Spec Planting Trees to Offset Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Sep 2017

Over the next five years Spec Furniture will be planting enough trees to completely offset the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions generated from its annual electricity consumption. The initiative comes as a result of an ongoing commitment by Spec Furniture and its people to improve everyone’s health and wellbeing. Spec has a track record of minimizing the use of energy by upgrading to energy efficient equipment, switching to eco-friendly and recyclable materials, redesigning packaging to further reduce environmental impact or finding sustainable recycling solutions for materials remaining after a job completion. In 2017, Spec Furniture has pledged to plant 225 white pine trees, offsetting the equivalent of approximately 29 tons of carbon dioxide (C02). The company sees this act as an ongoing project, with goals of planting different wood species across North America each year to offset gas emissions generated from other energy sources as well.

Select Spec products are now level® 3 Certified

Feb 2017

Spec is proud to announce that a selection of seating products (Dignity, Gravity, Midway, Snowflake, Snowball and Traffic), and all tables and Credenzas&Lectures finished in Veneer/Hardwood Edges/Steel Base are now level® 3 certified. 

Spec Finds A Sustainable Offcut Fabric Recycling Solution

Sep 2016
One of Spec’s biggest waste streams is fabric: upon project completion the factory is left with small fabric rolls or even smaller offcuts. To reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, Spec had historically sold the remaining fabric to small businesses that reuse it to make bags or to Spec employees for personal use – all proceeds were donated to local charity. The left over fabric has also been donated to local school boards or Habitat for Humanity, on a per need basis. This process however was very ad hoc, and Spec needed to find a long-term systematic solution to manage fabric waste.
After some searching, Spec found a company that recycles fabric offcuts, shreds and extracts them into fibers, and makes industrial cleaning cloths, gloves, blankets, carpet underlay and other. The new solution has allowed Spec to divert 34 tonnes of fabric from the landfill to date.

Spec's Packaging Further Reduces Environmental Impact

Mar 2016

Ensuring our products arrive in one piece without breaking the bank is a delicate balance. Challenged with a task to use less packaging and reduce freight cost, in November 2015 Spec redesigned its boxes for our stacking chairs. We were previously using skids to prevent boxes from getting damaged. While clearly ensuring the product is handled appropriately, this method prevented us from maximizing the space on our trailers.

So we started thinking inside the box. We eliminated the skid, elevated each chair off the ground, and separated the chairs from each other. This way if the box is dropped the weight of all the chairs is not on the bottom chair's legs. If dropped, the weight of all the chairs is directed to the underside of each chair instead of the legs. This new design has reduced our shipping costs dramatically by reducing the cubic feet required, and therefore the number of trucks needed to transport product. Our environmental impact has been significantly reduced. We’ve seen a reduction in shipping claims, which means more product is arriving at their destinations in factory condition, and Spec manufacturing team is focused on meeting new customer orders instead of remaking damaged product. All the packaging used is made from a high percentage of recycled materials (mostly cardboard) and is 100% recyclable.

Our Products Are Now level2® Certified

Mar 2015

We are happy to say that all Spec products have recently achieved level® 2 certification. This means that specifying Spec’s products now makes it easier to achieve the new LEED pilot credit 80.

Phosphate-Free Chemicals

Jan 2015

Spec has changed all metal wash to a phosphate-free based chemical.  This initiative has reduced our natural gas consumption on the paint-line by one-third, as well as eliminating discharge of hazardous waste products into the environments.

Energy Reducing Initiatives

Jul 2014

Looking to reduce our energy consumption, Spec has replaced our 60 HP Air Compressor with a 30HP Air Compressor.  This initiative has reduced our electricity consumption for generating compressed by air by 50%, and has reduced overall electricity consumption for the entire operation by 6%!

NAUF Particle Board for Bedside Cabinets

Jun 2013

Our customers now have the option to specify NAUF particle board for our Bedside cabinets. NAUF is an earth friendly core with no added urea formaldehyde .

Build Green Atlantic Conference

May 2013

Spec showed off “What’s so green about Spec” at the Build Green Atlantic Conference last Friday, May 31st.  At the conference, Spec’s Jed McKie delivered a lecture on the BIFMA Sustainability Standard and level™ Certification.  We had a great showing of Continuing Education students who were eager to learn about the green aspects of furniture.

Thank you to the Atlantic Green Building Council for giving us the opportunity to participate in this event, and for the wonderful donation made to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.   
 

Thinking outside the Box (Literally)

Feb 2013

To prevent damage to our Snowball chairs during the shipping process, Spec focused on developing new packaging solutions that offered stronger protection.  The first proposed solution was to add more packaging material to protect the product, however this idea did not agree with our environmental goals. After experimenting with different concepts, we developed a solution that would maintain our low-waste packaging while still reducing quality issues.

Our solution was to change the way the package was handled, instead of increasing the packaging itself. We added handles to make it easier for shippers to lower the boxes to the ground, and Safety Warning Labels that would identify the weight of the product so shippers would not drop it.

After 3 months of implementing this new packaging, we have not had any quality issues with our Snowball chairs – and we didn’t have to increase packaging to accomplish this!
 

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