DALTON, GA — The extent that the carpet industry has transformed from merely complying with environmental regulations to becoming a green leader has made an impression on U.S. Department of Commerce
officials, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Ronald Lorentzen, the department''s assistant secretary for import administration, said there is now "a recognition that environmental innovation helps the bottom line" within the carpet industry.
Carpet companies have spent over $400 million on sustainable investments in recent years making U.S. mills "one of the most progressive industries" in the nation, the article stated.
There is still room for government to play a role by pushing for higher standards in developing nations that can compete more cheaply due to little or no environmental oversight, the article noted.
According to the article, the industry has reduced emissions of everything from carbon monoxide to particulate matter by 35 percent to 72 percent since 2003, according to a sustainability report from the Carpet and Rug Institute
(CRI), with water usage declining 30 percent from 2005 to 2007, and the amount of electricity required to produce a square yard of carpet falling to 1.29 kilowatt from 1.77 kilowatt in 2005.