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Shaw Industries Further Reduces Carbon Footprint with Combined Heat & Power Plant at South Carolina Carpet Fiber Facility

May 29, 2018 - CHP to reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 26,000 metric tonnes annually

Shaw Industries

Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (Shaw) has completed the construction of a cogeneration Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plant at its Columbia, S.C. fiber production facility. The CHP, which began operating in May 2018, will reduce the plant’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 26,000 metric tonnes; that’s an impact equal to removing almost 5,500 passenger vehicles from the road each year. 

This is the latest in ongoing investments Shaw is making to minimize its environmental footprint. The company recently announced it has achieved carbon neutrality in its commercial carpet manufacturing operations. Companywide, Shaw has made significant investments to help reduce its energy and greenhouse gas impact. As a result, Shaw’s greenhouse gas emissions have decreased approximately 25 percent compared to 2010 -- with a target of reducing both the amount of energy the company uses and the amount of GHG emissions it produces by 40 percent by 2030 (per pound of finished product).

“Climate change is a complex, global issue. While no one company or individual can tackle this challenge alone, as a globally oriented company we have a responsibility to positively contribute to the solution,” notes Troy Virgo, director of sustainability and product stewardship at Shaw. “The Combined Heat and Power Plant exemplifies one of many ways we are doing our part to have a positive impact on the world we all share.”

The result: Less fuel is used to provide the same amount of steam and electricity to the plant, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions The plant will realize reduced energy costs as well.

The addition of the CHP to Shaw’s operations is all part of Shaw’s carbon strategy, which systematically focused on:

  • Reducing energy demand and improving energy efficiency
  • Investing in renewable energy generation
  • Measuring and reporting progress with a goal toward continuous improvement

This carbon strategy is part of Shaw’s broader sustainability strategy, which focuses on products, the environment and people in Shaw’s quest to create a better future. “Sustainability challenges us to challenge ourselves,” notes Virgo. “The effort matters because people matter.” 

About the Combined Heat and Power Plant
This CHP application will use natural gas to fuel a turbine to generate electricity, leveraging the exhaust heat from the turbine to produce steam. This production meets the entire steam demand for Shaw’s carpet fiber plant in Columbia, S.C. and replaces the majority of electricity supplied by a utility company.

CHP technology can operate with an overall efficiency of 75 percent or greater, compared to 35 percent efficiency for electricity from the fuel entering a power plant to the end use in the plant or in a home.