The purpose of the Sage Award is to seek out, discover and recognize true industry innovators from whom others can learn. Award applicants will demonstrate wisdom, experience and leadership within the home furnishings industry in the areas of sustainable business practices, social responsibility and profitable growth.
Entries should come from companies in the home furnishings or bedding industries. Companies do not need to be members of the American Home Furnishings Alliance to be considered for the award.
The award criteria are designed to assess the applicant’s leadership across three areas: sustainable business practices, social responsibility and profitable growth. Examples of the types of details that should be included in each section are provided below. However, these examples are not intended to be “checklists.” Companies may find that some of these examples are more relevant to their individual operations than others. Companies may also want to include initiatives unique to their particular operations that are not specifically described below.
1. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES
- Do organizational policies/procedures promote sustainable business practices? The application should detail efforts such as recycling, lower energy usage, water conservation, employee environmental education, etc.
- What is the environmental impact of programs and initiatives in the organization’s business or manufacturing operations? Application should detail the impact of the policies and procedures described above, such as with before/after carbon footprint calculations. The impact of these efforts on the surrounding community, if any, should also be described.
- Describe policies for responsible raw materials sourcing.
- How does the design of the company’s products or the merchandising of those products promote sustainability and/or extend product lifecycle?
- How are manufacturing, shipping and warehousing operations working to reduce the use of non-renewable energy?
- How is the company supporting outside associations or organizations that are focused on addressing environmental challenges?
1. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Does the organization have programs or policies that support community involvement?
- Does the company have a code of conduct for its suppliers?
- Does the company have policies and/or programs in place to assess and monitor social and environmental performance throughout its supply chain?
- Does the company recognize and/or reward the social stewardship efforts of its employees or suppliers?
1. PROFITABLE GROWTH
- Has the company been able to implement effective environmental initiatives while remaining a profitable business?
- How have sustainable business practices and/or social stewardship efforts contributed to business growth and profitability?
- Companies must do business within North America in the home furnishings or bedding (mattresses, foundations and other sleep surfaces) industries and must be operating at the time of entry.
- Entries should be submitted by the entity being nominated.
- Entries are limited to one per organization. Divisions or subsidiaries of companies are not eligible if the parent company has entered.
- Entries should be sent electronically to respect the environment.
- No confidential information should be included in the entry. AHFA does not assume responsibility for protecting confidential information submitted by award applicants.
The judging team will evaluate the qualifications and eligibility of each entry and may make inquiries as appropriate to validate the information submitted in the Entry Form. Entries that fail to meet the Entry Requirements as stated above will be disqualified.
Judges will score entries by assigning points as follows:
Sustainable Business Practices .......................60 points
Commitment to Social Responsibility ...............20 points
Profitable Growth ..........................................20 points
Three finalists will be announced prior to the October High Point Market in High Point, N.C. Each finalist company receives one complimentary registration to the all-industry Sustainability Summit held in February (locations vary), where they will be honored during an awards reception.
Finalists agree to have information from their Executive Summary used in press releases announcing the Sage Award finalists. Finalists will have final approval of all information featured. Finalists may be showcased in other ways with their consent prior to and during the Sustainability Summit. Any finalist with exhibitor space at the High Point Market will be provided with a symbol or signage announcing their status as an award finalist.
The winner will be announced at an awards event held during the October High Point Market in High Point, N.C.. The winner will receive $2,500 to be donated to the non-profit (501C-3) organization of its choice.
The winner and finalists agree to have information from their Sage Award application used in press releases announcing the finalists and winner. Finalists may be showcased in other ways with their consent prior to and during the Sustainability Summit.