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Sustainable Home Furnishings Focus of October High Point Market 2-day Event

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The Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC), Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) and the High Point Market Authority are primary sponsors of two educational lunchtime events scheduled during the October High Point Market. Product sustainability and responsible wood sourcing are the featured topics. On Tuesday, October 2, Mike Italiano, president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS), presents “Sustainability 101,” a primer for defining, producing, selling and marketing ecologically sound products. Italiano’s talk will detail evaluation criteria on the subject of sustainability. Attendees may qualify for CEU credits for this event. The next day, Wednesday, October 3, is titled, “Responsible Wood Purchasing – How your choices can make a difference to the Planet.” Daphne Hewitt, senior projects manager for the Rainforest Alliance’s TREES program, will discuss the challenges of responsible wood sourcing along with its impact on the furniture industry. In light of growing consumer demand, Hewitt will supply ideas and tools for both producers and sellers of wood furnishings. Both hour-long events begin at noon in the Courtyard at Market Square and are targeted to furniture designers, retailers, manufacturers and marketers. Participants are encouraged to attend both events. Seating is limited. An eco-friendly lunch will be provided each day. Reservations are needed by September 27, and should be made via email to: jan@highpointmarket.org. Italiano is founder of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) with more than 35 years of environmental experience, including a post as senior analyst in the White House Science Office. As assistant to the director for the National Commission on Water Quality, he helped write the Congressional Report on the Clean Water Act. He has published more than 50 articles in the environmental field and authored four books on related subjects. For industry, Italiano directed the development and approval of SMART© Sustainable Products Standards for the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association. Since 2000, Hewitt has worked for Rainforest Alliance, an internationally acclaimed non-profit environmental organization. Her primary role has been to lead initiatives which link wood purchasers to sustainable sources, through the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartSource service program. She is experienced in sustainable forest management and international development, with a focus on tropical Latin America. Her field projects in six countries work to improve the livelihoods for rural and indigenous communities. Hewitt serves on the board of directors for the furniture industry’s Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC). Additional sponsors for the events are High Point Market exhibitors Groovy Stuff and Caperton Furnitureworks.

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