Sustainability

Bertolini’s custom church chairs are built with locally sourced materials. The 16-gauge cold-rolled steel chair frames are produced from 100% recyclable American-made steel. This durable frame configuration will outlast other frames by nearly double, alleviating the need for frequent replacement. The better product life cycle factors into sustainability and allows for longer warranties over those offered by others.
 
We manufacture the majority our church chair seats with a patent pending Blow Molded Flex-Fit™ Seat, which is made with up to 50% post-industrial recycled materials. The seats can support over 800lbs (focused in the very center of the seat) creating sustainability with a longer product life cycle. 
 
We work with one of America’s leading producers of foam cushioning and use their bio-based foam products. These foam cushioning products leave a smaller environmental footprint in comparison to traditional foams made with petroleum products. Our foams are fully recyclable, free of the controversial PBDE (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers) and are produced without the use of chlorinated fluorocarbons. These bio-based foams are the industry’s best and are perfect for your church chairs. They’re so good that their performance meets or exceeds the petroleum-based counter parts they replace.
 
Bertolini discourages the use of plating for chair finishes and instead offers a more environmentally friendly finish. With electrostatic polyester based powder-coats, we utilize an in-house state-of-the-art powder coat system that is self-contained with zero emissions and zero environmental impact.
 
We have reduced cardboard in our church chair packaging by eliminating the need for fully enclosed boxes in our deliveries. All our chairs are delivered in custom shrink wrapped protection stacks or in reusable blankets.
 
Our Commitment to a Sustainable Tomorrow Includes:

Initiatives

Facts and figures

  • Bertolini has adopted company wide pre-industrial and post- industrial recycling programs for 98% of all materials used in the chair building process.
  • Energy Mix and Source: 19.9% of our electrical energy comes from renewable power supplies. Of the 19.9%, 41% comes from wind energy, 44% comes from geothermal energy, 7% comes from solar energy, 4% comes from small hydro energy and 4% comes from biomass energy.

Carbon Footprint

  • Though we have not yet done a Carbon Footprint study, we will go through this process in the future as we continue to increase our sustainability efforts.
  • It’s policy for shipping to consolidate loads. Additionally our factory has reduced freight miles per chair and incorporated back hauling with Bertolini trucks when possible.
  • Steel, poly, and wood are locally sourced for our facility

Recycle Programs

  • Recycling waste programs include steel, corrugated plastic, wood and paper.
  • Approximately 49% of a standard chair by weight is built with materials which contain recycled components.
  • 100% of a standard chair can be taken apart and recycled into other products.
  • 100% of the materials used in packaging chairs can easily be recycled.

In Progress Sustainability Initiatives:

Energy and Cost Savings

  • Our facility only uses general factory lighting when needed and only runs the powder-coating machine when needed. This reduces utility expenses from $1.28 per chair shipped in 2012 to $1.17 per chair shipped in 2013, a 9% cost reduction. This is huge because at the same more equipment was added.
  • The factory continues to study ways of improving trucking efficiency. John Brodt, our Logistics Manager, is helping to facilitate these efforts.
  • Our factory has conducted a Lean Mfg training in efforts to create new ideas to reduce cost in labor as well as energy consumption.

Early Stage Sustainability Initiatives:

Utility Reduction of Use

  • We are looking at ways to improve efficiency or reduce the use of water, electricity, and natural gas.

Product Take-Back, Reuse, or Reclamation Programs

  • Alternate End of Life programs are being reviewed so that we can improve upon our efforts in the future.

Recycling

  • In addition to our current recycling efforts, we will increase ease of use for employees through additional central and personal recycling bins.

Supplier Sustainability Profiles

  • We will begin surveying our suppliers to learn about their sustainability initiatives. We will also seek to partner with sustainable minded suppliers in the future when making decision on purchasing products and raw materials.

Environmental Policy

It’s the policy of Bertolini to support continuous improvement in all aspects of business, including care for the environment. Bertolini believes its importance and requires each employee to have one quarterly goal regarding the policies below for which they will be rewarded based on accomplishments.

Administration, Sales & Marketing Departments Employees

  1. Continue developing methods of using less paper to accomplish work.
  2. Maintain room temperature at minimum comfort levels, not to over cool or over heat areas.
  3. Set up HVAC systems to insure that units are not in use when the office and buildings are vacant.
  4. Turn off lights when not needed.
  5. Quarterly goals will be developed for each employee.

Product Development Department Employees

  1. New products will use sustainable components when possible.
  2. Materials will be sourced from local suppliers when possible.
  3. Continue developing methods of using less paper to accomplish work.
  4. Establish quarterly goals for each employee.

Production Department Employees

  1. Continue to improve efficiencies so that more products can be made in less time, saving labor and energy.
  2. Continue to improve product quality to prevent the additional shipping of repair parts.
  3. Continue developing methods of using less paper to accomplish work.
  4. Continue to reduce scrap.
  5. All scrap steel will be inspected and approved by the department supervisor prior placement in the recycle container. This is to insure reworking the part is not possible.
  6. All scrap cardboard from packaging will be a) placed in a recycle container b) if applicable given to shipping for repackaging components.
  7. All scrap powder will be used on non-color sensitive components and products.
  8. All scrap olefin fabrics will be placed in a recycle container.
  9. General facility lighting will only be used as needed.
  10. Establish quarterly goals for each employee.

Shipping Department Employees

  1. Continue developing methods of using less paper to accomplish work.
  2. Reduce carbon foot print by consolidating loads. Communicate to customers Bertolini’s efforts to consolidate loads to reduce carbon foot print.
  3. Develop freight lanes to improve load chair count.
  4. Continue to improve the percentage of chairs shipped with Bertolini trucks to reduce packaging materials used.
  5. Establish quarterly goals for each employee.

