourcing Manual provides a step-by-step guide to establishing a corporate social responsibility program that meets all four of the above requirements.

AHFA produced the Responsible Sourcing Manual in conjunction with UL Responsible Sourcing, a company formed in August 2011 when Underwriters Laboratories acquired the quality assurance business of STR Holdings, a global leader in providing consumer product quality assurance testing, auditing, inspection and responsible sourcing services. STR Quality Assurance has developed and implemented supplier monitoring programs for over 60 major brands and retailers, as well as over 500 manufacturers in a wide variety of sectors, including home furnishings, apparel, cosmetics, agriculture/food processing and production, electronics, jewelry and toys.

AHFA also established a member task force to assist in developing and reviewing the manual. Participants included Ann Clepper, marketing manager for Legacy Classic; Roger Jones, vice president of global logistics for Century Furniture; Rod Miller, director of environmental affairs for La-Z-Boy; Leanne Teasdale, sourced products manager for Flexsteel Inds.; and Grace Weaver, manager of international trade/regulatory compliance for FBN Logistics.

Source: American Home Furnishings Alliance

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.