Sustainable forestry consists of management practices that ensure the health and growth of our forests for future generations. As the population expands and the economy grows, responsible people are concerned about our forests, and they want assurances that our forests will always be there. Companies that rely on healthy and productive forestland for their livelihood have a keen self interest in making certain that forests remain healthy and productive.
Consistent with our goal of continuous environmental improvement we have established some goals for the upcoming year. Of particular importance will be reducing our carbon emissions, as our 2012 emissions exceeded the prior year. Below are a few ways we feel we can achieve this goal.
Carbon Footprint - Given the longevity of our product we’re confident that we have sequestered a lot of carbon over the years! Review the 2009 chart below and 2013 Footprint Calculation to see how other products stack up against solid wood.
Certified Wood – Currently Harden’s supply chain for forest products is certified by the SFI® program. As we procure a significant amount of material from NYS properties which may be FSC certified we will investigate dual certification that would allow us to market lumber with SFI® and FSC chain of custody. We will also need to upgrade our SFI® certification to full chain of custody. Staffing and documentation challenges may delay this until 2014.
Delivery Fleet – We received two tractors in November which comply with the EPA Tier 2 emission standard and feature advanced “gel battery” Auxiliary Power Units (APU) which will allow our drivers to avoid idle periods when power is needed for the cab or in hot/cold weather. These units also feature low rolling resistance tire and advanced EGR technology (exhaust gas recirculation reduces NOx gasses to harmless nitrogen). Based on 100,000 annual miles driven it is anticipated that each until will save approximately 1,300 gallons of diesel fuel, in addition to reducing emissions of NOx gasses.
Fiber Sourcing Policy - Harden Furniture Inc. is a Program Participant of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and supports the goals and objectives of SFI®. We will adhere to the following policies, regarding purchasing of wood fiber for its McConnellsville, NY sawmill and facility:
• Harden will not knowingly purchase timber, logs, or wood fiber of any kind which has been harvesting as a result of illegal logging
• Harden encourages the use of trained loggers through the New York Logger Training program on active harvest sites
• Harden monitors the use of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) by log suppliers
• Harden will not purchase fiber from harvests that have negatively impacted riparian areas or critical wildlife habitat
GGE Emissions – We post our carbon footprint annually and in 2012 we realized an increase in the volume of carbon that we emitted into the atmosphere. Returning to a trend of annual decreases will be a priority in 2013. Currently the overwhelming majority of our GGE are related to electrical energy or thermal/wood fuel sources. At the McConnellsville facility we do not burn any fossil fuels for process or comfort steam (heat).
Recycle - We will conduct a thorough analysis of our waste stream to determine if in addition to materials already recycled there are any other materials that are currently sent to a landfill that can be recycled.
Refurbishment – In 2012 Harden began offering refurbishment services to current and new commercial customers who preferred to refurbish existing products originally manufactured by Harden or other vendors. We anticipate this segment of our business will more than double in size in 2013, allowing commercial end users to reduce material destined for landfills, while updating furnishings through a process that requires only a minimal amount of new material.
SFI® Certification - The “Sustainable Forestry Initiative” (SFI) program is a comprehensive program of forestry and conservation practices designed to ensure that future generations of Americans will have the same abundant forests that we enjoy today. It's among the largest sustainable forestry and certification programs in the world, encompassing nearly 180 million acres of forestland throughout North America.
Upgrade Lighting – An analysis of an upgrade to LED lighting indicated that we currently cannot justify the investment as we operate only one shift. As opportunities arise and if we have areas where lights are on 24/7 we will install more efficient lighting. Also, we are reviewing any areas of the facility that would benefit from motion detector lighting or where we can permanently reduce lighting.
SFC Awards Harden 2008 Silver Exemplary Status
Harden Furniture has achieved 2008 Silver Exemplary status from the Sustainable Furnishings Council — the first furniture manufacturer to achieve this honor. As one of SFC's founding members, Harden has again exhibited its commitment to preserving our planet and enhancing future resources.
To qualify for Silver Exemplary Status, Harden participated in a rigorous application process and document adherence to the following criteria:
• 15 to 25 percent of wood products must be FSC-Certified or equivalent
• 1 to 25 percent of products other than wood are made from recycled or bio-based materials
• Completion of “Carbon Footprint Report,” reviewing detailed analysis of energy output in operations
• Positive impact on supply chain improvements as a result of efforts
Harden scored additional points for sourcing and shipping its products within a 500-mile radius, which reduces carbon emissions; paying 100% of its employees a living wage; and creating The Living Canopy Program, a New York state-based educational initiative which also generates funds for land and water restoration efforts.
As part of Harden Furniture's green initiative, we offer the world's first bio-based foam - Preserve™, produced by Hickory Springs® Manufacturing Company, partner with BiOH® polyols. The foam is made with soy rather than petroleum, and is a standard option for most upholstery items in the Harden line.