First JUST Label for a LVT Flooring Manufacturer
Submitted by Metroflor Corporation
Metroflor announced that the Elegant Home-Tech Company Limited (formally known as Elegant Plastics) facility in Zhangjiagang, China, which manufactures its Aspecta commercial LVT product, received the first-ever JUST label for a Chinese company and the first JUST label for a LVT flooring manufacturer. To receive the JUST label, the company had to provide numerous policies for public review and be rated on a wide range of metrics including safety, diversity, worker benefits and community engagement.
The JUST platform was created by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) as an innovative way for organizations to be transparent about their entire operations beyond product ingredients. Rather than a certification program, JUST is essentially a nutrition label for socially just and equitable organizations. The program requires reporting and documentation on a range of organization- and employee-related indicators, each requiring specific and measurable accountabilities recognized on a One, Two or Three Star Level, which are published on the JUST label.
Said Aspecta’s Chief Sustainability Officer Rochelle Routman, “The idea of pursuing a JUST label for a Chinese factory is courageous and profound. By accomplishing this, we have created a benchmark for our factory as well as the entire U.S. manufacturing sector sourcing from factories in Asia. The world is moving past the stigma of ‘Made in China’ because modern factories such as Elegant Home-Tech have made great strides in worker experience, quality control, and product and social transparency. It is Aspecta that is leading this movement to take transparency beyond US borders.”
“I am so proud of our team’s commitment to both transparency and social responsibility - this flows through our veins and informs everything we do in every part of our global enterprise,” said Harlan Stone, Aspecta Chairman of the Board. “If a company cares about the quality of life of their employees, this will be reflected in their commitment to excellence and the in quality of the products. What a virtuous cycle this can become! We are first to prove this out, and we hope many others will follow this example.”
CEO of Elegant Home-Tech, Jin Song, fully supports the JUST effort and understands the need for transparency at the large flooring factory, which employs over 1000 people. Additionally, Metroflor is fortunate to have Simon Xia, its general manager for China and liaison to Elegant Home-Tech, who assisted the team in overcoming the language barrier and setting the documentation process of existing policies in motion. Xia worked with Francis Janes, ILFI’s JUST Manager, who walked him through the JUST parameters. This enabled Xia to evaluate and document transparency and social equity practices enabling the company to achieve the coveted label.
Said Janes, “The JUST Label is reflective of Metroflor's longstanding commitment to sustainable business practices. The Institute is also very pleased to note that this is the first instance of a JUST labelled facility in China.”
“Earning the first JUST label for a Chinese company demonstrates our system-wide transparency, which we hope will inspire the future direction of manufacturing in China,” Corey Carter, Metroflor’s Director of Sustainability, noted.
The announcement of the first JUST label for a Chinese company will coincide with the “Positively Made in China” panel during the upcoming Living Future unConference in Portland May 2 – 4, of which Aspecta is a sponsor. The presentation will take the audience on an inside journey to green manufacturing in China. Routman and Xia will be joined by James Connelly, Vice President, Products + Strategic Growth, ILFI, and Ryan Dick, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of GIGA, to explore the symbiotic relationship between US and China manufacturing and the vast opportunity that exists there for performance-driven sustainability.
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