Sheoga is located in Ohio’s Appalachian forest where nearly all of the timber used in the production of our hardwood flooring is harvested. As a whole, the Appalachian forest region comprises 12 states, 344 counties, and more than 65 million acres and is recognized for growing the finest quality hardwood found in the world. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Inventory and Analysis found in 2012 that there are 2.45 trees growing for every tree that is harvested or dies of natural causes across this region. These results verify that the Appalachian forest region’s timber inventories and acreage have both expanded significantly during the past 50 years, with an increase of 5% since 2007 alone. This represents a resource that meets present needs without compromising those of future generations – the very definition of sustainability.
Many of our suppliers of hardwood timber are from a large rural Amish community that is still engaged in the traditions of using horses to transfer logs to the sawmill. This method of log transport minimizes damage to young trees and soil and avoids the use of greenhouse-gas-emitting fossil fuels.
Mother Nature is responsible for air drying our lumber prior to kiln-drying, a process that can greatly reduce energy use and kiln-drying time.
A wood waste boiler fired with sawdust generated as a by-product from our manufacturing process is used to heat over 117,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and showroom space. Our 220,000 BF-capacity dry kilns derive their heat from the same source, and excess sawdust is sold for animal bedding. Were it not for our wood waste boiler system, our estimated heating oil consumption would be around 250,000 gallons per year.
To demonstrate its commitment to sustainable forestry and responsible wood sourcing, Sheoga is proud to participate in NWFA’s Responsible Procurement Program (RPP) and to produce flooring under the RPP’s U.S. Renewing Forests label.
In addition, in order for wood flooring to qualify for the U.S. Renewing Forests label, the forests of origin must be considered to be at low risk for the following factors by environmental groups and other stakeholders:
- Illegal Logging
- Conversion of natural forests (to tree plantations or non-forest uses)
- Logging that threatens the conservation of rare or threatened species and ecosystems (“high-conservation value forest”)
- Use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)
- Logging that violates traditional or civil rights
The U.S. Renewing Forests label was developed by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) and represents an unprecedented partnership between a major forest products industry trade association and the environmental community. Under the RPP, Sheoga is committed to sourcing an ever-increasing percentage of our wood from forests that are certified according to the rigorous environmental and social standards of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). The RPP is designed such that the U.S. Renewing Forests label will ultimately be replaced by the FSC label.
At the heart of the RPP is an alliance between NWFA and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) U.S. FSC is a not-for-profit organization that sets standards for environmentally and socially responsible forest management worldwide. These standards, in turn, guide the “green” certification of forests and forest products through a system of independent auditing. FSC enjoys the support of most major environmental groups, including the World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, and the Sierra Club.
To further our commitment to future generations, Sheoga Hardwood Flooring successfully passed our Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) audit in December 2011 to become FSC® certified to produce flooring under the FSC Mix Credit Label.
“FSC-US recognizes and supports the Responsible Procurement Program as a valid incremental approach toward socially and environmentally responsible forestry.”
– Corey Brinkema, President, FSC US