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Saving 180 Million Gallons of Water Per Year: How Shawmut’s Park Avenue, NC Technical Center is Changing the Sustainability Game

Learn how our recent renovation of our Park Avenue Technical Center delivers cutting-edge efficiency and sustainability to our customers.

In today’s fast-paced market, materials engineers, product designers, and advanced material customers need tools and processes that deliver speed, agility, and flexibility. With these in hand, they can develop custom solutions that keep them competitive and ahead of the curve. Having direct and easy access to a manufacturer’s advanced materials design team and collaboration facilities can be a gamechanger when creating innovative projects of the future. 

For this very reason, we set out to provide our customers and partners with a state-of-the-art environment that offers all these capabilities with world-class design, engineering, technical, and program management staff. And with the recent renovation of our Park Avenue Technical Center in Burlington, North Carolina, we’ve assembled it all under one roof for our customers.

FOR THE SOUTHEAST AND BEYOND

Located at the heart of the southeast hub for the US textile industry, our renovated Park Avenue Technical Center furthers our commitment to rapidly solve pressing business challenges for our customers through advanced materials innovation. Our new state-of-the art facility features: 

  • A newly constructed office and customer experience wing
  • A rapid color formulation center
  • Technical, quality, and color labs
  • On-site customer collaboration and accelerated product development processes for our customers

With these innovations, we have created an environment that fosters improved collaboration and ingenuity with our customers and partners to develop market-leading solutions. In addition to our customer-collaboration investments, we have also made commitments to the environment and the planet’s future.

SUSTAINABILITY CERTIFICATIONS

Park Avenue is the first Shawmut facility to be ISO 14001 and bluesign® certified. These international frameworks ensure a 360-degree view to manufacturing with an environmental management system. They help us improve our environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, build trust with our customers, and give them a competitive advantage through more efficient processes. We’re not finished, however. We’re committed to improving further through material innovation and environmental management. For instance, through our landfill-free and Carolina Star Program certifications, we’ve made a pledge to Burlington, NC and the health and safety of our employees and customers. Landfill-free means we send no more than 1% of waste to the landfill and less than 10% of waste to incineration. And the Carolina Star program recognizes worksites that control worksite hazards self-sufficiently.   

CUTTING WATER USAGE

Traditional dyeing and finishing operations use millions of gallons of water. We set out to introduce new processes that significantly improved our water usage for the surrounding community and beyond. We reduced dye time by 8-9%, which translates to lower energy, heat, and steam, and we dye with less water by recapturing steam in AC units. 

Ultimately, by implementing recapture methods, we cut the Park Avenue Technical Center’s water usage by 70%, equating to an annual savings of 180 million gallons of water per year. For us, however, it’s not about a number but rather how we support our community. While we remain the largest water user in Burlington, we help the city’s treatment process through conservation and filtration. 

SUSTAINABILITY BY THE NUMBERS

We strive to grow as an agent of change for our advanced materials customers, community, and the environment. While the Park Avenue facility is just the beginning for Shawmut, it has already made some powerful impacts, including:

  • 704,627 gallons of fossil fuels saved by recycling instead of producing virgin products
  • 1,076 trees saved by recycling all paper and pulp products 
  • 2,629,416 metric tons of CO2 saved by recycling instead of landfilling 
  • 3,650,257 kWh of energy saved by recycling instead of producing virgin products

WHY SUSTAINABILITY?

Improving our environmental impact is about making visible changes in the community. The sustainability efforts at Park Avenue produce aluminum baseball bats, trash can liners, and throw rugs. And most importantly, we’re creating jobs. We are also adapting to changes in the industries we serve to ensure we are meeting the dynamic needs of our customers.

As advanced materials customers prioritize improving their sustainability, we want to support their goals with products that can play a role in “our” sustainable future. And more importantly, we are investing in sustainability because it’s simply the right thing to do, for the planet.