Water Stewardship in Our Operations

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Water Stewardship in Our Operations

Meeting our water goal requires deeper engagement to unlock answers

Less than 1% of the world’s water is available to support human and ecological processes. Every year, humans withdraw 4.3 trillion cubic meters of fresh water from the planet’s water basins, with industry accounting for 19% of that 4.3 trillion.

At Milliken, we're committed to doing our part. "It boils down to us doing everything we can to get cleaner water back into the river,” said Kristy Stewart, Advanced Environmental Professional Enterprise Plant, Textile.

We're focused on reducing our water usage by 25% in our operations by 2025. We know to achieve this goal we need to engage associates at our operation sites to uncover innovative solutions.

For Trey Funderburke, Engineering Services Professional at our Pendleton Plant, the secret to water usage reduction is all about operational efficiencies. "We always look for greater efficiencies," he said. "There's so much that can be done." Trey worked on a Six Sigma Green Belt project that led to opportunities for water reduction—results averaging 53,000 gallons/day in reductions.

In 2021, we evaluated 100% of our manufacturing sites for water stress risks. We’re learning that our water strategies must be customized based on local conditions. We’ve been able to cut water use at two of our three water-stressed locations: Zhangjiangang by 20% (indexed) and Gent by 2% (indexed).

We currently draw 99% of our water from non-stressed watersheds and we continue to focus on water-reduction projects, including:

  • Modernizing aging water infrastructure - 900,000 gallons reduced per year at our Union, SC plant
  • Reducing well water used in cooling towers - 40,000,000 gallons reduced per year at our Owensboro, KY plant
  • Revising processes to reduce water usage in textile piece dye and finishing - 28,000,000 gallons reduced per year at Upstate SC plants
  • Improve water usage in fine chemical manufacturing (8,000,000 gallons reduced/year)(Gainesville, FL)

McKinsey Source

Trey Funderburke, Engineering Services Professional, Pendleton Plant

Kristy Stewart 3

Kristy Stewart, Advanced Environmental Professional, Enterprise Plant