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Milliken's Sustainable Solution Wins GSA Evergreen Award

GSA #9500

July 9, 1998
Contact: Annette Super, (703) 305-6058
GSA National Furniture Center

SEATTLE, WA--David J. Barram, Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), today presented GSA's first Evergreen Award to Milliken Carpet, at GSA's Products & Services Expo in Seattle. The award recognizes GSA's industry partners who operate in a manner that respects and protects the quality of our environment; businesses that conserve resources throughout all aspects of their operations--design, engineering, processes and production. Milliken's Earth Square process, its floor covering products and Milliken's corporate initiatives to reducing consumption, re-using materials, recycling, investing and giving back to the community, and innovative solutions that work, clearly demonstrate their support of tomorrow's earth--and qualify them as partners in Planet GSA.

"What we at GSA are about today, is truly sustainable development," said GSA Administrator Barram in presenting the award. "As the federal government, and the nation's largest single consumer of products and services, we have an opportunity and an obligation to direct our purchasing power into responsible environmental management." Through Milliken's Earth Square program, federal agencies and corporations ship used modular carpet to Milliken to be renewed. To avoid any facility downtime, new Milliken carpet (which can be renewed in the future) is purchased to immediately replace the old carpet. The used carpet is re-engineered at Milliken, where dirt and debris are removed and new patterns and colors are applied. The renewed carpet is then shipped back to be reinstalled and reused in another part of the facility.

"We commend Milliken for its leadership in pioneering a truly sustainable technology," said Frank Pugliese, Commissioner of GSA's Federal Supply Service. "We rely on the private sector to develop sustainable and economically feasible solutions. It is no surprise that Milliken is providing quality floor coverings products in support of our nation's environmental programs."

Milliken estimates that approximately 5 billion pounds of carpet are sent to landfills annually. Yet, nylon carpet typically is replaced because it is soiled, matted or outdated, not because it is worn-out. Milliken's Earth Square renewal process provides an ecological solution to disposing of carpet. It transforms a disposal liability into a renewable asset.

"This award recognizes the partnerships GSA is forming with private companies, such as Milliken, to bring us closer to our goal of environmental sustainability," said Barram. "If we achieve our goal, our grandchildren will be able to look back at what we did and say, �They left the world a better place! And they did it at the time it really mattered."

Milliken Carpet is a division of Milliken & Company, an international textile and chemical manufacturer. The carpet division is based in LaGrange, GA. Milliken's Earth Square program has also won Keep America Beautiful's top environmental award.

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