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.
We are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified
We work with the SCS Global Services. Their program requires us to work with suppliers who can certify that the wood we purchase from them comes from forests that:
are not threatened
do not have high conservation significance
do not contain genetically modified trees.
SCS Global Services audits our purchase records annually. Whenever feasible, we purchase wood that is harvested from FSC-certified woodlots and processed by FSC-certified sawmills.
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
Water based finishes are optional on most our furniture
A water born, formaldehyde free finish may be specified for most Copeland Furniture pieces. These finishes are every bit as durable as our traditional catalyzed lacquer with the added benefit of drastically reduced VOC emissions at the factory and off-gassing at the home.
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 reduced VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions by over 50% over the last 3 years. We're working with our finish suppliers to reduce them further. As finish products improve they will allow us to further reduce emissions and burn less fuel. We're also looking at ways to reduce packaging material, increase recycling, and decrease landfill use. We're looking at ways to cleanly convert wood waste to heat energy for our own building to further reduce our consumption of imported oil.
Update – Spring-2010
The automatic waste fired boiler system is almost on-line. We missed most of the 09-10 heating system, but starting this fall, no more oil. Palletizing plant is under construction – we start selling pellets to local home owners late summer-early fall of 2010.
We view sustainability as a process and a journey of continuous improvement. We're committed to that journey.