published Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Carpetmaker Shaw wins awards in waste reduction

Four of Dalton, Ga., based carpet giant Shaw Industries' California plants were recognized as leaders in waste reduction and environmental responsibility through the CalRecycle Waste Reduction Awards Program.
Four of Dalton, Ga., based carpet giant Shaw Industries' California plants were recognized as leaders in waste reduction and environmental responsibility through the CalRecycle Waste Reduction Awards Program.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• Company: Shaw Industries, a Dalton, Ga.-based carpet manufacturer

• What: Shaw won four awards from the CalRecycle waste reduction awards program recognizing waste-to-landfill reduction programs. This is the seventh straight year Shaw received such awards. "It's something that, for many years, has been one of our focuses," said David Wilkerson, corporate director of sustainability for Shaw. "We definitely have a very strong, deep commitment to sustainability."

• Location: Four California plants

• How does it work? Shaw recovers used carpet and breaks down the fibers to be recycled into new product. This helped divert 8.5 million pounds of waste from landfills, according to Shaw.

• What's the cost? Shaw officials declined to say how much is spent on green initiatives that led to the award. Shaw uses the recycled material to produce its Green Edge carpet line. Customers are willing to pay a premium for the carpet, and recycling material can help save money compared to making entirely new carpet. The four plants saved $1.3 million in landfill, waste reduction and reuse costs.

• Why do it this way? Environmentalism is important to Shaw both from a good corporate citizen and business viewpoints, Wilkerson said. Employees in the company's sustainability department find ways to save money while lessening the carpet manufacturer's negative environmental practices. This helps make their sustainability efforts sustainable. "We look at it as a long-term commitment, not just a fad," Wilkerson said. "At the end of the day, it's the right thing for our business."

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