Small sustainability steps really add up!

Yesterday, April 22, was Earth Day. But every day is Earth Day to the Earth Day Network’s A Billion Acts of Green initiative, as it works to garner commitments by individuals, organizations, businesses and governments to protect the planet. A Billion Acts of Green is now the largest environmental service campaign in the world, inspiring initiatives that reduce carbon emissions and support sustainability. The concept: Individual actions add up to something really, really big. And Mohawk’s a big believer.

Mohawk  is well known for its use of sustainable wind power in paper manufacturing. We thought you might be interested in some of the behind the scenes initiatives Mohawk does every day that typically don’t get publicized…but have a positive impact. We hope these examples will spark some ideas for environmental initiatives in your own companies.

Transportation: Getting it there
A key area for Mohawk is efficiently moving products across the country on a timely basis. The logistics team optimizes shipping methods and route and they use biodiesel in their truck fleet. Plus, Mohawk is a participant in Smartway, a program of the U.S. EPA designed to reduce transportation-related emissions by creating incentives to improve supply chain efficiency.

Facility improvements: Sustainability where we live
There are many things you’ve probably done in your home that can translate to the workplace. It’s one of the easiest areas where you can show quick improvements: in lighting upgrades, programmable thermostats, tankless hot water systems in offices…to name just a few. Mohawk has also added high efficiency HVAC, occupancy sensors for office and operations lighting, and piping insulation to reduce heat losses. They even source “green” cleaners for housekeeping.

Mohawk  has a dedicated electrical energy conservation program in place that examines at all facets of manufacturing as well as plant maintenance to determine where and how best to conserve.

Information technology: The power of data
Mohawk always researches the energy efficiency of equipment prior to purchase. Plus, upgrading to virtual servers saves on electricity and air conditioning costs. Sourcing refurbished computer components helps to cut costs as well as increase recycling. They also uses state of the art video and teleconferencing to minimize unnecessary travel.

Recycling: Use less, make more
Recycling is one of the quickest ways to start a sustainability program. At Mohawk, our recycling program includes:

• All batteries used in operations
• All types of paper waste
• Toner cartridge recycling with manufacturers and to benefit breast cancer charities
• Used cell phone donations to benefit soldiers and combat domestic violence
• Paint conservation program in our facilities
• Recycling metals
• Sending raw material containers—tote bins and drums—back to vendors for reuse
• Recycling parts washers in our maintenance areas, which allows cleaning solvents to be reused instead of replaced

If your company is like most, one of your toughest questions will be how to measure the impact of sustainability. A recent study confirms that companies that invest in sustainability are no worse off financially than those that do not…and they have happier and more committed employees. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review: “Our research shows that sustainability is a mother lode of organizational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-line returns.” Starting small can yield big results in no time.

This article was originally posted on Mohawk MakeReady. For more practical tools and information like this article, visit

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