Mohawk Industries has brought its environmental efforts together under one name: Greenworks. Projects including the SmartStrand fiber made using DuPont Sorona derived from corn to a wide-scale recycling project aimed at converting nearly 25 percent of all soft drink bottles in the U.S. to carpet fiber are under the Greenworks umbrella. The program is aimed at helping “customers, dealers, employees and others to better understand the full scope of Mohawk’s environmental efforts,” according to the company.
“It’s easy to say you’re green. It’s a lot more difficult to actually be green,” said Frank Endrenyi, vp of sustainable development for Mohawk. “Greenworks is designed to help people understand how much effort goes into this process-and how it impacts every level of our company.”
A key element of the program is a new recycling center for post-consumer carpet called the Mohawk Greenworks Center. Based in Chatsworth, Ga., the plant uses patent-pending technology to process all parts of the carpet, including fiber, backing and latex, and recover approximately 90 percent of the materials for reuse. Additional plants can be built virtually anywhere, according to Endrenyi. “Our Greenworks facility is portable, so it can go to the carpet, which makes recycling more feasible,” he said. “It can be scaled for the amount of material that needs to be processed. Because the plants can be built anywhere, recyclers can keep costs down by being close to any Greenworks processing center.”
Additionally, the company has launched a blog, www.greenworksblog.com. This website will feature regular postings on Greenworks programs. “Greenworks puts us into a position where we can have some sustained conversations with consumers and dealers,” Endrenyi noted.
A well-known part of the Greenworks story is the company’s use of DuPont Sorona polymer in Mohawk SmartStrand fiber. The polymer, derived from corn sugar, is a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to the petrochemicals usually used to create carpet, the company notes.
Mohawk is also one of the largest recyclers in the flooring industry. The company has to date diverted nearly 3 billion pounds of pre- and post-consumer waste from landfills, including carpet, carpet tiles, cushion, laminate and ceramic tile. Additionally, the company recycles old tires, roofing materials, old wood furniture and soft drink bottles for use in new products.