EDENTON, N.C.— LEE Industries, a manufacturer of upholstered furniture in North Carolina, has been awarded Gold Exemplary Recognition by the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) for its deep environmental commitment and exemplary implementation of a range of best practices for sustainability. The company completed the rigorous process of demonstrating compliance with SFC’s Exemplary Manufacturer Requirements, submitting audited evidence of achievements in operations, in production, and in outreach to attain recognition at the Gold level. LEE is the only Gold Exemplary upholstery company among the organization’s nearly 400 member companies.
Bondi Coley, speaking for the company said, “We are thrilled to be recognized by the Sustainable Furnishings Council with Gold Exemplary status. As a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, LEE has been committed to their mission since its inception. Norman Coley set a sustainability vision for this company and it became his passion to earn the Gold status. A lot of hard work went into obtaining this level of certification and with the guidance of Patrick Beard, our Engineering Manager, and his dedicated team leaders, we were able to achieve it. We look forward to carrying on the foresight that Norman put before us and continue to lead this industry in sustainability efforts.”
Commenting on the process, SFC Standards Committee Chairman Gat Caperton said, “LEE Industries’ long-time commitment to continuous improvement is testament to the high regard in which it holds the environment and its customers. The awarding of Gold Exemplary status proved easy for us following their years of hard work. The company approaches manufacturing with the same elegance it demonstrates in its products. The SFC is proud to recognize their on-going efforts with Gold Exemplary status.”
Family Owned More Than 45 Years
Family owned and operated since 1969, LEE Industries’ mission is to create innovatively styled, high-quality furnishings. For this company “quality” most emphatically includes being healthy and made in an environmentally friendly manner. LEE has been involved with SFC since the organization began in 2006, as a founder and as an early recipient of Silver Exemplary recognition. Manufacturing a complex product in North Carolina and employing nearly 600 people, the company is known in their community, in the home furnishings industry and at the SFC for their commitment to sustaining a healthy future, a line that late company President Norman Coley brought to the organization during the time he served as a Board member.
The Sustainable Furnishings Council helps furnishings companies reduce energy consumption and minimize harmful chemical inputs in their production processes. The organization also helps consumers find products and sources that are healthy for families and for the environment. The standard for Exemplary Manufacturer recognition, established soon after the organization’s incorporation in 2007, emphasizes certifications that cover the “triple bottom line.” LEE company policies and earned certifications brought a high score in all categories.
“We are particularly proud of LEE’s achievement of this recognition,” says Susan Inglis, SFC Executive Director. “It is personally touching to see the excellent team at LEE carry on Norman Coley’s vision for the company. We at SFC benefited from his working closely with us to develop guidelines and sustainability standards for the entire industry. We know the company benefited, too. This Gold Exemplary recognition shows consumers as well as professional specifiers the depth of the company’s commitment to the good of their customers, associates, vendors, community and the environment we all share.”