The Taylor Companies, the first Certified Green Plus company in Ohio, has been named a recipient of the 2011 SJF Green Jobs Award. Taylor CEO Jeffrey Baldassari received the award last weekend in New York at a reception keynoted by Jonathan Greenblatt, the Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. (Click here for a recent Green Plus podcast with Baldassari on waste reduction, and to hear an interview with him on National Public Radio’s Marketplace).
The Green Jobs Award program celebrates privately-held U.S. businesses that are making valuable contributions to both the economy and the environment. Applicants were judged on their contribution to environmental quality, the quality of their jobs and benefits, the diversity of employment opportunities and their level of community engagement.
“These seven exemplary companies show you can have true sustainability while creating real, quality jobs at all levels,” said Bonny Moellenbrock, SJF Institute executive director. “By acknowledging the tremendous work these companies are doing, we hope to both support their efforts and inspire other businesses to follow their lead.”
The SJF Institute empowers companies that provide sustainable solutions and build workplaces where employees can grow and thrive, and works with investors, foundations, and corporations who believe in the power of entrepreneurship to change the world for the better.
“Sustainability presents a business opportunity that has transformed our company’s identity, and it has become embedded into the culture of our organization,” said Baldassari. “It enriches the lives of our employees and also offers an extraordinary value proposition for our customers.”
Earlier this year, Taylor was named the Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise of the Year, the top honor at the North American Sustainable Enterprise Awards from Institute for Sustainable Development. Taylor is also the recipient of numerous other awards including the 2010 Crain’s Cleveland Business Emerald Award.
In addition to Taylor, the other 2011 Green Jobs Award honorees are: Better World Books, Pacific Biodiesel, Power Partners Inc., Sacred Power Corporation, SolarCity and Sungevity. These firms represent diverse industries – from traditional industry innovators, to renewable energy and energy efficiency, to consumer products. Together the companies employ more than 2,540 people and their aggregate revenue exceeds $150 million.
ABOUT THE TAYLOR COMPANIES
Established in 1816 and privately-held for seven generations, Taylor is the oldest furniture manufacturer in the United States. With roots stretching back 195 years, Taylor is the oldest business enterprise in Ohio. Its two manufacturing plants are located in Bedford, Ohio and Lynwood, CA, with roots in Southern California dating back to 1923. The manufacturer builds all furniture (upholstered wood seating and wood casegoods) from scratch using domestically sourced raw materials. Each factory has approximately 200 raw material suppliers or supporting vendors based in its respective state. Taylor creates sustainable value for its customers, employees and community through land revitalization, conservation of natural resources, waste diversion and GHG emission management.
TAYLOR COMPANIES’ SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS
The firm’s Ohio factory is located on a former brownfield site that the company helped to remediate. Taylor’s California facility has all new lighting, resulting in a 46% reduction in electricity consumption for lighting and a 50,000-pound reduction in carbon emissions. The firm uses energy efficient equipment and diverts much of its process waste from landfill, with a goal of 75% diversion by 2012. Taylor is the first furniture manufacturer member of The Climate Registry; the firm publishes its greenhouse gas emissions and other key sustainability information (waste diversion, water use, people initiatives) on a Sustainability Facts Label that is included with all its products. The firm has a GHG emission reduction plan in place and has conducted a Life Cycle Assessment of its products. In 2009, Taylor became the first company in Ohio to be GreenPlus™ certified.
Many of Taylor’s 60 full time employees are union members (Steelworkers in Ohio and Carpenters in California), and its office workers receive the same high level of benefits. These include a 90% employer-paid health care package, pension and 401(k), as well as cross training. Employees volunteer for local education and sustainability programs, and CEO Jeff Baldassari has shared the firm’s innovations via speaking engagements at business schools and design schools throughout the state of Ohio. Taylor employees also created a continuing education course for designers titled “A Sustainable Approach.
The Institute for Sustainable Development / Green Plus