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Although October – also known as Sustainability Month – is over, taking steps to become sustainable is a year-round and timeless effort. Just ask the nation’s largest mattress specialty retailer, Mattress Firm, which has achieved its first TRUE (Total Resource and Use Efficiency) Zero Waste Certification at its Sumner, Washington distribution center.
“Having sustainable practices is vital for our industry. Not only is it important for us to collectively be good corporate citizens and do our part to protect and preserve the environment, but Better Sleep Council research shows that sustainable business practices are important to consumers, too. In short, our industry needs to do what’s right – it’s good for the world around us and good for business,” says Tom Gioiella, Vice President of Operations at Mattress Firm.
Although the Houston-based retailer operates distribution centers around the country, the Sumner, Washington facility was a natural starting point, according to Gioiella, given its “size, breadth of operation and well-developed regional recycling network.” In just one year, two million pounds of waste – or 90% of what the facility produces — was diverted from landfills.
“Achieving TRUE certification at our Sumner distribution center showcases the concrete steps Mattress Firm is taking to preserve and protect the environment. We are committed to pursuing TRUE or similar certifications for additional distribution centers nationwide as part of our journey to reducing waste across operations. Currently, we utilize recycling programs for mattresses and other materials, including plastic, cardboard and wood at many of our distribution centers.”
Through this certification, Gioiella and Mattress Firm aim to set an example of sustainable practices not only within the company but also in the communities in which they operate. As Ratio Institute co-founder Peter Cooke stated at the International Sleep Products Association’s annual Sustainability Conference in September, the most important first step when in becoming more sustainable is to “start where you are,” and go from there. To learn more about the TRUE Zero Waste Certification, visit true.gbci.org.