LNG trucks reduce pollution from Mohawk shipments

LNG trucks reduce pollution from Mohawk shipments

September 10th, 2011 by Carey O'Neil in Business Around the Region

This is one of Mohawk Industries' five semi tractors that runs on liquified natural gas.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

• What: A fleet of five semi tractors running on liquefied natural gas

• Company: Mohawk Industries

• Location: Mohawk is based in Calhoun, Ga., and the trucks will run for deliveries mostly in California.

• How it's green: Natural gas burns more cleanly than regular gasoline, leaving a smaller carbon footprint than normal semi tractors.

• Why do it this way?: Natural gas is less expensive, saving the company money on one of its biggest costs -- transportation. Natural gas trucks also pollute the air less than would an 18-wheel diesel truck.

• What's the cost?: Ryder System Inc., a national shipping company, converted some of its trucks to run on natural gas with a grant from California state government. There were no up-front costs to Mohawk, but the company pays to rent the trucks.

• Advice for others considering green initiatives: Ask employees where green changes can be made. "A lot of the employees will take ownership of that, and a lot of times they'll come up with the ideas that we start implementing," said Nathan Horne, spokesman for Mohawk. Oftentimes, green initiatives have a positive effect on a company's bottom line, he said, so they benefit both the company and the environment.

• Is environmentalism an essential part of the business and why? Mohawk is constantly looking for ways reduce pollution while saving the company money, something officials view as the most sustainable way to be green. Beyond that, Horne said, green initiatives are the right move to make for the places customers and employees live and work. "It's not just about the bottom line," Horne said. "It's about the people and the communities we live in."