Norwalk, Conn.—The Elegant Home-Tech facility in Zhangjiagang, China, which manufactures Metroflor’s Aspecta commercial LVT product, has received a JUST label. To receive the label, the company had to provide numerous policies for public review and be rated on a wide range of metrics including safety, diversity, worker benefits and community engagement.
The JUST platform was created by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) as an innovative way for organizations to be transparent about their entire operations beyond product ingredients. Rather than a certification program, JUST is essentially a nutrition label for socially just and equitable organizations. The program requires reporting and documentation on a range of organization- and employee-related indicators, each requiring specific and measurable accountabilities recognized on a one-, two- or three-star level, which are published on the JUST label.
“The idea of pursuing a JUST label for a Chinese factory is courageous and profound,” said Rochelle Routman, Aspecta’s chief sustainability officer. “By accomplishing this, we have created a benchmark for our factory as well as the entire U.S. manufacturing sector sourcing from factories in Asia. The world is moving past the stigma of ‘Made in China’ because modern factories such as Elegant Home-Tech have made great strides in worker experience, quality control, and product and social transparency. It is Aspecta that is leading this movement to take transparency beyond U.S. borders.”
CEO of Elegant Home-Tech, Jin Song, fully supports the JUST effort and understands the need for transparency at the large flooring factory, which employs over 1,000 people. Additionally, Metroflor is fortunate to have Simon Xia, its general manager for China and liaison to Elegant Home-Tech, who assisted the team in overcoming the language barrier and setting the documentation process of existing policies in motion. Xia worked with Francis Janes, ILFI’s JUST manager, who walked him through the JUST parameters. This enabled Xia to evaluate and document transparency and social equity practices enabling the company to achieve the coveted label.
Johnson City, Tenn.—As part of its effort to broaden its domestic manufacturing footprint, Mullican Flooring, a leading manufacturer of quality hardwood floors, plans to bring full production of all sawn engineered products to the U.S. beginning early summer 2017.
Since 2012 Mullican Flooring has converted much of its engineered hardwood production from imported to domestic manufactured product, explained Neil Poland, president. “The transition of our sawn lines to the U.S. is a natural extension of that movement. Further, we are looking at this change as part of our effort to improve efficiencies and long-term value within the company. The move will allow us to tighten quality control as well as to stay true to a long-standing corporate commitment to support domestic production. As a 32-year old U.S. based company, we truly recognize that manufacturing is the foundation of the U.S. economy so transitioning the few remaining components of our production that remains overseas has been part of our long-term strategy all along. The start-up of our sawn production line is the first phase of a five-year expansion plan that will create 200 new jobs at our Johnson City production plant.”
The first product that will transition to the U.S. production facility is EuroSawn White Oak in a 7-inch width. The collection will be immediately available in six colors. Plans to transition additional overseas production to the U.S. will be announced in Q3.
In addition to its Tennessee-based facility, Mullican also has manufacturing operations in Norton, Va.; Holland, N.Y.; and Ronceverte, W.Va.
Manchester, N.H.—CCA Global’s Howard Brodsky traveled to the United Kingdom this week to give the keynote address to European business leaders at the annual Co-operative Retail Conference held at Stratford Manor in Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK. Brodsky was the only speaker from the United States to address the conference.
Brodsky’s presentation focused on the cooperative retail powerhouse he co-founded and established in 1984—CCA Global Partners. Through shared insights from over 30 years of successful business, Brodsky helped conference attendees find ways they can grow and improve their own companies.
In addition to sharing his story and perspective with the international attendees, Brodsky discussed his newest initiative, Cooperatives for a Better World, a non-profit which promotes the cooperative business model as a mode of sustainable job and wealth creation. According to the International Cooperative Alliance, the cooperative business model is proven to empower individuals and gives more people ownership in the businesses they use every day.
Brodsky’s presentation this week follows other international speeches he has recently given in Quebec, Panama, and Turkey. He encourages others to use the business model that has been so successful for his own company saying, “As business leaders who want to innovate and empower individuals, it is important for us to share our unique stories.” CCA Global Partners, a $10.8 billion company, has helped thousands of independent businesses thrive.
New York—Attendees at Coverings 2017 will be the first to experience the North American launch of a Blustyle, the newest Panariagroup brand to enter the US market. The Blustyle brand will exhibit in the Ceramics of Italy Pavilion (Booth #1435) showing a robust offering of contemporary Italian ceramics for commercial and residential settings in different finishes, colors and formats.
The state-of-the-art products on display will include highlights from the 12 new Blustyle collections that are in step with the trends such as rustic and refined wood looks, concrete finishes, oversized stone looks and distinctive marbles in a range of thicknesses from 9mm to 11mm and even 20mm. The entire collection comes with a guarantee for up to 20 years—underscoring the quality and durability of tiles.
“Blustyle is a brand that leverages the experience and qualities of sister company, Cotto D’Este and the whole Panariagroup,” said Paolo Mussini, Panaria CEO. “The brand offers Made-in-Italy, porcelain solutions at traditional thicknesses, taking advantage of the latest technology, the best raw materials, distinctive aesthetics and the production team’s deep respect for the environment.”
In sync with its parent company’s commitment to responsible production methods, Blustyle has already secured eco-focused certifications (EMAS, ISO, Eco-Label) that cover its eco-compatible production that recycles, reduces the waste of all raw materials, manages the plant at its highest efficiency and uses renewable energy.
To accompany the new brand, the Blustyle team has created a range of tools and materials to help with the specification and installation process. A dedicated website and brochure lays out all of the details on the guarantee for up to 20 years and includes technical specs to assist with layout ideas.
Armstrong Flooring announced it will raise prices in the U.S. and Canada three-to-eight percent on commercial wallbase products, and select flooring adhesives and floor care productseffective with shipments on May 7, 2012. Continue reading Armstrong announces IMA price increase