ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS

Flexsteel Achieves Sustainable by Design Registration 

March 28, 2011 - DUBUQUE, IA. – Flexsteel Industries has achieved Sustainable by Design
registration, awarded by the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) for the company’s continued environmental achievements.

To enter AHFA’s Sustainable by Design program, Flexsteel first had to implement an environmental management program known as EFEC in all of its domestic facilities, which include a plant and corporate office in Dubuque, Iowa, as well as plants in Riverside, Calif., Dublin, Ga., and Harrison, Ark.

In addition, Flexsteel implemented EFEC within its contract division, which has a commercial seating factory in Starkville, Miss., and within its DMI subsidiary, which includes a corporate office in Louisville, Ky., and a warehouse in Huntingburg, Ind. It was the largest number of separate facilities to complete the EFEC program simultaneously.

Implementing EFEC satisfies the first requirement of Sustainable by Design: reducing the company’s domestic environmental footprint and establishing systems for continual improvement.

“EFEC sets the course for a company’s environmental journey, because it works to change the culture within a company, from the factory floor to the executive suite,” explains Bill Perdue, AHFA’s vice president of regulatory affairs. “Sustainable by Design takes EFEC’s culture of
environmental stewardship and extends it throughout a company’s global supply chain.”

For each key area on a checklist, Flexsteel established goals and a system for evaluating annual achievement. These key areas included:

•             Supply chain management, including assisting suppliers worldwide in the development and implementation of sustainability programs;

•             Using eco-friendly materials, including low VOC/low HAP coatings, certified lumber
and low-emitting UF resins;

•             Global climate impact, including calculating a baseline carbon footprint;

•             Social responsibility, including establishing policies that define the company’s commitment to workers’ rights and community relations in all areas of the world where Flexsteel does business.

“Flexsteel’s greatest improvement as a result of implementing EFEC was developing the structure to document waste streams, to educate our associates and to plant the seeds of cultural change,” says Pat Crahan, senior vice president of Flexsteel’s commercial seating division and director of corporate environmental initiatives. “Now, through the Sustainable
by Design program, sustainable business practices are being extended to several different disciplines, including fleet operations, fabric engineering, administrative services and supply chain management.”

Crahan notes that Flexsteel now has the tools necessary to reduce its carbon footprint as it continues to improve recycling and further reduce its waste production.

“Each division has an active and effective EFEC team for local follow up of our environmental management system,” he says. “It’s all about the people … and the earth.”

Flexsteel and DMI join a growing list of furniture manufacturers that have achieved the Sustainable by Design designation, including C.R. Laine, Kincaid Furniture, American Drew, Lea Industries, Hickory Chair and Century Furniture.

In addition, Flexsteel was one of three finalists in last year’s Sage Award competition, an awards program co-sponsored by AHFA and Cargill’s BiOH polyols business unit to recognize environmental leaders in the residential furniture industry. The Sage judges, which include sustainability experts both inside and outside the furniture industry, gave Flexsteel high
marks for the detail with which it is tracking its environmental improvements.

Flexsteel’s Starkville, Miss., plant has the further distinction of achieving membership in Mississippi’s enHance Stewardship program developed by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The enHance program recognizes companies within the state that have made a commitment to addressing and achieving ongoing environmental improvements.

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Flexsteel receives Environmental Excellence Award from American Home Furnishings Alliance

DUBUQUE, IA. – At the Dec. 1-2, 2010, American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) Sustainability Summit in Asheville, N.C., Flexsteel Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLXS) received the Environmental Excellence Award for corporate environmental performance. This award recognizes an AHFA member company that embraces the AHFA message of excellence and, as a company, is on the leading edge of environmental compliance and performance.

Flexsteel was the first AHFA member company to implement the Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture (EFEC) program at a contract division, its Starkville, Miss., commercial seating factory. EFEC also was implemented at the company's plant and corporate office in Dubuque, Iowa, as well as at plants in Riverside, Calif., Dublin, Ga., and Harrison, Ark. In addition, Flexsteel implemented EFEC at the DMI corporate office in Louisville, Ky., as well as at a DMI plant and warehouse in Huntingburg, Ind. It was the largest number of separate facilities to complete the EFEC program simultaneously.

Benefits of EFEC included a 51 percent reduction in landfill waste, equating to 105 pounds saved per employee per month. This reduction was achieved January to June 2009 as compared to the same six-month period in 2008. In addition, Flexsteel reduced its electrical usage by 3.8 percent, or 35 kilowatt hours per employee per month. Water consumption was reduced by 17.2 percent, or 86 gallons per employee per month. Reductions in all of these measures have continued in subsequent years.

Flexsteel Industries, Inc. is headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa, and was incorporated in 1929. Flexsteel is a designer, manufacturer, importer, and marketer of quality upholstered and wood furniture for residential, recreational vehicle, office, hospitality, and healthcare markets. All products are distributed nationally. To find out more about Flexsteel, visit www.flexsteel.com.

