Preservation and stewardship are values that run deep in Vermont. We take pride in the quality of the environment and the natural beauty that surrounds us. We also interact with the natural environment in a more intimate way than our friends in more developed areas. Many of us make our living working with the land and the forests and even more of us hike, canoe, fish, and hunt. Taking care of that which surrounds us and feeds, clothes, and shelters us is an ethic that spans generations and is held by Vermonters in all walks of life.
Here are some of the ways that our environmental values are reflected in each piece of furniture that we make:
We use sustainably harvested hardwoods from the American Northern Forest
The Northern Forest is among the healthiest in the world and is actually growing in terms of standing biomass. The capacity of the Northern Forest to absorb carbon dioxide is growing each year. The forests of Vermont are no exception, now covering over 85% of the landscape. The lumber we use comes from within 500 miles of our factory. Living and working in and near the regions that supply our raw materials means that far less fossil fuel is consumed and less carbon dioxide emitted through transportation.
Furthermore, a recent independent research study,* commissioned by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and conducted by a team of international experts confirms that:
U.S. hardwoods derive from legal and well managed forests. Hardwood procured from anywhere in the hardwood states could be considered Low Risk in all five Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) controlled wood risk categories.
There exists, a low risk that U.S. hardwoods are produced from controversial sources as defined in the Chain of Custody standard of the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
The U.S. hardwood-producing region can be considered low risk for illegal and non-sustainable hardwood sourcing as a result of public and private regulatory and non-regulatory programs.
We were awarded Silver Exemplary Membership Status by Sustainable Furnishings Council.
Copeland Furniture was awarded Silver Exemplary Membership Status by Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), joining only a handful of companies to have been awarded this prestigious distinction for proven performance in meeting a range of specific sustainability measures.
uses 1% to 25% non-wood products made from recycled or bio-based materials
has completed a Carbon Footprint Report that includes detailed analysis of its energy usage.
is showing a positive impact on supply chain improvements as a result of sustainability efforts
Through purchasing the vast majority of our supplies through domestic sources we are reassured that employees' health and safety are protected. Employers in the United States of America must adhere to strict regulations through its Department of Labor. The USA has among the most progressive systems to verify employees are provided a safe work environment. http://www.osha.gov/.
Copeland Furniture works with our Sales Representatives and through them our dealerships to further promote a broader understanding of how consumer decisions have impacts on both forests and social conditions. We promote this through our website, point of purchase material and various other interactions including dialogue and material distribution. To learn more contact Copeland Furniture or the Sustainable Furnishings Council.
"Copeland Furniture's furniture manufacture includes a strong commitment to the principles of sustainability, durability and quality construction. This approach is more and more rare in American manufacturing, although the environmental issues of our times beg for more companies to think about the ramifications of how and what they manufacture. Copeland is a leader in demonstrating how a strong value system coupled with quality design and manufacturing can make a positive impact for this generation and those that will follow." Professor Rosanne Somerson – Rhode Island School of Design, Furniture Design.
Recipient of the 2009 Sage Award for Environmental Excellence
Sponsored by the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), the award program was launched to recognize environmental accomplishments within the home furnishings industry. For more information go to www.sageaward.org
Standard finish is GREENGUARD Certified.
We use a catalyzed sealer and top coat that is GREENGUARD Certified for low chemical emissions as the default finish option on all of our products. GREENGUARD certification is a testing program of UL (Underwriters Laboratory) focusing on the issue of indoor air quality. Further information about GREENGUARD certification, can be found at: http://www.greenguard.org
Water based finishes are optional on most our furniture.
A water born, finish may be specified for most Copeland Furniture pieces. These finishes are every bit as durable as our standard post-catalyzed conversion varnish with the added benefit of reduced VOC emissions at the factory. However catalyzed finishes tend to lay smoother and have a warmer appearance.
We create durable furniture with timeless designs that will last generations.
Heirloom-quality furniture has less environmental impact than a piece that will fail or has a “fashion life.” Using beautiful hardwoods from the American Northern Forest, it only seems right that the furniture should be built to last. We use time-tested joinery and construction methods, combined with durable finishes and quality hardware. We've always prided ourselves on clean, well-proportioned design that works well in many environments. Today, we're particularly proud to have been selected to build the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright — furnishings that work as well today as they did in the early decades of the 20th century.
We work in Vermont, the state with the highest environmental standards in the nation.
We comply with strict regulations on air quality emissions, hazardous waste, worker safety, and storm water runoff. We work to recycle and reduce packaging material and volatile solvent. We participate with the New England power pool to generate our own electricity during peak usage times, helping to reduce the capacity requirements of the electric utility companies. It would be much cheaper and easier to make furniture in a place that didn't regulate air and water emissions or demand healthy work places but the cost to the environment would be too great.
We're not done.
While the environmental impact of our factory and the environmental cost of the furniture we build for you is among the lowest, we’re not standing still. We’ve continued to work to reduce VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions. We’ve reduced packaging material purchases with the installation of a box making machine that allows us to make only what we need. We recycle all packaging waste and have reduced our reliance on landfill disposal. We now heat our building completely with wood waste from our manufacturing operation further reducing our consumption of imported oil.
We view sustainability as a process and a journey of continuous improvement. We're committed to that journey.