Oak Express Recognized With National Arbor Day Foundation's Top Award

Oak Retailer's Tree Planting Efforts Considered Best Corporate Program



Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Oak Express, a Furniture Row Company

    DENVER, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, April 28, 2001, The National
 Arbor Day Foundation will honor furniture retailer and manufacturer Oak
 Express at its 29th annual Arbor Day Awards celebration in Nebraska City.
     Oak Express, a retail division of the Denver-based Furniture Row
 Companies, will receive the top corporate award, "Promise to the Earth" Award,
 which recognizes leadership in the cause of tree planting, conservation, and
 environmental stewardship.  Oak Express is being honored for its participation
 in the "Trees for America" Campaign and its commitment to environmental
 stewardship.
     For every purchase made at Oak Express stores last summer, the company
 planted a tree.  The result -- 150,000 seedling trees planted in the fire
 damaged Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming and Targhee National Forest in
 Idaho.  "Future generations will enjoy recreational activities such as
 camping, hiking, and fishing; and the wildlife will have an improved habitat
 because of Oak Express' kindness," said John Rosenow, president of the
 National Arbor Day Foundation.
     "The 'Trees for America Campaign' was a perfect fit for us," said Woody
 Boyd, general manager of Oak Express stores.  "We're proud that our products
 are all natural woods and in giving back to nature by planting trees, we hope
 to leave a healthy, fruitful legacy for generations to come."
 
     Trees Aren't the Only Story
     Helping to replant the national forests isn't the only environmental
 effort from Furniture Row Companies, parent company for national retailers Oak
 Express, Sofa Mart, Denver Mattress Company, and Bedroom Expressions.
 Furniture Row is committed to environmental stewardship.
     Over the past two years, Furniture Row has aggressively reengineered its
 manufacturing and waste processes at its wood manufacturing facilities to be
 more efficient and environmentally friendly.  "Given our industry, working
 with wood, we recognize the need to be environmentally responsible and we knew
 we could improve in this area so we sought to make our manufacturing
 facilities among the best in the country," said Fred Schneider, general
 manager of Pacific Frames, Furniture Row's manufacturing facility.
     Given the company's commitment to conserving natural resources, virtually
 every process and byproduct was examined to see where improvements could be
 made.  A new computerized cutting line enables the company to maximize and
 increase the yield of each piece of timber, ultimately reducing waste.  The
 company also explored ways to increase the use of veneers and engineered
 materials in its furniture designs to provide additional stability and beauty,
 as well as reducing the amount of natural resources used.
     Additionally, the company switched from solvent-based products to much
 more environmentally friendly water-based coatings.  "There are plants in
 Europe that use this special coatings process, but we're one of a handful in
 North America to employ such strict standards," added Schneider.
     But it doesn't stop there.  The company even searched for ways to use
 sawdust, the natural by-product of the manufacturing process.  Now when the
 sawdust leaves the facility, it becomes bedding for livestock, and ultimately
 soil-enriching material.  In the winter months, an "air handling system" at
 the Furniture Row plant filters out the sawdust collected throughout the
 facility; the filtered air is vented back into the building and used as a
 heating source, reducing the need for fossil fuel-fired heating systems.
     In addition, Furniture Row also strives to work with equally dedicated
 suppliers who provide environmentally sound materials such as recycled box
 materials.
 
     A Continuing Commitment
     "It's one thing to have implemented all of the enhancements," said
 Schneider.  "It's another to continue our commitment and to set new industry
 standards.  That's why we believe that this commitment needs to be carried out
 by every employee, vendor, and supplier on a daily basis.  While we can't be
 our industry's watchdogs, we can certainly strive for setting new levels of
 improvement, and we will."
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X66369042
 
 

SOURCE Oak Express, a Furniture Row Company
    DENVER, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, April 28, 2001, The National
 Arbor Day Foundation will honor furniture retailer and manufacturer Oak
 Express at its 29th annual Arbor Day Awards celebration in Nebraska City.
     Oak Express, a retail division of the Denver-based Furniture Row
 Companies, will receive the top corporate award, "Promise to the Earth" Award,
 which recognizes leadership in the cause of tree planting, conservation, and
 environmental stewardship.  Oak Express is being honored for its participation
 in the "Trees for America" Campaign and its commitment to environmental
 stewardship.
     For every purchase made at Oak Express stores last summer, the company
 planted a tree.  The result -- 150,000 seedling trees planted in the fire
 damaged Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming and Targhee National Forest in
 Idaho.  "Future generations will enjoy recreational activities such as
 camping, hiking, and fishing; and the wildlife will have an improved habitat
 because of Oak Express' kindness," said John Rosenow, president of the
 National Arbor Day Foundation.
     "The 'Trees for America Campaign' was a perfect fit for us," said Woody
 Boyd, general manager of Oak Express stores.  "We're proud that our products
 are all natural woods and in giving back to nature by planting trees, we hope
 to leave a healthy, fruitful legacy for generations to come."
 
     Trees Aren't the Only Story
     Helping to replant the national forests isn't the only environmental
 effort from Furniture Row Companies, parent company for national retailers Oak
 Express, Sofa Mart, Denver Mattress Company, and Bedroom Expressions.
 Furniture Row is committed to environmental stewardship.
     Over the past two years, Furniture Row has aggressively reengineered its
 manufacturing and waste processes at its wood manufacturing facilities to be
 more efficient and environmentally friendly.  "Given our industry, working
 with wood, we recognize the need to be environmentally responsible and we knew
 we could improve in this area so we sought to make our manufacturing
 facilities among the best in the country," said Fred Schneider, general
 manager of Pacific Frames, Furniture Row's manufacturing facility.
     Given the company's commitment to conserving natural resources, virtually
 every process and byproduct was examined to see where improvements could be
 made.  A new computerized cutting line enables the company to maximize and
 increase the yield of each piece of timber, ultimately reducing waste.  The
 company also explored ways to increase the use of veneers and engineered
 materials in its furniture designs to provide additional stability and beauty,
 as well as reducing the amount of natural resources used.
     Additionally, the company switched from solvent-based products to much
 more environmentally friendly water-based coatings.  "There are plants in
 Europe that use this special coatings process, but we're one of a handful in
 North America to employ such strict standards," added Schneider.
     But it doesn't stop there.  The company even searched for ways to use
 sawdust, the natural by-product of the manufacturing process.  Now when the
 sawdust leaves the facility, it becomes bedding for livestock, and ultimately
 soil-enriching material.  In the winter months, an "air handling system" at
 the Furniture Row plant filters out the sawdust collected throughout the
 facility; the filtered air is vented back into the building and used as a
 heating source, reducing the need for fossil fuel-fired heating systems.
     In addition, Furniture Row also strives to work with equally dedicated
 suppliers who provide environmentally sound materials such as recycled box
 materials.
 
     A Continuing Commitment
     "It's one thing to have implemented all of the enhancements," said
 Schneider.  "It's another to continue our commitment and to set new industry
 standards.  That's why we believe that this commitment needs to be carried out
 by every employee, vendor, and supplier on a daily basis.  While we can't be
 our industry's watchdogs, we can certainly strive for setting new levels of
 improvement, and we will."
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X66369042
 
 SOURCE  Oak Express, a Furniture Row Company