The Milliken Arboretum: Illustrating a Long-term Commitment to Sustainability

Posted on Apr 21, 2017 8:22:37 AM, by Mollie Williams

“When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.” - David Orr

From carbon emissions to the sheer consumption of natural resources due to an exponentially growing population, the impact of human actions on the environment is continuing to compound.

As part of Milliken’s daily efforts to “do good,” we aim to make a positive impact on the place we all call home, Earth. That’s one of the reasons our global headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina, sits on over 600 acres of beautiful greenspace - one of the largest corporate greenspaces in the Southeast and a nationally recognized arboretum.

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It was Mr. Roger Milliken himself who inspired the designers to turn the former peach orchard into vistas of open fields, groves and trees, decorative fountains and ponds. Hundreds of different cultivars and species of trees and shrubs, many rare to the state, enhance the campus.

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In addition to being open to the public to explore, the arboretum is a visual illustration of our more than a century-long commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing. In the early 1900s, Milliken began reusing packaging and textile materials in our operations, documented our first recycling policy and even began investing in renewable energy. Today, we continue to find ways to responsibly manufacture our products - from establishing a zero process waste to landfill policy since 1992 to the creation of our Landfill Gas Program in LaGrange, Georgia and Inman, South Carolina, in which we replace boiler fuel at our plants from the harvested methane we receive from these local landfills.

Beyond the manufacturing process, our commitment to the environment extends across our divisions to the innovations we create.

milliCare’s unique dry cleaning process removes up to 99 percent of indoor allergens, and does so using 99.5% less water and 31.9% less energy than traditional hot water extraction.

TYCOR®, a next generation composite material, enables windmill blades to be longer and stronger to capture more renewable energy from the wind. 

MilliCap™ cap ply tape, a tire reinforcing material, reduces fuel consumption wasted by rolling resistance while also helping manufacturers reduce the amount of rubber and energy needed to produce a tire.

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Milliken associates find inspiration in nature every day - whether it’s going for a walk in the arboretum to clear their mind, or to see nature in a new way – this experience helps them to solve problems differently. Our floor covering division is a great example of this process - creating a myriad of floor covering designs inspired by nature, such as the subtropical flora-inspired Archipelago collection, and incorporating biophilic design principles - changing the pure way they approach design. For added impact, we take enormous initiatives to prevent our products from entering landfills.

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In the spirit of building for the future, we are inspired to know that the noble trees that surround our campus today will be seen for generations to come in taller, stronger, more robust versions of themselves — a true reflection of the meaningful impact we hope to have in the world.

If you’re in the Spartanburg area, we welcome you to visit the Arboretum and begin to understand the Milliken commitment to the Earth first hand.

Learn more about the Milliken Arboretum here.

Topics: Sustainability

Mollie Williams

Written by Mollie Williams