ICS Magazine

Shaw Ceases Production of Polyvinyl Chloride

June 30, 2004
DALTON, Ga., June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Shaw Industries Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company and the world's largest carpet manufacturer, announced its exit from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) carpet backing, effective at the end of this year. Driving the decision is the growth of EcoWorx, a non-PVC carpet backing introduced in 1999. Over the past four years when presented with a choice, customers self-selected the new technology, which reached 70 percent of Shaw's total carpet tile production by year-end 2003.

Shaw received acknowledgement for EcoWorx from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a recipient of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. The honor recognizes Shaw for developing a carpet tile that may be sustainably recycled and has less embodied energy than traditional PVC carpet tiles, while maintaining equal or greater performance.

"We see sustainability as an essential business practice for our corporation, our suppliers and our customers -- recognizing that need, we created a product unmatched in the industry," said Randy Merritt, executive vice president of marketing for Shaw Industries. "EcoWorx meets customer demand for a PVC alternative product and provides a sustainable flooring solution that makes good economic, functional and environmental sense for all stakeholders."