Recycle Program

The Bertolini recycle program continues to expand as knowledge and technology advances. This program includes recycled materials purchased and used in the product (pre-production recycling) as well as materials recycled after production (post production recycling). In addition, Bertolini offers employees the ability to recycle home materials if they don’t have a recycle program at home. These items should be approved by a supervisor prior to placement into the recycle bin.

Pre-Production Recycling Program

Steel:

  1. Steel tubing is purchased from local suppliers and is produced with an average of 23% post-consumer recycled steel in the fabrication of materials used to make Bertolini tubing. This represents approximately 25% of the weight of a standard chair.
  2. Steel tube yield is very high because it’s cut to size at the mill which eliminates waste caused by different lengths required to build chairs.

Plastic:

  1. ABS plastic used in manufacturing chair backs contains 100% recycled or reprocessed materials when these materials are available. This represents approximately 14% of the weight of an average chair.
  2. HDPE plastic used in manufacturing chair seats contains approximately 30% of recycled or reprocessed materials when these materials are available. This represents approximately 10% of the weight of an average chair.

Wood:

  1. OSB wood is used on some models where plastic is not used and is made of compressed wood strands that are recycled from other wood cutting processes.

Fabrics:

Polyolefin fabrics are manufactured from industrial waste, as a by-product of gasoline manufacturing, thus removing raw materials from the waste stream.

Powders:

  1. We utilize and promote our Environmental (Black and Green) powder. This powder meets the requirements of the US green building council.This product is manufactured using 70% recycled materials and produces virtually no VOC emissions.

Foam:

  1. Some foam contains Sustainable Soy / Bio-based polyol material which replaces non-renewable petroleum based polyols. This type of polyol improves energy efficiencies and reduces the carbon and environmental footprint.

Post-Product Recycling Program

Steel:

  1. Scrap/recycle dumpsters are placed at the facility. The dumpsters are picked up by a scrap metal dealer for recycling into other steel products.
  2. Steel is delivered in reusable containers. This process saves thousands of pounds of wood and cardboard packaging materials each month.

Aluminum:

  1. All scrap aluminum is accumulated then taken to a recycling facility.
  2. Aluminum cans are also recycled.

Paper:

  1. In the event paper must be used for printing documents, both sides of the paper are used.
  2. Confidential documents are stored and later shredded prior to being recycled.

Cardboard:

  1. Recycle containers are placed at t the facility. Corrugated cardboard is flattened and then taken to the recycle facility monthly.
  2. Packaging materials received from local suppliers are sent back to local suppliers to be reused.
  3. Receiving reuses boxes for shipping components to customers.

Plastic:

  1. Plastic bags are cut into strips, then made into matting and other items for distribution to homeless people in the community.
  2. All ABS plastic scrap generated from the injection process, are reground and put back into chair backs. This means that virtually zero scrap is wasted.
  3. All HDPE plastic scrap generated from the blow mold process, are reground and put back into chair seats. This means that virtually zero scrap is wasted.

Wood:

  1. Some scrap wood is made into spacer blocks used in packaging for specific models.
  2. Some scrap wood is made available to employees for home wood working projects.
  3. Wood dust and scrap from the CNC router is sent to a recycling facility.

Fabrics:

  1. Some scrap fabrics are sent to a recycling facility.
  2. Some scrap is reused in specific upholstery operations to improve efficiency and or product quality.
  3. Obsolete fabrics are sold to fabric houses and sold to consumers for couches, chairs, and other craft projects.
  4. Obsolete fabrics not wanted at fabric houses are donated.

Powders:

  1. Excess Powder used in the manufacturing process is collected and recycled as “Re-Claimed.” Re-Claimed powder is used on chair carts and dollies.

Foam:

  1. Scrap foam is returned to the supplier who bails it and sends it to be made into carpet padding. This type of carpet padding is higher quality than virgin poly.
  2. Re-usable carts have been built to reduce the use of packaging materials.

Product End-Of-Life Program

Bertolini has established the end of life program to educate the customer on their options in properly disposing of chairs purchased from Bertolini. Go to www.earth911.com to find a recycle center for specific items.

Recycle Instructions

Impressions Series Chairs

  • Backs: Remove side screws (2). The back slide upward, use hammer if needed. Cut fabric to remove foam. The foam and plastic will go to different places.
  • Seats: Remove under seat screws (4). Cut fabric to remove foam. The foam, plastic and fabric will go to different recycling centers.
  • Frames: All steel tubing is recyclable as metal scrap.

Millennia Series Chairs

  • Backs: Remove side screws (2). The back slide upward, use hammer if needed. Cut fabric to remove foam. The foam and plastic will go to different places.
  • Seats: Remove under seat screws (4). Cut fabric to remove foam. The foam and wood will go to different places.
  • Frames: All steel tubing is recyclable as metal scrap.

Essentials Series Chairs

  • Backs: Remove screws (4). Cut fabric to remove foam. The foam and wood will go to different places.
  • Seats: Remove under seat screws (4). Cut fabric to remove foam. The foam and wood will go to different places.
  • Frames: All steel tubing is recyclable as metal scrap.

Refurbish Options

  1. New seats and backs can be made for your chairs. Contact a Bertolini rep for details.

Removal and Disposal Options

  1. If a Bertolini truck is used to make a delivery to you, (local to Tennessee), Bertolini will take your chairs and bring them back to our facility.
  2. Bertolini will inspect each chair and either take them apart to recycle them properly or find a charitable organization to send the chairs to if they pass inspection. A detailed charitable receipt will be sent to you.

Social Responsibility

Bertolini is committed to use resources to care for the owners and other stakeholders, to create income for tax revenues, to build a healthy and educated workforce, to care for the environment for the future and to support missions across the globe.