ISPA Sustainability Conference: End-of-Day Wrap Up

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Editors Dave Perry and Waynette Goodson share their thoughts and key takeaways from the debut ISPA Sustainability Conference held Nov. 16-17 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Transcript

Waynette Goodson
Hey, it’s Waynette Goodson. You’re managing editor of BedTimes and Sleep Savvy Magazines. I’m here with Dave Perry, and we just wrapped up our day at our sustainability conference. And man, was this a success. I mean, we have like double the folks that we thought we would have and so many important nuggets on sustainability. Dave, talk about a couple of your key takeaways.

That aha moment today.

Dave Perry
I think one of my aha moments was the industry has got a lot of interest in this issue. One way that I tend to judge conferences is how much interaction is there between the audience and the speakers. Every speaker had numerous questions, and this was kind of a conference for the attendees. We didn’t just talk to them. They talked to us, and our final speaker actually just had his entire presentation,

Andrew Dent was a dialogue with the audience, and he drew out where we are as an industry, and you know, there are some success stories, but there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Waynette Goodson
Right. Well, and just the idea that you know, you can take incremental steps toward sustainability like this is day one and just get started on the journey. But for me, I love the Mattress Recycling Council. The panel where Mike O’Donnell talked about the average age of a mattress coming into a recycling center is 11 years old.

I thought that was a good nugget and that he talked about the foam is in high demand by the carpet industry and how that foam is going into carpet padding.

Dave Perry
Yeah, there’s a problem. There’s a profitable market for that, which is great news.

Waynette Goodson
Yes. Very good news.

Dave Perry
We do need to find uses; the steel can be recycled. And so the MRC is a great success story in the industry, and you know ISPA has done a great job working with the MRC to promote more awareness of recycling. The MRC, as you know, this year celebrated its 10 million recycled mattresses.

Waynette Goodson
10 million mattresses; that is amazing,

Dave Perry
Which is pretty amazing.

Waynette Goodson
Amazing. Now another thing that I took home was Leonard Gordon talking about just the FTC Green guidelines and how you have to be so careful with your marketing and how you’re describing your sustainable product. Anything else, Dave? What do you think?

Dave Perry
I think another takeaway for me, and you know, you can probably hear the energy in the room now. The vibe here was just tremendous. I mean, I had people thanking me for putting this on. The industry loves to be together, and I think it loves being together on this issue in particular. This is an emerging issue. We’re at the forefront of setting the agenda, and it’s just great to be a part of this kind of energy and this kind of excitement.

Waynette Goodson
Right. And it doesn’t stop here, guys. This has been so successful that Ryan Trainer, our president, ended the session today talking about next year and really going ahead and planning toward next September. So if somehow you missed this, look in your inbox, and you’re going to be already getting information about next year and a conference in September focusing on sustainability.

Dave Perry
So yeah, we are thrilled to be part of this, and we’re excited that ISPA has taken a leadership role. We encourage you to partner with ISPA as we make the industry more sustainable and recyclable, and we keep that great camaraderie the bedding industry has. So, great working with you again.

Waynette Goodson
Great working with you, Dave.

Dave Perry
All right. You guys take care.

Waynette Goodson
Go green.