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Covering New Ground

Carpet and Rug Institute touts carpets benefits, corrects misconceptions.

Peggy Whaley, Carpet Editor

By Peggy Whaley, Carpet Editor Covering New Ground The Carpet and Rug Institute takes proactive road to tout carpets benefits, correct misconceptions. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) plans to significantly tear down barriers to profitability and growth in the carpet and rug industry by using the resources of its enthusiastic, well-positioned staff and expertise from member companies, CRI President Werner Braun said during the Dalton, Ga.-based organizations annual membership meeting.CRI is a new organization, a proactive advocacy organization, Braun said. He called attention to the various changes that have been made in the association and said CRI is seeking support of all allies and advocating messages that are scientifically based to win buy-in from adversaries.Specific messages will be shared with members for their use and the targeting of specific audiences from consumers to commercial end-use segments.

CRIs five-branched pentaskelion logo (shown right, in a tufted carpet used in the lobby at CRIs Dalton headquarters), represents five aspects of the carpet and rug industry: creativity, technology, enterprise, quality and integrity.Carpet, Clean and Dry deals with care for the building industry and care for carpet. Green Carpet, Its Not Just a Color refers to the industrys move toward sustainability. Carpet for Cleaner Air revolves around volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon dioxide and allergens. Carpet Makes the Grade in Schools focuses on carpet as the educated choice for the total learning environment in the education market. Carpet, It Softens the Impactdirects messages toward healthcare markets. Carpet, It Just Feels Better refers to the overall comfort of carpet.The 2001 Joe Smrekar Memorial award was given posthumously to Dr. Eugene P. Willimon. Better known in the industry as Rusty, Willimon was the general manager at Milliken Carpet, LaGrange, Ga. The award was presented to his family. In accepting the award, Mrs. Willimon said, My husband always put God and family first. Its the best legacy one can leave behind. She challenged the businessmen present to do the same. Environmental Initiatives
Frank Hurd, CFO and vice president, CRI, emphasized the importance of the associations Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) (See CarpetandRug News, TW, this issue). We are anticipating our efforts in this area will result in the reduction of 40 percent in carpet taken to landfills, he stated. This ambitious goal will be achieved, according to Hurd, by converting carpet waste into useful energy and product. We are looking at waste energy, steam, and electricity, and were exploring the possibility of using cement kilns. We want to make sure we have the right recycling technology. This is a lot of carpet and a much better alternative than putting used carpet in a landfill and letting it sit there for 50 years, Hurd said.Hurd is also director of government and association relations. He announced procedures, ongoing and enhanced, to monitor legislative and regulatory issues in every state and in the federal government. He also said that this information will allow CRI to react before issues become crises.CRI reported that Matthew Realff, Ph.D., professor of engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, provided a correlation showing that the energy reduction reported by the carpet industry is equivalant to the annual emissions of 226,000 cars. Braun responded, Its great to see that the reduction of energy use in this industry is essentially equivalent to parking more than a quarter of a million cars. Carpet manufacturers have made, and are continuing to make, strides in energy conservation while focusing on creating high-performance products for the benefit of customers. They are leaving environmental footprints for the value of future generations.At the annual meeting, a number of CRI directors reported on the status of current association programs. Ken McIntosh, health, environment and technical director, said papers will be ready to submit to the Ninth International Indoor Air Quality meeting in June. Paper topics include maintaining the indoor environment, the quality of the air, and comfort issues in the environment.Steve Phillips, director of customer satisfaction, reported on media outreach, including efforts to implement immediate electronic correspondence and increase use of CRIs website for communications to members and the media.Charlott Coker, director of human resources and electronic advocacy, announced the launch of new navigation capabilities and a new look for CRIs website, www.carpet-rug.com. Joan Seelaus, electronic advocacy manager, will manage a workgroup created across all focus areas. President's Perspective
