Did you know that atmospheric methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases on Earth? Surprisingly, it poses an exponentially higher threat to global warming than carbon dioxide (Princeton Journal Watch).
As an industry whose product - carpet - was once the second highest contributor to landfill waste, we have taken enormous strides as a collective to divert carpet from landfills. Since the inception of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), CARE members have diverted more than 3.25 billion pounds of post-consumer carpet from U.S. landfills (2013 CARE Annual Report).
Diverting waste from landfills is critical for numerous reasons, among them being the consumption of precious green space and emission of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Landfills create a prime environment for methane emissions with decaying organic matter and anaerobic conditions (GHG Online). According to the EPA, "Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States."
However, we can harvest landfill methane for renewable energy that provides an alternate to traditional fossil fuels and also removes a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. The implications are powerful.
The EPA states, "Using landfill gas helps to reduce odors and other hazards associated with landfill gas emissions, and it helps prevent methane from migrating into the atmosphere and contributing to local smog and global climate change."
As a manufacturer, we feel a responsibility to invest in renewable energy to power operations while also taking steps to make the world more sustainable. To accomplish this, almost half of the energy used to make our carpets comes from renewable resources, such as water and methane. In fact, we receive more than 80% of harvested methane from the LaGrange, GA landfill, and our hydroelectric plant in South Carolina provides 10% of company-wide electricity annually.
These efforts have enabled Milliken to increase our use of renewable energy to 46% of our overall energy consumption. The result: lowering our greenhouse gas emissions by 42.7% over the last 20 years.
Through the strategic use of renewable energy, we can sustain our world for generations to come in more ways than one. How are you utilizing renewable energy to create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Earth?
Designers have the unique ability to make a positive impact in people's daily lives - whether it is creating more functional and inspiring spaces, more sustainable spaces better for the environment, or using their skills to help rebuild after disasters. And at Milliken, we aspire to 'do good' for the world in which we live, which is why we have joined forces with Architecture for Humanity New York for their first annual Day of Impact.
Architecture for Humanity works to provide sustainable design, construction, and development services where they are most critically needed. The Day of Impact invites the architecture and design community in New York City to bring positive and measureable social impact to areas of need in a one-day blitz.
Multiple service projects throughout the city will engage volunteers with five organizations and four boroughs to take part in various worthy projects.
Opportunities for Impact
1. Rebuilding Together NYC: Rebuilding Homes Damaged by Hurricane SandyFar Rockaway, Queens
2. NYC Compost Project by Build It Green! NYC: Beautify a Bike LaneLong Island City, Queens
3. Publicolor: Painting Winthrop Campus Alongside StudentsEast Flatbush, Brooklyn
4. MillionTreesNYC: Forest Restoration ProjectInwood Hill Park, Manhattan -or- Clove Lakes Park, Staten Island
6. Services for the UnderServed: Building an Urban FarmBrownsville, Brooklyn
We look forward to hosting the entire Day of Impact community - from volunteers to partner organizations and extended members of the Architecture for Humanity network - for a Night of Impact on Friday, October 24 to kick off the day of service. Interested in joining us? To register and participate, click here.
For those who can't join us during the Day of Impact, you can follow the event on social media using #dayofimpact14 and experience the difference New York City designers are making in their community.
As office walls come down and the open workspace dominates the corporate world, interior designers are turning to other methods to delineate different types of areas.
Photos by Sherman Takata.
We're thrilled to share that the James B. Hunt Library at North Carolina State University won the 2014 ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Award for libraries over 30,000 square feet.
The award-winning space designed by Snøhetta brings together individuals across a variety of disciplines to benefit from technical innovation and research achievements. And as versatile as the needs of a public library are, so must be the interiors, which serve as an integral part of a student's learning experience.
Because the building is mostly composed of large open spaces that flow from floor to floor - rather than to many enclosed rooms - where and how material and color changes occurred was very important. The solution: various vibrant colors of our Paste Up series paired with an incredible collection of iconic furniture.
Elaine Molinar, managing director for Snøhetta, commented on the collection: "Rich, intense colors were a key factor in the development of the library design, and once we found the Paste Up series we knew it was the right product."
Additionally, Paste Up offers performance features that are vital for a public space, including:
Creative learning environments, such as the James B. Hunt Library, can help inspire innovation and effective learning for students. We are honored to be part of this project.
Click here to read the full case study on the James B. Hunt Library, and to discover more winners of the Library Interior Design Awards visit Contract magazine.
As we continue our guest blog series, Shawn Green, vice president of design and product marketing at KI, shares his thoughts on workplace design trends.
Q: What are the most prominent trends in workplace design?
A: I think the word trend is overused in general. The fact is, the process of work has evolved over time, yet workplace dynamics have remained fairly constant. Regardless of what we want to believe, hierarches still exist.
The one dynamic that has become more impactful from a programing perspective is the purposeful planning of personal interaction. Specifically, bringing down panels, increasing the percentage of glass and intentional use of third space products, like lounge seating.
When I think of a trend, I relate more to color, pattern and form over actual workplace design. Can people work in an office that was designed in the 80's or 90's and be effective? Yes. Would they feel good about it? Perhaps not. Relevance has more to do with what is relatable and the context of color and material usage than the size of workstations. To say "collaboration" is a trend ignores the fact that people have always relied on each other to ensure the success of the collective.
About Shawn Green, vice president of design & product marketing at KI
Shaw Green is the vice president of design and product marketing at KI. He is responsible for the design, development and growth of KI's product portfolio of furniture solutions for education, healthcare, government and corporate markets.
Prior to joining KI, Green spent several years at Knoll, where he served as the director of storage marketing and as director of product marketing for systems furniture. He also held product management positions at Steelcase and Trendway.
Green holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
On World Environmental Health Day 2014, we partnered with Interiors & Sources magazine to host a Twitter Chat on a vital topic - achieving environmental health in design.
Design firms, industry organizations, and top manufacturers joined to have an informative conversation and share their unique perspective. We hope you enjoy a recap of key takeaways of the enlightening Q&A, which you can also discover on Twitter by searching #EHinDesign.
Q1: How can interior design play a role in environmental health?
Q2: How can designers & manufacturers create healthy interior environments?
Q3: How can interior designers ensure they are selecting materials that are truly sustainable?
Q4: How can manufacturer practices play a role in achieving environmental health in interior design?
It is naive to
think that human actions to the environment have no consequences or effect on
It is especially critical in interior design to consider all sustainable aspects of a product or material in a space. At Milliken, we believe that sustainability goes beyond the product itself. It requires a higher level of environmental stewardship with a holistic approach to sustainability.
Truly sustainable products encompass more than one green aspect. In addition to components, products should be made with sustainable manufacturing methods. It is critical to achieve a balance of both.
From a product perspective, sustainable products:
From a manufacturing perspective, sustainable products are:
For more than 100 years, Milliken has brought forth innovations in sustainable products and practices that we are proud to call our own. In honor of World Environmental Health Day on Friday, September 26, we're taking a look at our company's heritage of sustainability to celebrate all that our associates have accomplished to be environmental stewards.
Milliken featured three floor covering collections, Fahrenheit, Elevation and Allegory, along with our industry-leading OBEX(R) entryway matting.
IFMA World Workplace 2014 was an excellent place to connect with facility managers and discuss solutions that fit their individual needs. Milliken has been a sustaining partner of IFMA since the organization's founding in 1971, and we deeply value helping facility managers provide a safer, healthier building environment with functionally superior PVC-free modular floor covering collections and incredibly effective entryway matting.
We hope you enjoy a few snapshots of our time during the show.