Small Steps to Prepare for Big Leaps

We focused on capability building to position ourselves for progress on our planet goals. Proudly in 2019, we reduced our GHG emissions through our steps to eliminate coal as a fuel source. We continue to explore more solutions, including how to advance management of biosolids, water conservation and put plans in place for big leaps in our waste reduction goals.

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."

Barry Beck, Vice President, IC Thomasson Associates

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

Progress Toward 2025 Planet Goals

Reducing our global footprint to increase our global impact


Reduce indexed greenhouse gas emissions by 25%

  • 2018 Baseline: 1.45 MT/MT
  • 2019: 1.27 MT/MT

ZERO waste to landfill

  • 2018 Baseline: 6.2 lb/klb
  • 2019: 14.4 lb/klb

Reduce indexed water usage by 25%

  • 2018 Baseline: 2.94 gal/lb
  • 2019: 3.12 gal/lb

Increase renewable energy use 10X

  • 2018 Baseline: 9,009 MWh
  • 2019: 18,049 MWh

Reduce indexed solid waste by 25%

  • 2018 Baseline: 101 lb/klb
  • 2019: 117 lb/klb

ZERO environmental violations

  • 2018 Baseline: 5 violations
  • 2019: 2 violations

Review our GRI Index here.

Planet Highlights at a Glance


manufacturing sites

ISO 140001:2015 certified for environmental compliance

Learn more here.



RC 140001 ® certified by the American Chemistry Council for Responsible Care in Environmental Management Systems

Learn more here.



included in the nationally recognized Milliken Arboretum