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AHFA Announces Keynote Speaker For 2012 Sustainability Summit

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Michael Lynch, managing director of NASCAR Green Innovation, will headline the home furnishings industry’s 2012 Sustainability Summit on February 22-23 in Raleigh, N.C.

Titled, “Racing Beyond Expectations: Best Practices Fueling the Industry’s Sustainability Successes,” the 2012 Sustainability Summit will be held at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel. The event will bring together a cross section of environmental, supply chain, manufacturing, marketing and retail executives for the home furnishings industry’s premier sustainability program. Presenters are being assembled to help home furnishings companies move sustainability initiatives “beyond expectations.”

Lynch, who has more than 20 years experience in strategic management, product development and scientific research with a focus on environmental and health technology, joined the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing in 2008 to develop the organization’s environmental strategy.  In addition to launching initiatives to reduce NASCAR’s environmental impact, Lynch faced the even bigger challenge of credibly conveying those initiatives to skeptical stakeholders.

With scores of business partners and an estimated audience of 75 million people, NASCAR presents huge opportunities for popularizing environmentally-friendly behavior, Lynch points out. His presentation for the 2012 Summit will include the successful strategies behind some of his top green initiatives, including:

  • Building the largest recycling program in sports, on track this year to divert more than 1,000 tons of material from landfills, including more than 12 million beverage containers.
  • Extending recycling efforts to specialty materials, including tires, oil and batteries.
  • Launching a multi-year biofuels program with the organization’s three major race series.

The 2012 Sustainability Summit is sponsored by the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) and open to all manufacturers, retailers and suppliers interested in learning from successful sustainability initiatives.
“Many companies think they’re already doing the best they can to save energy, conserve water, reduce waste and maximize recycling,” says AHFA’s Bill Perdue. “At this year’s Summit, we’re going to offer concrete examples of measures that really work and case histories of companies that powered past their goals.”
Following a day of practical strategies for powering environmental initiatives beyond expectations, the Summit program will turn to regulatory issues that are related to environmental management. From CPSIA compliance to Lacey Act enforcement, presenters will tackle the range of tracking and chain of custody challenges that are common to many of today’s regulatory requirements. In addition, AHFA will introduce its new Responsible Sourcing Manual for the residential furnishings industry – the industry’s first guide to policies, procedures, practices and resources for responsible global sourcing.

In addition to spotlighting successful sustainability policies and practices within the home furnishings industry, the Summit will include a special reception honoring the finalists and winner of the 2011 Sage Award for environmental excellence. 

Registration for the 2012 Sustainability Summit is available online at www.ahfa.us under EVENTS. Early registration for AHFA members is $299 per person. This rate is available through January 15, 2012. After January 15, AHFA member registration is $325. The AHFA rate is also being extended to members of the National Home Furnishings Association, Home Furnishings Independents Association and members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Early registration for non-members is $399 per person. After January 15 the non-member registration is $500 per person.

For hotel accommodations, contact the hotel directly at 866-236-2427 and request the AHFA meeting rate of $159 per night, or click on the link below. Cutoff for reservations at the group rate is February 3, 2012. However prospective attendees are urged to make reservations as soon as possible to ensure availability.


The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., represents more than 240 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus about 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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