Salem, N.J.-based Mannington Mills Inc. has been honored with one of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable's (NPPR) 8th Annual Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) awards for decreasing volatile organic compound (VOC) and hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions.

In the early 1990s, Mannington began researching use of water-based inks for their printing operations, and completely replaced solvent inks by the end of 1996.

Throughout the late 1990s, Mannington chemists and valued ink suppliers continued to formulate even more environmentally sound inks. By the end of 2002, they were able to convert to exclusively "ultra-low VOC" inks. As a result of these beyond-compliance efforts, Mannington will save 840,000 KWhr of electricity, 40 million cubic feet of natural gas, and add more than $340,000 to the company's bottom line annually.

On their printing lines, VOC emissions to the air have decreased by 268 tons over the past seven years -- an 86 percent reduction. Fuel-burning emissions -- such as NOx, SOx, CO2, CO, and particulates -- were reduced in excess of 80 percent as well. The technically superior inks also eliminated hazardous waste, fire risks, odors, and process noise. Their contribution has furthered the transition to environmentally friendly and sustainable vinyl floor covering production.

The award will be presented in Washington D.C. at a ceremony in the Rayburn House Office Building on Sept. 23. Congressional representatives from the states and districts of each winner have been invited to attend and present the awards.

The 2004 MVP2 award recipients collectively reduced pollution by 3 billion pounds and conserved 80 million KwH of electricity, all while cutting costs by $30 million. Their collective efforts are equivalent to taking 3 million cars off the road.

"These organizations demonstrate the fact that pollution prevention is beneficial to both the environment and the economy," said Jeffrey Burke, executive director of NPPR.

The MVP2 awards are just one aspect of National P2 (Pollution Prevention) Week, which is held every third full week in September, this year from the 20th through 26th. Since P2 Week became a national event in 1995, NPPR has been advancing pollution prevention awareness through its efforts to encourage and promote widespread participation during the week and beyond.