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Interface introduces protocols

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, August 18, 2003

As another step in its seven-year goal to produce fabrics using environmentally sustainable manufacturing processes, Interface Fabrics Group (IFG), an Interface company, has introduced two protocols.

The company, which produces Terratex brand fabrics, is now using wind to fuel 10 percent of its electrical energy needs at its Maine and Massachusetts operations.

This year, the company will purchase 2.5 million kilowatt hours of "green tags" from an independent energy resource. The green tags represent renewable energy certificates, and the purchase of wind power will save about 4.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year..

Paul Paydos, vp, technical services for IFG, said, "This purchase means that IFG is making significant progress toward a goal to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy."

Acknowledging that the renewable energy process is still more expensive than fossil fuel, Paydos added, "The economic consideration is real but almost negligible. The extra cost is a small component of fabric cost on a per-yard basis." The company plans to increase its purchase in future years and initially will be able to label one million yards with the TGreen-e logo, he said.

The second new step in producing sustainable manufacturing is the Dye and Chemical protocol, which has led to a proprietary process to assess all chemical components in dyes and finishing chemicals. It moves beyond governmental requirements by requiring suppliers to disclose all chemical ingredients in their products, which allows the company to select environmentally preferable materials.

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