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Entries Sought For 2011 “Sage” Award For Environmental Excellence

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The American Home Furnishings Alliance announced that it is accepting entries for its "Sage" Award for environmental excellence. Now in its fourth year, the Sage Award program was designed to recognize environmental leadership at home furnishings and bedding companies. Entries are sought from companies that have not only reduced the environmental impact of their operations, but are also on a pathway of continual improvement.

The 2011 winner and up to two finalists will be announced during the October 22-27 High Point Market in High Point, N.C. All three companies will then be featured in their own spotlight video designed to capture the spirit of their unique efforts to balance people, planet and profits.

The 2011 winner and finalists will be honored and their spotlight videos featured at the home furnishings industry’s 2012 Sustainability Summit (date and location to be announced), sponsored by the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA).

Sage Award entrants are asked to complete a detailed questionnaire that explains their sustainable business practices and documents their environmental accomplishments. The questionnaire also asks applicants to provide specific examples of community involvement or other forms of social responsibility and requests information that demonstrates that the company is financially secure.

The Sage Award program is open to all manufacturers, retailers and suppliers to the home furnishings and bedding industries. The 2011 entry form can be found at www.SageAward.org. Entries are submitted electronically.

There is no cost to enter the Sage Awards. Entries must be received via email by midnight Eastern Standard Time on Friday, September 2, 2011.

In addition to an overview of the Sage Award criteria and the official entry form, the Sage Award website features videos spotlighting last year’s Sage Award winner, Zenda Leather, and finalists Flexsteel Industries and TLS by Design, as well as the 2009 and 2008 winners and finalists.

In addition to the spotlight video, the winner receives a $2,500 check to be donated to the non-profit environmental effort or charity of the recipient’s choice, along with a custom-designed Sage Award plaque. The winner and both finalists also receive complimentary registrations to the 2012 Sustainability Summit.

“There are three great reasons for companies to enter the Sage Awards,” says Patricia Bowling, vice president of communications for AHFA. “First, it’s an opportunity to raise the bar of environmental stewardship and activism within our industry. By sharing the challenges and accomplishments they have experienced along their environmental journey, entrants help other companies in their quest toward more sustainable operations.”

The second reason to enter is the opportunity to receive well-deserved recognition for environmental accomplishments. “Implementing sustainable practices throughout a home furnishings or bedding company is never a one-man or one-woman show,” Bowling notes. “It takes commitment, involvement, enthusiasm and persistence at every level, and winning the Sage Award is a great way for your entire workforce to enjoy recognition for their efforts.”

Finally, Sage Award winners receive $2,500 they can use to “pay it forward,” says Bowling. 2009 winner Copeland Furniture of Bradford, Vt., chose to add another $2,500 to the amount, so $1,000 could be contributed to five different organizations in Vermont, among them a conservation commission and a food pantry. The 2010 winner, Zenda Leather, split its award between a family guidance center in Hickory, N.C., and a U.S.-based non-profit that helps underprivileged mothers and children in Uraguay, where the company is based.

The Sage Award program and the Sustainability Summit are co-sponsored by Cargill’s BiOH® polyols business unit. Companies that enter the Sage Awards do not need to be members of AHFA nor users of Cargill’s BiOH polyols.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance is based in High Point, N.C.,and represents more than 240 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus about 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide. More information on the Sage Award can be found at www.SageAward.org.

Cargill is an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. Its BiOH® brand polyols were the first commercially successful bio-based industrial polyols used in flexible foams. Derived from natural vegetable oils such as soybean oil, BiOH polyols help flexible polyurethane manufacturers reduce their environmental footprint and market their choice to downstream customers.


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