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(09/03/2010) AHFA Announces Craftmaster EFEC Registration

By:     Jackie Hirschhaut, 336/881-1016

TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. Craftmaster Furniture's Taylorsville, N.C., upholstery operation has implemented the home furnishings industry's comprehensive environmental management system known as EFEC.

EFEC or "Enhancing Furniture's Environmental Culture" is a voluntary program created for the residential furniture industry by the American Home Furnishings Alliance. To achieve registration, companies must:

  • Improve management of resources and raw materials;
  • Reduce energy and water consumption;
  • Reduce waste disposal and associated costs; and,
  • Increase recycling efforts.

Craftmaster President and CEO Roy Calcagne commended the Taylorsville team, lead by Vice President of Operations Kevin Mann, on completing the work necessary to achieve registration in the company's two Taylorsville plants.

"I am very proud of the seven-person team we put in place at Craftmaster over eleven months ago to start this process. Kevin has done a great job coordinating and executing the stringent requirements needed to attain the EFEC registration," said Calcagne. "This is the second step Craftmaster has taken in reducing our environmental footprint. The first was implementing the Earthcare Inside program from Hickory Springs, which applies to the sustainable materials used in our products. The high standards set by the AHFA in attaining the EFEC registration makes this especially important to our company as we move forward with our environmental initiatives."

Since initiating implementation of the EFEC program in August 2009, the Taylorsville plant has reduced its energy consumption by about 10 percent. This is expected to reduce energy expenses by about $25,000 annually.

As a result of implementing EFEC, an exterior dock was constructed at one of the plants to facilitate bailing and loading of materials for recycling. The upholstery plant has reduced its landfill waste by over 50 percent, creating an annual savings of $40,000 in waste removal fees.

"When we began this process, Craftmaster had eight trash dumpsters at our facilities. We now have one. (Most of) what we were discarding in the trash is now being recycled and sold. The trash removal expense was turned into revenue with the recycling of those waste materials," Mann explains.

Additional actions are planned to continue reducing the company's environmental impact. "We will further reduce our air emissions from our finishing department by 30 percent by upgrading our equipment and chemicals used in the finishing process," Mann says.

Craftmaster is owned by Samson Holdings and produces more than 120 different styles of upholstered furniture in over 1,100 fabrics and leathers. The company also produces the Paula Deen and Better Homes & Gardens upholstery licensed collections under the Universal Furniture label.

EFEC which requires participants to make continual improvements in order to retain their registration was implemented at 26 different furniture manufacturing locations in 2009 and has been implemented at three additional locations so far in 2010. Franklin Furniture is expected to complete the program this fall in 1.1 million square feet of manufacturing space at three plants, plus its corporate headquarters.

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