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Sustainability

We strive to lighten the furniture footprint on the planet and take new responsibility in the process with a fully local approach to design and manufacturing.

All of our furniture is built with FSC Certified Domestic hardwoods, 90% of which are sourced within 70 miles of our production facility.

Material Sourcing

Symbol Audio uses domestic sustainably harvested FSC-certified hardwoods. We use no lumber from South America, Eastern Europe or Asia, where deforestation still runs largely unchecked. Over 98% of our raw materials are sustainably sourced. Over 95% of our raw materials are locally sourced within 500 mile radius of our factory. Our production facility was one of the founding members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council and continues to lead the way in using safe and sustainable materials for a better world and safer work environment for our craftspeople.

Manufacturing Efficency

Given the close proximity of our suppliers & customers, our operations use relatively low amounts of oil for transportation. We closely monitor our electric usage and continually upgrade our lighting & motors to the highest & most efficient equipment available. In 2014, we converted our entire facility to LED lighting, reducing our lighting-related electrical use by 70% and overall electrical usage by 25%. In 2009, we installed 1.2M Btu biomass boiler system that uses our off-cut lumber & sawdust as its sole fuel and allowed us to remove a 10,000 gallon underground oil tank.

Built to last

We manufacture consumer durables (beautiful furniture) that have a useful life cycle in excess of 50 years. Because solid wood allows for better joinery & reparability, our products typically outlast those constructed with plywood & other engineered wood material. Our product is reusable and releases no toxins at its end of life. Our product is an excellent source of carbon sequestration.

Accountability

We formally track 100% of our waste streams, i.e. we monitor everything coming into and going out of our facility, from wood to water to AA batteries, to assure all materials are used wisely and disposed of properly. We have reduced our emissions of HAPs by 90+% and our overall VOC emissions by 40+% over the past 15 years. A number of organizations have recognized us for these efforts. We were the first recipient of the West Virginia Environmental Leadership Award for minimizing waste, liquid and air emissions from our facility. For performance in reducing hazardous wastes, we were recognized as a Top Environmental Steward by the WV Department of Environmental Protection. Operating in a rural community within headwaters of the Potomac River, we have no access to public waste-water treatment and have built & maintain our own system that exceeds current regulations. We have also developed a highly innovative storm water management system that has proven effective enough to earn exemption from annual state monitoring. In 2006, the Business for the Bay Foundation presented us with their Environmental Excellence Award for outstanding pollution prevention activities, projects and outreach to help protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.

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