Shaw Industries Group Inc., a leading carpet manufacturer and floor covering provider, has reclaimed more than 244 million pounds of post-consumer carpet since 2007 through its nationwide carpet collection network, of which 85 percent was recycled carpet to carpet, according to the company’s inaugural sustainability report.
Shaw’s goal is to reduce its total waste to landfill by 60 percent by year-end 2011, with 2008 as a baseline. The company will start with a 20 percent reduction by year-end 2009 followed by an additional 40 percent reduction by year-end 2010. Shaw is committed to a goal of zero waste to landfill.
Thanks to the company’s post-industrial carpet and “wood flour” waste-to-energy processes, Shaw saved $623,000 in energy costs in 2008 through its energy reclamation process, preventing 9,498,000 pounds of carpet waste and 12,022,000 pounds of wood and laminate flooring waste (known as wood flour) from landfills.
The company offers environmentally-friendly products in all five flooring categories: carpet, area rugs, hardwood, laminate, tile and stone. As an example, in 2008, the company introduced its ClearTouch PET filament with recycled content from reclaimed plastic bottles. It also received NSF 140 certification, a Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard.
In 2008, Shaw’s energy intensity (BTUs per total finished goods produced in pounds) increased less than 1 percent compared to 2007. The company attributes the slight increase to the integration of two new hardwood facilities. Using 2007 as a baseline, Shaw aims to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent by 2017.
Shaw is also committed to using at least 10 percent of all energy from alternative and/or renewable sources by 2017. In 2008, the company increased its usage of non-fossil fuels by over 100 percent, reaching 5.78 percent of total energy from 2.82 percent in 2007.
During 2008, Shaw also reduced its water intensity reduction by 19 percent from its year-end 2006 baseline. The company installed recovery basins in each finishing facility to capture waste water, which is then used as a fresh water substitute. This process, which enables the recycling and reuse of both water and latex raw material, saves approximately 7,000 gallons of water per week at each carpet finishing facility.
The company has reduced its water intensity by 45 percent since 1999, and targets an additional 25 percent by 2010 and 40 percent by 2016 using 2006 as a baseline.
As a result of its participation in the U.S. Environmental Agency’s SmartWay Transportation Program, since 2007, Shaw Transportation has increased its average miles per gallon (mpg) from approximately 6.25 to 6.60 mpg as compared to the 2007 industry average of approximately 5.80 mpg.
Since the publication of this sustainability report, Shaw has also announced additional progress towards its sustainability strategy, including post-consumer carpet reclamation of more than 250 million pounds and construction of a new Re2E (Reclaim-to-Energy) energy reclamation facility. The company also received Cradle to Cradle certification for its Epic Hardwood.