What Ethics Mean to Milliken: Environmental Stewardship

Posted on Jun 16, 2016 9:00:00 AM, by Mollie Williams

Long before the word sustainability entered our everyday language, Milliken understood that a living enterprise and a living earth were inextricably linked. We understand that our daily actions can impact the earth for generations to come, so we approach innovation with a keen concern for the natural world.

Our commitment to environmental stewardship spans more than a century. 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. By the late 1900s, we developed a comprehensive plan to eliminate waste, increase product performance and preserve natural resources. All of this was accomplished years before the first clean air and water acts and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were formed.

Today, we’re also committed to sending zero waste to the landfill. In doing so, we maximize the use of every material that comes through Milliken. We invest in finding alternative uses for waste through reuse, recycling and process modifications, and what cannot be recycled or reused is converted into energy. In fact, all process waste produced by the floor covering division has been diverted to cement kilns or waste-to-energy facilities since 1992.

Our commitment to the environment extends to the innovations that we create. Many Milliken solutions help our customers be more sustainable through improved productivity and resource use during manufacturing. For example, NX™ UltraClear PP from Milliken Chemical imparts eco-friendly properties for polypropylene used in food packaging, such as clear trays. With a lighter weight and lower density than polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polystyrene (PS), using NX™ UltraClear PP results in more trays for less material. Packaging made with NX™ UltraClear PP is also fully recyclable and requires less fuel and raw materials at the time of production, resulting in fewer emissions from manufacturing. 

Other innovations help create healthier and safer built environments. For example, TractionBack® from Milliken Floors is a bio-based, adhesive-free method to install modular carpet, which reduces or eliminates VOC off-gassing typically associated with floor sealants and adhesives. Dry carpet care by milliCare 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.

This commitment to sustainability is ingrained into our company’s DNA. Why? It is the right thing—and the ethical thing—to do.

Discover more about what ethics mean to Milliken:

Topics: Making Connections, Sustainability

Mollie Williams

Written by Mollie Williams

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