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2010 Sage Awards Deadline Is September 10th

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The American Home Furnishings Alliance announced that the deadline for entering the 2010 Sage Award recognizing environmental excellence in the home furnishings and bedding industries is Friday, September 10.

The entry form and entry guidelines are posted at www.SageAward.org. Manufacturers, retailers and suppliers to the residential furnishings and bedding industries are eligible to enter.

Now in its third year, the Sage Award program gives industry-wide recognition to companies whose environmental leadership illuminates a pathway of improvement that others in the industry can follow. Companies applying for the award should be able to demonstrate measurable progress in:

• Reducing their environmental footprint;
• Expanding their positive social impact; and,
• Operating a profitable business.

The online entry form includes three parts: a cover page containing company contact information; an executive summary describing the company’s primary business objectives and environmental accomplishments; and, finally, a detailed questionnaire that explains sustainable business practices, environmental accomplishments and social impact with specific examples.

There is no cost to enter the Sage Award competition.

Three 2010 finalists will be announced during the October 16-21 High Point Market. The winner will be celebrated December 1 at the all-industry Sustainability Summit at the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park in Asheville, N.C. 

The Sage Award is sponsored by the American Home Furnishings Alliance and Cargill’s BiOH polyols business. The organizations emphasize that applicants do not need to be AHFA members nor users of Cargill’s BiOH polyols to enter.

The 2010 Sage Award entries will be judged by a distinguished panel of judges that has been expanded to include experts both inside and outside the residential furniture industry. They include:  Ray Allegrezza, editor-in-chief of Furniture/Today; Mary Frye, president of Home Furnishings Independents Association; Ken Smith, managing partner, Smith Leonard; Heather Gadonniex, managing partner with MindClick SGM, a San Francisco-based consultancy specializing in sustainable business; Leslie Guevarra, associate editor at Greener World Media, publisher of GreenBiz.com, GreenerBuildings.com and GreenerDesign.com.

Also, Susan Inglis, executive director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council; Robyn Griggs Lawrence, editor-in-chief of Natural Home magazine; Jean Nayer, former editor-in-chief of Woman’s Day Special Interest Magazines and author of “Green Living by Design”; Richard Prisco, professor of industrial design in the Department of Technology at Appalachian State University; Ryan Trainer, executive vice president of the International Sleep Products Association; and Steve Walker, assistant director of the Furniture Manufacturing and Management Center, North Carolina State University.

“There are three great reasons for companies to enter the 2010 Sage Awards,” says Andy Counts, CEO of AHFA. “First, you can help ‘raise the bar’ – not just for your own company, but for the industry. Sharing the challenges and accomplishments experienced along your environmental journey helps others in their quest toward more sustainable operations. The end result is a better environment for us all.”

The second reason is the opportunity for excellent publicity for your company, Counts explains. “All three finalists receive a customized video spotlighting their environmental accomplishments. The videos are featured on the Sage Award website for a year. Plus, all three finalists receive a complimentary registration to the all-industry Sustainability Summit and the opportunity to share their story with Summit attendees.”

Finally, the Sage Award winner receives the opportunity to “pay it forward,” Counts says. “The winner receives additional exposure in the trade and consumer press, a beautiful, custom-designed award to display at corporate offices, and a $2,500 check from Cargill to donate to the non-profit environmental effort or charity of their choice.”  

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.

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