Investing in Cogeneration
Milliken seeks innovative solutions for energy efficiency in its operations. In 2019, construction of a $25+ million combined heat and power facility began in Blacksburg, South Carolina. Combined heating and power enables us to reduce energy consumption by capturing wasted heat and increasing energy reliability by generating electricity on site—with the aim of reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by 10% and reducing waste by 5%.
"Combined Heating and Power (CHP) is an efficient, reliable, and resilient energy system and is promoted by both the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency. The CHP system allows Milliken to eliminate coal as a fuel source and significantly reduce air pollutant emissions."
Reflecting on 2019 Planet Progress
While we are pleased to make progress on certain goals including reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and beginning a significant project to enable us to eliminate coal as a fuel source, we realize we need focused solutions to advance our waste goals. Our waste goals were impacted by a variety of factors, including product mixtures and periodic removal requirements necessary for biosolid management. Our scientists and engineers are already exploring ways to reduce biosolids potentially by 50-75% over the next 2-5 years, as well as efforts to reinforce best practice policies and procedures on water usage, biosolids management, and additional waste protocols.
Striving Toward Progress
We are continuing progress to uncover solutions to advance our planet goals. We announced our 2025 sustainability goals in 2019, and spent our first year since announcing the goals focused on improving our environmental management approach, including:
- New Oversight: New Executive Vice President of Operations announced, learn more here
- Enhanced Focus: Increased our focus on Milliken Performance System, learn more here
- Expanded Team: New team members across the business focused on continuous improvement, specifically a new Director of Continuous Improvement within each division
- Sharpened Approach: Renewed our approach and efforts on waste management, including dedicating our scientists to explore solutions to improve our biosolid management, and continued efforts to understand and apply established best practices
Upgrading Global Headquarters
We completed numerous environmental upgrades at our global headquarters, including:
- Doubled solar capacity
- Upgraded LED lighting: 495 MT reduction in GHG emissions and 1,070,000 kWh reduction in energy
- Expanded composting efforts: 13,338 pounds of compost diverted from landfills—which reclaimed 648 square feet of cropland and saved 53,356 gallons of water