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Staff file photo / Mohawk Industries is pictured Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Calhoun, Georgia.

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 1:04 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, to change the name to Mohawk Group in the second paragraph. An earlier version incorrectly said Mohawk Industries, the parent company of Mohawk Group, had signed The Climate Pledge. Mohawk Group signed the pledge, but not Mohawk Industries as a company overall. The Mohawk Group supports only the commercial flooring market within the Mohawk Industries portfolio.

The world's biggest floor covering firm has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint and become a net zero carbon emitter within the next two decades.

Mohawk Group this week celebrated its signing of The Climate Pledge, which more than 200 U.S. companies have signed committing to decarbonize its manufacturing and supply operations by 2040, or 10 years ahead of the goal set in the Paris climate agreement.

"We can't turn a blind eye to climate change," said Jackie Dettmar, Mohawk Group's vice president of marketing, design and product development. "There's a clear need to decarbonize the economy."

The Climate Pledge effort was co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019 and commits businesses that sign on to implement decarbonize strategies in line with the Paris Agreement and neutralize remaining emissions with additional offsets to achieve zero annual carbon emissions by 2040. The Atlanta-based Interface Inc. signed the Climate Pledge in February.

"The Climate Pledge is a landmark effort toward climate action," said Malisa Maynard, vice president of sustainability. "Collective corporate initiatives like this can help create a low carbon economy, making a positive impact on all people, wildlife and resources while demonstrating a powerful shift in the industry."

Mohawk, headquartered in Calhoun, Georgia, said its carpet tile division is already carbon neutral and by next year all Mohawk Group flooring products will be carbon neutral plus an additional 5% carbon offset. By recycling carpet and plastic bottles and making process improvements and product re-engineering in its plants, Mohawk has reduced both its supply and power consumption and re-used more of its materials and energy in its manufacturing of carpets, tiles and other flooring surfaces.

The Climate Pledge aligns with Mohawk Group's Waterways Project designed to protect and preserve rivers and their ecosystems. Since 2015, the World Economic Forum has declared water crises to be a top five global threat to society over the next decade.

The Waterways Project addresses that vital issue, touring the nation to explore the connection between river health and human health. To celebrate signing The Climate Pledge, Mohawk Group hosted a signing celebration during a New York City event this week to promote its Waterways Project tour.

"Since water is a key impact area in our manufacturing operations, we have made it integral to our climate action strategy," said Mike Gallman, Mohawk Group president.

Compiled by Dave Flessner who may be reached at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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