Employee Events Mark Hooker Furnishings 'Green Week'

05/12/2022
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(from left to right): Conrad Kerley, vice president of leather & manufacturing operations; Jean Morgan, retiree; Cheryl Sigmon, vice president of merchandising & product development BY; and Craig Young, president of BY. Employees came together to plant a Dogwood tree in honor of Jean Morgan, who retired at the end of April after 43 years with the company.
From left to right: Conrad Kerley, VP of leather & manufacturing operations; Jean Morgan, retiree; Cheryl Sigmon, VP of merchandising & product dev BY; and Craig Young, president of BY. Employees came together to plant a Dogwood tree in honor of Jean Morgan, who retired at the end of April after 43 years with the company.

As part of a continuing commitment to make sustainability and environmental preservation a part of its daily business practices, Hooker Furnishings, one of the nation’s leading home furnishings resources for case goods, leather furniture and fabric-upholstered furniture, celebrated its second annual “Green Week” with a variety of employee-led activities.

Sandwiched between Earth Day and Arbor Day each year, Green Week is a company-wide initiative that encourages Hooker employees to effect positive change. Sponsored by the Hooker Furnishings CARE (Community Action and Responsibility for our Environment) Council, the program seeks to improve environmental stewardship and works behind the scenes to enact change throughout the company and the communities in which it operates. Throughout the week, employee-led projects vary in size and scope from little things (like utilizing reusable forks), to much larger efforts (such as measuring the company’s carbon footprint).

“Hooker Furnishings has a responsibility to act as a good corporate citizen, to improve the communities in which we live and work, and to participate in special events that enable our local communities to work toward a cleaner environment,” said Asa Richards, director of facilities and safety maintenance and board member of EAC.

This year, among the signature Green Week 2022 activities, Hooker employees joined a team of local volunteers in opening a new trail system at Mayo River State Park in partnership with the Dan River Basin Association and the region’s Eco Ambassadors Council (EAC). Hooker is a founding member of the EAC and worked in conjunction with Virginia DCR and DRBA to finish the project which provides a new opportunity for outdoor recreation for the residents of Henry County and the surrounding communities.

Other special events ranged from the opportunity for employees to participate in Sustainable Furnishings Council webinars, an eco-spirit day with prizes for the most spirited eco-attire at each location, and a tree-planting and dedication on the grounds of the Bradington-Young Cherryville location.

“We began this tradition last year in honor of Arbor Day with the planting of a sapling at our Martinsville headquarters in honor of Paul Toms, Jr.,” Richards said. “We hope to make the tree planting an annual event, with a new location taking part each year to symbolize the literal and figurative growth that can be achieved when we function as ‘one company, one team.’”

Beyond the week’s special events, sustainability efforts throughout the past year have included becoming EFEC (“Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture”) certified at the Hooker Furniture, Sam Moore and Bradington-Young facilities, and partnering with Virginia Tech to measure and analyze the company’s carbon footprint to get a better understanding of the full impact of its business on the environment. Hooker also began using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) compliant paper products companywide and replaced Styrofoam packing with recyclable material in the majority of its distribution centers, with plans in place to covert the remaining locations as well.

Additionally, the company switched to LED lighting and cleaner-operating electric forklifts in many locations, including its new 800,000-square-foot distribution center in Savannah, GA. It is also now repurposing wood chips and sawdust from its Bradington-Young facility for use in the farming industry and has plans in the works to implement this program to additional facilities in the future.

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