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IKEA promotes environmental advice

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Swedish furniture and home furnishings retailer is preparing for Earth Day by describing sustainability as "the never ending job."

The company also is promoting what it calls a "Never ending list" of small improvements toward a more sustainable IKEA.

There are 77 small improvements on the list, including the use of flat packs to reduce transports, the reduction of raw material in particleboard, refraining from the use of optical brighteners in textiles, and funding scholarships for sustainable forestry initiatives in Eastern Europe and Russia. 

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New program takes aim at greenwashing

BY Brae Canlen

A program conceived by an LBM retailers organization and a certification agency will begin testing and verifying building products to ensure safety and quality assurance. Called “Claim Check Verification,” the program is being launched this month by the Building Products Retailers Alliance, a group of state and regional LBM trade associations. Products and construction materials will be certified by Intertek, a third-party auditor with more than 1,000 labs and offices across the globe.  

To enroll in the Claim Check verification program, manufacturers register at claimcheckverified.com, then upload requested information to the site, such as proof of independent tests to applicable industry standards and protocols. Once approved by Intertek, the products are listed in the site’s online database, which is open to the public. There is no cost to retailers, wholesalers or consumers for the program.

Bill Tucker, president of the Florida Building Material Association, told Home Channel News that the idea for the program came from a group of pro dealers looking to certify retailers that carried green building materials.

“There was a realization that the real ‘green’ problem was ‘green washing,’ " Tucker said. “The dealers at the meeting were confused about what was and wasn’t green and how they could determine which was which.”

After contacting Intertek about putting together a green certification program, the Chinese drywall problem surfaced, according to Tucker. “That  occasioned us to think about the need for verifying claims for all types of building products,” he said. Thus the Claim Check program was born.

In addition to the Florida Building Material Association, the Building Products Retailers Alliance includes the Construction Suppliers Association, the Illinois Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, the Kentucky Building Material Association, the Northwestern Lumber Association, and the Southern Building Material Association.

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Fastenal reports sales and earnings surge

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sales and earnings at Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal reflect positive trends in the industrial segment of the U.S. hardware industry.

Fastenal, the specialty tools and fasteners dealer, reported fourth-quarter sales of $573.8 million, up 20.3% from fourth-quarter sales last year.

For the full year, the operator of some 2,500 stores posted sales of $2.269 billion, up 17.6% from a year ago.

Net earnings for the quarter increased 46.3% to $65.2 million.  Net earnings for the full year increased 43.9% to $265.4 million.

Fastenal opened 37 stores during the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31. 

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