There are a number of messages CRI wants to convey to the buying public, Braun told Textile World. One of those messages is mildew and that can almost be a national hysteria. The word moldaphobia comes to mind when you see people bulldozing houses because it has mold in it. So why is CRI interested in it Braun explains: A lot of people see mold on carpet and immediately say theres a problem with the carpet, lets rip out the carpet. This is a truly misguided judgment. If you have mold on your carpet, its not because you have a problem with your carpet, its because your house or office has uncontrolled moisture problems. Taking out the carpet is addressing the carpet, not the problem. You still have a house or building with mold and mildew. The answer is in the message, Carpet, Clean and Dry.Another important message for the industry, noted Braun, is environmental performance. This industry has a real right to be proud of our environmental performance it has been working for the last 10 to 15 years on reducing our consumption of energy per square yard. Some things that highlight this [lower energy consumption] the best are the reduction of water consumption and the release of carbon dioxide.Carpet in the school environment is extremely significant, he said. We believe that carpet is a very important element in a healthy learning environment from many different perspectives. Its comfortable underfoot teachers applaud carpet. It causes less stress on the feet, causes fewer problems with varicose veins and its sound-suppressive. With carpet, a classroom is not nearly so noisy the teacher can be heard easier. Additionally, he said carpet can sometimes prevent injuries during falls. If someone does fall, chances of being hurt are a lot less on a carpet surface. We believe carpet creates the opportunity to improve the quality of air in schools as well as in the home.Some people just dont understand and will maintain that allergens or dust go into the carpet and feel thats a bad thing. But our data tells us the opposite because if its in the carpet, its not in the air you are breathing. Its not getting into your eyes and allowing you to have an allergic reaction. Braun said its better to have dust in the carpet than in the air. If dust should be in the carpet, he said, there is a green-label vacuum available to remove it. Through the green label program, CRI plans to test vacuums to see how effective they are in getting stuff out of the carpet. The stuff stays contained in the vacuum and can be disposed of outside the home or office. The filter-like properties of the carpet can be refreshed, and in addition, he continued, youre removing that stuff from the house and office.CRI And Its President, Werner BraunHeadquartered in Dalton, Ga. the heart of carpet manufacturing in the United States CRI is the national trade assocation representing the carpet and rug industry. According to 1999 statistics, 80 percent of all carpet manufactured in the United States is produced within a 65-mile-radius of Dalton.CRIs membership consists of manufacturers, as well as suppliers of raw materials and services to the industry.Policy is determined by a Board of Directors composed of CEOs from member companies. Policy is implemented by a full-time professional staff. CRI members and staff are committed to facilitating cooperative solutions to all industry challenges.Werner Heinz Braun assumed the helm of the organization in 2000. After obtaining a bachelor of science in chemistry from St. Edward University, Austin, Texas, Braun began a career with Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., that would span more than 30 years. Brauns extensive background in the chemical industry also includes work with environmental issues and public policy advocacy, which he plans to draw upon in order to usher in a new era at CRI one that will see the organization at the forefront of the carpet industry with new, more proactive policies and initiatives.
Werner Braun stands with promotional posters featuring CRIs new scientifically-based messages, created to win over carpet adversaries. For more information, contact CRI (706) 278-3176; fax (706) 278-8835; www.carpet-rug.com.New CRI DirectorsElected to the Board of Directors with terms to expire in 2003:Richard Bierie,Mannington MillsMac Bridger,CollinsandAikman Floorcoverings Inc.Mike Derderian,Royalty Carpet MillsMike Gallman,Blue Ridge Carpet MillsCharles Kennedy,Gulistan CarpetJim McCallum,Burlington IndustriesJulian Saul,Shaw IndustriesAssociate Members:Brad Hill,SolutiaWalt Hubbard,BASFMike Lawrence,HoneywellElected to the Boards Executive Committtee with terms to expire in 2002:Carl Boukaert,Beaulieu GroupMac Bridger,CollinsandAikman Floorcoverings Inc.Dan Frierson,The Dixie GroupJeff Lorberbaum,Mohawk IndustriesBob Shaw,Shaw IndustriesJohn Swift, (Treasurer)Mohawk IndustriesBrad Hill,SolutiaElected to the Board of Directors with terms to expire in 2003:Richard Bierie,Mannington MillsMac Bridger,CollinsandAikman Floorcoverings Inc.Mike Derderian,Royalty Carpet MillsMike Gallman,Blue Ridge Carpet MillsCharles Kennedy,Gulistan CarpetJim McCallum,Burlington IndustriesJulian Saul,Shaw IndustriesAssociate Members:Brad Hill,SolutiaWalt Hubbard,BASFMike Lawrence,HoneywellElected to the Boards Executive Committtee with terms to expire in 2002:Carl Boukaert,Beaulieu GroupMac Bridger,CollinsandAikman Floorcoverings Inc.Dan Frierson,The Dixie GroupJeff Lorberbaum,Mohawk IndustriesBob Shaw,Shaw IndustriesJohn Swift, (Treasurer)Mohawk IndustriesBrad Hill,Solutia February 2002



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