First systems manufacturer to measure and reduce carbon emissions to net zero and achieve CarbonNeutral® company certification

Hudson, MA – 19th May 2010 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of systems furniture, is proud to announce it has achieved CarbonNeutral® certification. AIS has strengthened its sustainability commitment by neutralizing unavoidable greenhouse gases produced in the manufacturing process at the company’s Hudson, MA facilities.

As the first systems manufacturer to make this strong commitment, AIS hopes to educate others and pave the way for increased responsible thinking in the contract furniture industry. “I firmly believe we all have to take responsibility for our CO2 footprint. The effects our future generations will endure due to social irresponsibility is avoidable. If we all join forces and take action, we can make a positive impact. By measuring and reducing our carbon emissions to net zero through carbon offsetting, we are enabling innovative, clean and renewable energy technologies to develop,” said Rob Lazarus, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, AIS.

To achieve CarbonNeutral® status, AIS is working with The CarbonNeutral Company, one of the world’s leading providers of carbon reduction solutions. The CarbonNeutral Company completed a program set out by The CarbonNeutral Protocol, the global standard for organizations to measure and reduce their carbon emissions to net zero. The program involved an independent assessment of the CO2 emissions produced from the manufacturing of AIS workstations in the Hudson, MA facilities. With this data, AIS was able to counter balance its emissions through carbon offsetting. This means that for every one tonne of CO2 that AIS produces, it pays to enable an equivalent amount of CO2 to be saved by an offset project somewhere else in the world. Without carbon financing, these projects would not be viable. Carbon financing also delivers added benefits at the project site, such as employment.

Mark La Croix, Executive Vice President of Business Development, The CarbonNeutral Company said, “By adopting a leadership position in achieving CarbonNeutral® certification, AIS is able to present a credible, low carbon alternative to customers seeking increasingly sustainable office furniture options.”

AIS has been an industry leader in implementing lean manufacturing philosophies. This commitment has led to receiving the Shingo Prize for lean excellence, as well as being recognized as one of the Top 25 manufacturing facilities by Industry Week Magazine. The company has instilled a philosophy of reducing waste from every  possible aspect of its manufacturing streams, which include energy, greenhouse gases, raw materials and excessive man power. Because of this commitment, AIS is able to offer its products at a reduced cost with increased environmental attributes. After years of lean improvements throughout the company, it was a natural progression for AIS to begin researching and understanding its carbon footprint to offset the unavoidable emissions.

Continuing the lean and green journey, AIS is pulling its teams together to encourage employee-led Kaizens focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Kaizens are a part of AIS’ lean manufacturing philosophy. Kaizens are continuous improvements that identify and eliminate waste, helping us sustain natural resources and ultimately increase productivity. Encouraging our employees to think responsibly here in the workplace not only helps AIS but also educates our teams to utilize these tactics at home. It’s a way to help spread our message and make an impact beyond these four walls,” said Steven Savage, Chief Operating Officer, AIS.

To learn more about AIS’ CarbonNeutral® status, visit the AIS showroom at NeoCon – Suite 1082 or visit www.ais-inc.com.

Carbon Offsetting Projects:
AIS offsets its unavoidable emissions in three projects. The first being a forestry project in Mendocino County, California called the Big River/Salmon Creek Forests Project. The second, a methane capture project in Tieling, China, captures methane gas released in the coal mining process. The third, a renewable energy project, generates clean energy from 40 wind turbines in Mongolia, China.

About AIS:
AIS is a rapidly growing manufacturer of commercial office furniture and boasts one of the most impressive stories of growth and success in the systems furniture market. The company is known for offering feature-rich product lines that entice designers and meet immediate and future needs of end-users while offering exceptional value. AIS is an innovator that leads the industry in sustainable, lean manufacturing, lead-time and manufacturing flexibility. AIS employs 320 people, with over 500,000 sq. feet of manufacturing and operations at three locations. For more information, visit the AIS website at www.ais-inc.com.