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Ethan Allen registers all U.S. plants for EFEC environmental program

Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, August 13, 2012

HIGH POINT — Retailer and mixed-source supplier Ethan Allen has completed registration of the American Home Furnishings Alliance's EFEC environmental program at all of its domestic manufacturing facilities.

EFEC - Enhancing Furniture's Environmental Culture - is a voluntary environmental management program created by the AHFA. Thus far, EFEC has been implemented at 73 facilities, including plants, warehouses and headquarters, in 12 U.S. states and Mexico.

The Ethan Allen facilities include an Old Fort, N.C. wood furniture plant; a Maiden, N.C., upholstery manufacturing complex; a Beecher Falls, Vt., wood furniture plant and sawmill that dates to the 19th century; an Orleans, Vt., wood furniture plant; and a Passaic, N.J., home accents plant and distribution facility.

Ethan Allen said it plans to extend the program to its 150 company-owned retail locations, which would be the EFEC's first use in a retail setting.

"In all of our facilities, we work hard every day to not only make the best use of our resources but also to ensure the health and safety of our employees and their communities," said Farooq Kathwari, Ethan Allen president and CEO.

To achieve EFEC registration, facilities must improve resource and raw material management and reduce energy and water consumption and waste disposal and associated costs.

The AHFA said that some workers said they began stewardship efforts in their communities and homes after implementing EFEC. At the Maiden upholstery plant, about 180 eighth grade students toured the facility and learned about recycling and EFEC.

"The EFEC program helped renew excitement for recycling and energy conservation efforts on a facility level and further reinforced Ethan Allen's environmental, health and safety program," said Bill Perdue, AHFA's vice president of regulatory affairs and administrator, in a press release.

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