Few furniture retailers are as environmentally conscious as Home Furnishings Association member Tepperman’s of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, which prides itself on recycling everything from shipping foam products to paper receipts.
That green way of thinking was rewarded yet again, this time by the Essex Region Conservation Authority, which honored Tepperman’s with its Corporate Environmental Achievement Award last month.
For more than 40 years, ERCA has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life. Since ERCA’s establishment, natural area cover has grown from 3.5 percent to more than 8.5 percent, 5,000 homes are now protected from flooding and erosion, more than 6 million trees have been planted, over 10,000 acres of natural areas restored, and more than 350,000 students have experienced outdoor education.
The Conservation Award recognizes businesses that are developing growth models that lead to better use of resources, nurture healthy ecosystems and run programs that enhance the region’s renewable natural resources such as water, soil, flora and fauna.
Tepperman’s was praised for its work in the area of resource efficiency and emissions reduction, both in-house and along its supply chain. The authority highlighted the efforts Tepperman’s has made in reducing waste, partnering with schools on environmental programs and becoming energy self-sufficient.
The company was also recognized for the accolades it has received in the last year, including the 2018 Impact Innovation Award, and its contributions and support for environmental and community outreach programs.
The impact of its nine stores throughout Ontario has always been a guiding philosophy of Tepperman’s, whose company in 2015 created a 10-year plan that called for diverting 100 percent of its waste from landfills by 2025.
“It’s one of our company’s six Guiding Principles and is more about making an actual impact than just the optics,” says President Andrew Tepperman. “Receiving this type of recognition from ERCA, an organization that we have tremendous respect for, supports our environmental strategy as well as inspires our teams to want to do more.”
If 100 percent waste reduction sounds a bit lofty, think again. Masoud Negad, Tepperman’s vice president and chief operating officer, said the company already diverts 85 percent of its waste. “We’ve reduced our energy consumption … and promoted recycling of all waste materials – all with the goal to become a sustainability leader in our community,” Negad said.
Negad said the company will increase that diversion by relying even more on digital documents and introducing electric car charging stations at its stores. “We believe in making a difference, and we’re always looking for innovative ways to sustain our earth’s resources for future generations,” he said.