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Vanguard Furniture

109 Simpson Street
Conover North Carolina
United States
Vanguard Furniture
Aware of the growing need to guard the planet, Vanguard Furniture is again taking a leading position in the industry in developing environmentally-conscious furnishings. Sustainability is more than a program; we see it as a way of life. Working in all areas of our enterprise, from suppliers to our manufacturing process, we emphasize reducing waste and using sustainable elements.

Best Practice Achievements

Sustainable Materials
We make a conscious effort to manage our materials selection, seeking materials we are confident are sustainable, such as legally harvested forest products, responsibly produced plantation products, and recycled content:
Recycling and Reclamation
We factor disassembly, recyclability and product reclamation into buying decisions. We offer a product reclamation/product reuse policy:
Return and Reuse
We use recycled or recyclable packing/packaging materials, offer blanket-wrap transportation arrangements for customers and have a carton return/reuse policy:
Chain of Custody
We ask for verifiable chain of custody documents (i.e. legal logging certifications) before buying products containing wood:
Decrease use of Toxic Chemicals
We have decreased our use/acceptance of known toxic chemicals for treatments, binders and finishes, replacing compounds that compromise indoor air quality and are harmful to human health:
Low Environmental Impact Textiles
We are asking our vendors for textiles that have a lower environmental impact, i.e. organic cotton in place of conventionally-grown cotton, as well as seeking other eco-friendly textiles:
Life Cycle Analysis
We are moving forward on doing a Life Cycle Analysis and/or are applying for SMaRT certification:
Local Sourcing
We extract, manufacture and distribute for consumer use within a 500 mile radius for at least a portion of our product line:
Third Party Certifications
We hold third party certifications for some of our products, or as a store, we promote and educate the consumer on the meaning of various third party certifications:
Sharing the Wealth
We take responsibility for sharing our commitment to sustainability up and down our entire supply chain, rewarding our vendors with increased business for partnering with us on sustainability issues:
Social Responsibility Code
We have a written Social Responsibility Code of Contact that is a baseline for employee relations:
Supplier Responsibility
We have written and distributed a Supplier Responsibility Code of Conduct for our vendors and conduct training at our partner facilities on the adoption of same:
Health and Safety Code Compliance
We and our partners meet or exceed all local health and safety codes and can document our health and safety working conditions in all our facilities/stores:
We Pay Living Wages
We pay a living wage rather than minimum wage and extend that around the globe:
We Sponsor Sustainability Events
We have participated in or sponsored in-store, community and/or regional educational events on sustainability and the environment:
We Inspect
We investigate and mitigate any negative environmental impacts from our operations:
Save Paper and Other Office Resources
We save paper and other office resources with a policy expressing an aversion to excess written documentation:
We Use Energy Specialists
We have had an energy specialist or utility company audit to measure our conventional energy usage and are on track to reduce it. We are replacing a portion of the energy we consume with certified renewable energy, either directly, via a program of our local utility, or via Green e-Power:
Updated Inefficient Equipment
We have replaced outdated and inefficient equipment, identified and changed wasteful resource procedures and implemented tighter operational controls:
Energy Efficient Lighting
We have increased the use of day lighting and/or are upgrading to more energy efficient lighting system:
Verified Sustainability Claims
We make only verifiable sustainability claims in adherence with FTC mandates against greenwash and in support of their Environmental Marketing Guides:
Committed to Training
We are committed to conducting training in-house and in the broader community about global climate change and our partnership with the SFC:
In keeping with our commitment to continual improvement, we are planning to take the following actions this year: On reducing energy consumption:

Our company's goal is to keep everything, 100% out of the landfill. We find recyclers and other companies to use these materials that we cannot: wood, textiles, leather, vinyl, etc., plus we recycle cardboard, paper, wood palettes, sawdust, styrofoam, plastic and paper packaging materials. This is a company investment and commitment, because sometimes it costs the company time and money to do this.
In the manufacturing facilities, we installed energy efficient lighting fixtures. We installed motion sensor detectors on warehouse lighting. We've had an energy audit in the past - made improvements and saved energy and money. We plan to do this again in the near future.
Over a decade ago, we embarked on a goal to have a paperless administration process. All of our acknowledgements and invoices are now emailed to our customers, rather than printing on paper and mailing. Our state-of-the-art scanning software allows the administrative side of the business to eliminate paper in the office. Similarly, with new ways of digitally communicating with our retail and consumer customers, we have eliminated printed event invitations, product tear-sheets, and even some catalogs and price lists. When catalogs are printed, we use FSC certified paper and print with soy-based inks.

In keeping with our commitment to continual improvement, we are planning to take the following actions this year: On how we will manage our primary material or service to a more sustainable direction:

We use mostly FSC wood to make our casegoods. In some instances, we use reclaimed wood from unusual sources, such as used car crates, to be re-manufactured into high-quality furnishings.
We use metal with recycled content - our furniture coils contain more than 80% scrap or recycled material. The manufacturing process uses no chemicals or hazardous materials, and all finished springs are shipped in recycled-paper cartons.
All of our polyurethane foam products are certified by the CertiPUR-US. This certification has the most extensive testing standards in North America. One of the main benefits is the assurance that the products do not contain harmful materials such as lead, mercury and PBDE fire retardants.
We continually work with vendors so that we may offer fabrics that are created with recycled materials. If not 100% natural, many of our fabrics contain recycled polyester components, or are made with 100% post-industrial recycled polyester fibers. We have buy-back programs with some of our textile suppliers - they take back our fabric waste - what lands on the cutting room floors and typically goes to the landfill. If this is not an option, we sort and find recycling companies that will take the scraps.
Our sustainability mission is part of the conversation with vendors and suppliers.

In keeping with our commitment to continual improvement, we are planning to take the following actions this year: On education and promotion of the sustainability cause:

The new hire and safety orientations at Vanguard teach everyone about the sustainability mission, and the extensive recycling we do. It's mandatory, and workers are expected to be a part of the solution.