American Home Furnishings Alliance – located in High Point, N.C., and Washington, D.C. – is the largest association of home furnishings companies in the world and represents more than 240 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, as well as nearly 200 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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Flexsteel Chosen as Finalist for American Home Furnishings Alliance’s Sage Award 2010

DUBUQUE, IA. – The American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) announced Flexsteel Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLXS) as one of three finalists for the 2010 Sage Award for environmental excellence. The Sage Awards were launched by AHFA and Cargill's BiOH® polyols business unit to seek out and recognize environmental innovators from whom others in the industry can learn. The competition was open to retail, manufacturing and supplier companies in both the furniture and bedding industries. The entries were evaluated based on each company's sustainability efforts, social or community involvement and their business success.

Flexsteel's environmental journey began in January 2008 when it implemented EFEC, an environmental management program developed for the residential furniture industry by AHFA. Flexsteel was the first company to implement EFEC at multiple facilities in multiple states simultaneously. In addition to its Iowa plant and headquarters building, it launched EFEC at plants, warehouses and office buildings in California, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas – seven facilities in all.

As a result of the new practices and policies established during implementation of EFEC, Flexsteel reduced its waste to landfill from 554 tons per quarter in March of 2009 to 114 tons per quarter as of June 2010. Energy consumption has declined every quarter since March 2009. Water consumption and natural gas have also been reduced and the company has increased its use of recycled materials in operations and product development. Flexsteel has also implemented a detailed tracking program to monitor its environmental improvements.

Flexsteel Industries, Inc. is headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa, and was incorporated in 1929. Flexsteel is a designer, manufacturer, importer, and marketer of quality upholstered and wood furniture for residential, recreational vehicle, office, hospitality, and healthcare markets. All products are distributed nationally. To find out more about Flexsteel, visit www.flexsteel.com.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance – located in High Point, N.C., and Washington, D.C. – is the largest association of home furnishings companies in the world and represents more than 240 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, as well as nearly 200 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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Flexsteel Completes EFEC Program

HIGH POINT, N.C. – An industry-specific environmental management program created by the American Home Furnishings Alliance has become an integral company resource for Flexsteel Industries Inc. and subsidiary DMI Furniture, both of which completed the program in August. EFEC – “Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture” – is a voluntary environmental management program for furniture manufacturers that helps companies:

Improve management of resources and raw materials; Reduce energy and water consumption; Reduce waste disposal and associated costs; and, Improve overall operational performance.

Flexsteel is the first AHFA member company to implement the program at a contract division – its Starkville, Miss., commercial seating factory. EFEC teams also have been hard at work at the company’s plant and corporate office in Dubuque, Iowa, as well as at plants in Riverside, Calif., Dublin, Ga., and Harrison, Ark. In addition, Flexsteel implemented EFEC at the DMI corporate office in Louisville, Ky., as well as at a DMI plant and warehouse in Huntingburg, Ind. It is the largest number of separate facilities to complete the EFEC program simultaneously.

“It was our goal when we established our environmental initiative to create a new culture within our facilities and to educate our employees on the importance of environmental stewardship,” says Ron Klosterman, Flexsteel’s president and CEO. “The benefits of the (EFEC) program have been visible from the beginning, and we expect them to continue moving forward. I’m proud of what our employees have accomplished during this time and excited to see what they can do in the future.

”What they accomplished included a 51 percent reduction in landfill waste, which equates to 105 pounds saved per employee per month. This reduction was achieved January to June 2009 as compared to the same six-month period in 2008. In addition, the company reduced its electrical usage by 3.8 percent, or 35 kilowatt hours per employee per month. Water consumption was reduced by 17.2 percent, or 86 gallons per employee per month.

Each division selected goals they wished to achieve during implementation of the program, with the most notable being the expansion of recycling efforts and reducing waste, water consumption and energy usage while increasing the use of recycled materials in operations and product development.

“We’re proud of the enthusiasm for our environmental stewardship program and for the participation at all levels of the corporation,” says Pat Crahan, senior vice president of Flexsteel’s commercial seating division, who oversees the corporate environmental program. “The (EFEC) program has provided the structure, focus and motivation to start a continuing journey of responsible resource utilization.

”Because the teams implementing the EFEC program were in seven different states stretching from California to Georgia, AHFA used web-based training in August and September 2008 to launch the environmental effort at all Flexsteel locations at one time. The teams kept one another up-to-date on progress, accomplishments and new initiatives throughout the program.

“This was an extraordinarily well-coordinated effort on the part of Flexsteel and DMI,” reports Bill Perdue, AHFA’s vice president of environmental affairs. “Technology facilitated the interaction between the teams and program managers scattered across the country, but it was the total commitment of everyone from the executive team to frontline workers that made this happen.

”And the effort does not end with EFEC registration, Perdue adds. “Results during the first year of implementation tend to be more dramatic, but all EFEC companies must participate in annual reporting and maintenance audits. They are expected to show ongoing improvement,” he explains. “Flexsteel, for example, already has plans in place that will significantly improve results at its 300,000-square-foot Dublin plant, including replacing all lights with new energy efficient fixtures. This project is expected to reduce energy consumption there another 50 percent.

”Flexsteel and DMI join a growing list of furniture manufacturers that have EFEC-registered facilities, including La-Z-Boy Residential; Sam Moore, a division of Hooker Furniture; American Drew, Lea Industries, Kincaid Furniture and Hammary, all part of La-Z-Boy’s Casegoods Division; Bernhardt Furniture; C.R. Laine; Fairfield Chair; Hickory Chair; and Vaughan-Bassett.

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