Six mini-case studies cosponsored by IEHN offer examples of innovation and efficency that save money, eliminate chemical hazard and toxicity, differentiate products and services, increase profits and revenues, and enhance brands.
In 1999 Shaw Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway company, pioneered fully recyclable PVC-free carpet tiles with a revolutionary new backing material called EcoWorx.® Within the highly competitive forces that are typically present in a mature and consolidating industry, EcoWorx raised the bar for durable goods manufacturers of all kinds. Supplier collaboration facilitated the technical innovations that allowed Shaw to produce carpet that was not only recyclable, but also maintained the properties of virgin material throughout the recycling process at a reduced cost. Reduced input costs were further boosted by manufacturing, transportation and handling savings resulting from a 40% reduction in the weight of the end product. Awarded a Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2003, Shaw was recognized in its industry as an innovator.