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Haworth Announces Goal to Source 100 Percent of its Wood From Sustainably Managed Forests

Nov 20, 2013

Holland, Mich. – November 20, 2013 - Haworth, Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacture of furniture, today announced its goal to source 100 percent of the wood used in Haworth casegoods, systems, tables and storage products, globally, from sustainably managed forests by the end of 2015.

“As we continue our sustainability journey, we are committed to reducing the impact our manufacture and design process has on the environment,” said Steve Kooy, Haworth’s global sustainability manager. “One example of this is ensuring that all of our wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests.”

To verify the source of its wood materials, Haworth seeks third-party certifications from nonprofit organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).  The company also engages its suppliers, large and small.

For example, based in Lac-Mégantic, Québec, Tafisa is a global leader in the manufacture of particleboard and decorative thermo-fused laminate panels and Haworth’s largest supplier of particleboard.  In its manufacturing process, Tafisa, consumes 50 percent post-industrial wood fiber residues from local sawmills and 50 percent post-consumer recycled wood fiber from its re-wood program. This reprocesses solid wood from demolition, renovation and construction sites in major urban centers on the East Coast of the United States.

“Tafisa’s proximity to our manufacturing sites (less than 1,000 miles), combined with our ability to leverage railroad as the primary mode of transportation, has reinforced our decision to do business with the Canadian manufacturer,” said Jim Riley, Haworth commodity manager.  “Sourcing FSC certified particleboard from Tafisa allows us to increase our FSC product offering while providing our customers with a transparent perspective of the source of our raw materials.”

While it is critical to focus on high-volume materials, it is equally important for Haworth to focus on the details.  Every material used in the production of its products help maintain the company’s sustainability standard.  This includes the small wooden dowels distributed by Manufacturers Supply Company (Mansco), a Michigan-based distributer of production fasteners and supply items.

“Mansco continues to be proactive in helping us ensure that we maintain our chain of custody when purchasing FSC certified dowels,” said Kooy.  “Each supplier partnership, large and small, helps us provide our customers with a high-level of transparency and achieve our vision of being a sustainable corporation.”

To achieve its goal by the end of 2015, Haworth will continue to improve its FSC and PEFC product offering by removing exceptions and increasing surface options.  The company will also continue to engage its supply chain and encourage them to become certified or expand their sustainable wood offering.

“As a manufacturer of end-user products, it’s critical that we work with our suppliers,” said Kooy.  “They provide us with a quality check – helping us trace our supply chain back to the forest level.”

Ensuring long-term, responsible forest management requires a triple bottom line perspective.  The FSC’s forest management standard includes prohibiting highly-hazardous chemicals, limiting forest clear cuts, preventing the loss of natural forest cover as well as protecting water quality, high-conservation forests and the customary rights of indigenous people and local communities.

Globally, Haworth improves workplaces with award-winning furniture, interior architecture and technology solutions to help customers achieve business goals, transform culture as well as support collaboration and innovation.  Research + design drive a deep understanding of agile workplace needs and are at the center of the company’s strategy.  Haworth is committed to protecting and restoring the environment, creating economic value as well as supporting and strengthening its communities.  Founded in 1948, Haworth remains family-owned and privately-held and serves markets in more than 120 countries through a global network of 600 dealers. The company had net sales of US $1.31 billion in 2012.

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