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Freudenberg\'s green technologies create new jobs

Freudenberg North America is finding that its recyclable innovations are not only good for the environment and its customers - they are also good for job growth. Freudenberg aims to lead 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 company says its innovations kee

4th November 2011

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Plymouth, Michigan

Sustainable, Transport/​Aerospace, Medical/Hygiene, Interiors, Construction, Civil Engineering, Industrial, Packaging, Agriculture

Production of biodegradable nonwovens

Freudenberg North America is finding that its recyclable innovations are not only good for the environment and its customers - they are also good for job growth.

Freudenberg aims to lead 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 company says its 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 create new jobs opportunities.

Green practices reflected in workplace

Leesa Smith, president of Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership and a member of the company's Global Executive Team comments: "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".

Leesa continues:  "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 work force in keyFreudenberg Nonwovens Weinheim areas, and we expect the uptick in business to continue."

15 unique businesses

Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership, the North American holding company for Freudenberg & Co. of Weinheim, Germany, owns a family of companies which operate 15 unique 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 Nonwovens, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, 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 weed block 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.

Automotive fabrics from 100% PCM

Vileda Super MocioIts partner, Freudenberg Vitech, is an industry leader in the production of nonwoven automotive fabric made from 100% post consumer recycled material. It manufactures 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.

Earlier this year, Freudenberg Household Products, headquartered in an environmentally certified building in Aurora, Illinois established a joint venture in Aurora with SP Berner Plastics Group S.L 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.

1 million plastic bottles per day 

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 fibres, which are further processed into fabric. Freudenberg Filtration Technologies uses 100% post consumer recycled plastic to create the material used in its high-quality commercial and industrial Viledon air and liquid filtration systems.

Freudenberg North America says these are just some of the many different ways that is implementing environmental processes in its products to meet the increasingly stringent green requirements of its customers while increasing employment in local communities.

Leesa Smith comments: "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". She continues that: "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.      

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