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Mohawk Sets 2020 Green Goals with First Sustainability Report

Flooring maker Mohawk Industries is working toward a 25 percent reduction by 2020 in the intensity of its energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions and how much waste it creates.

In its first sustainability report, Mohawk elaborates on some of the work it's done to lower energy use and seek alternative energy sources, reuse water and recycle waste into new products.

The Europe plants run by Mohawk's Unilin laminate and wood flooring company receive the bulk of their energy from burning biomass like bark, trimmings and reject board produced on-site. A plant in Georgia has taken a different route by working with its local utility and changes it operating hours in order to consume energy mostly during off-peak hours.

Mohawk's water reduction efforts have centered on reusing water. Four of the eight plants run by its Dal-Tile ceramic tile company recover and reuse all of their process waste water, and Mohawk's bottle recycling plant in Georgia is developing a greywater capture system.

To divert more waste from landfills, Mohawk Industries plans to expand its recycling work, which currently include a Waste Stream Management group that works with all Mohawk facilities to educate them about recycling and bring all of their efforts together. About 70 warehouses currently use an inventory and shipping system that lists 139 recyclable items, which about 100 companies buy from Mohawk.

Mohawk currently diverts more than 3 billion pounds of waste from landfills. Along with using its own waste in products in some cases, Mohawk uses its bottle recycling plant to produce 100 percent post-consumer polyester carpet fiber, makes doormats from recycled rubber ties and plastic bottles, turns excess foam from furniture and mattress makers into padding, and uses reclaimed wood in hardwood flooring.

For GHG emissions, Mohawk is first expanding how much of its emissions it measures. The company currently only measures direct and indirect energy consumption, but plans by 2011 to report its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, and then start digging into its supply chain to get a grasp on its Scope 3 emissions.

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