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Freudenberg's green technologies lead to workforce increases
Freudenberg leads the way in recyclable product innovations that include materials used in everything from mattresses, wallpaper and brooms to building materials, landscaping and automotive interiors. The innovations keep more than 377 million plastic drink bottles out of landfills annually and have led to new contracts and increased business, allowing Freudenberg's Nonwovens, Vitech, Texbond, Filtration and Household Product companies to add jobs.
"As customers demand more and more green products, Freudenberg is driving the innovative development and production of things people and businesses use every day - all made from recycled plastic," says Leesa Smith, president of Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership and a member of the company's Global Executive Team. "Our green practices are reflected in the buildings we work in, our daily actions and in the way we manufacture products. This has enabled us to expand our workforce in key areas, and we expect the uptick in business to continue."
Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership, the North American holding company for Freudenberg & Co. of Weinheim, Germany, owns a family of companies which operate 15 businesses. Together, these companies provide innovative products and solutions to customers in industries ranging from automotive, aerospace and medical to chemical, oil and gas, and construction.
Freudenberg Household Products, headquartered in an environmentally certified building in Aurora, Ill, manufactures household and institutional cleaning products, including recycled broom fibres. Earlier this year, the company established a joint venture in Aurora with SP Berner Plastics Group SL to consolidate production of recycled mop and broom components such as handles and bristles. FHP-Berner is hiring more than 50 employees to run the new operations, which were previously held in other global production locations.
Freudenberg Filtration Technologies uses 100% post consumer recycled plastic to create the material used in its high-quality commercial and industrial Viledon(r) air and liquid filtration systems.
Freudenberg Nonwovens, headquartered in Durham, N.C., uses millions of pounds of 100% post consumer and post industrial recycled plastic a year to make environmentally sustainable materials for building and construction substrates, landscaping and weedblock materials, residential and commercial wallpaper, carpet backings, filtration devices, and automotive floor mats and carpeting.
The company has resumed operation of its recycled polyester fibre line, hired approximately 30 employees over the past year and seen commercial demand for its Lutradur and Lutradur ECO recycled plastic products increase.
Its partner, Freudenberg Vitech, is an industry leader in the production of nonwoven automotive fabric made from 100% post consumer recycled material. It manufactures fabric in its Hopkinsville, Ky., facility for automotive headliners, sun visors, seat backs and packaging trays using fabric made from 100% post-consumer PET bottle scrap.
The company has landed important industry contracts and increased its work force 30% during the past 12 months by developing new technology (and manufacturing methods) that improve the appearance of today's automotive interiors.
Freudenberg Texbond, based in Macon, Ga., recycles more than 1 million plastic drink bottles a day in production of its nonwoven roofing membrane and building materials. Its products address soundproofing, waterproofing and thermal insulation challenges for the construction industry while helping customers meet green purchasing initiatives. Texbond processes the plastic from bottles into polyester fibers, which are further processed into fabric.
These are just some of the many different ways that Freudenberg North America is implementing environmental processes in its products to meet the increasingly stringent green requirements of its customers while increasing employment in local communities.
"By finding new, innovative uses for recycled bottles, we are keeping them out of landfills and setting an example as responsible stewards of the environment," said Leesa Smith. "In fact, Freudenberg recycles more than 377 million plastic drink bottles each year for these innovations -- enough, that if laid end-to-end, would reach around the world more than two-and-a-half times."
With this continued emphasis on going green in new and innovative ways, Freudenberg North America companies intend to help set industrial environmental benchmarks for generations to come.
10th November 2011