Freudenberg North America Companies Target Zero Manufacturing Waste In Push To Improve Sustainability

MANCHESTER, N.H. — June 18, 2012 — In an ambitious drive to reach zero manufacturing waste in its
North American facilities, Freudenberg North America’s 16 companies will increasingly pursue
industrial processes that focus on recycled product content, plant recycling, lower water and
energy consumption and increased use of sustainable materials over the next decade. 

The companies were challenged to reach this objective by parent corporation, Freudenberg and
Co., during a recent internal Global Innovation Forum on raw materials and innovation. The two-day
event, annually conducted and simultaneously video-cast from locations in Germany, Brazil, the
United States, China and Japan, allowed Freudenberg’s global contingent of scientists, chemists and
other technical specialists to review green projects, share best practices and participate in
critical discussions about ongoing environmental issues.

The impact that global megatrends such as population growth, global warming and an increasing
scarcity of resources is having on Freudenberg’s business and innovations – and how the corporation
will respond – was central to the Global Innovation Forum.

“In the past, we have successfully issued challenges to our manufacturing facilities to
achieve zero defects and zero accidents,” said Dr. Martin Stark, a member of the Freudenberg and
Co. Management Board. “We are now issuing a challenge to achieve zero manufacturing waste. The
trends driving our business today mandate this kind of response if we are to maintain long-term
growth and profitability.”

In North America, Freudenberg companies provide products and services as diverse as consumer
cleaning products; medical devices; seals and gaskets for the transportation and construction
industries; industrial components for the energy and oil and gas industries; nonwoven filters and
materials; information technology outsourcing; and specialty lubricants and release agents. All of
the companies are engaged in implementing processes and programs that will improve the
environmental sustainability of their products and plants, said Leesa Smith, president, Freudenberg
North America Limited Partnership.

“Freudenberg’s North America companies are committed to developing the highest quality
products available in manufacturing facilities that protect people, communities and the
environment,” Smith said. “Freudenberg has a 160-year history of conducting its business with
integrity and a commitment to the welfare of its plant communities. The confluence of new
environmental challenges and this long-standing corporate culture is pushing our people to develop
green industrial innovations that will help solidify our success – and the health of our
communities – into the next century.”

Among the environmental initiatives that Freudenberg North America companies are pursuing:

  • Freudenberg Nonwovens, headquartered in Durham, N.C., uses millions of pounds of 100 percent
    post consumer (PCR) and post industrial recycled plastic annually to produce Lutradur® ECO, a
    polyester industrial backing used in building and construction substrates, landscaping materials
    and wallpaper and carpet backings. The company produces the material using a proprietary,
    closed-loop manufacturing process in plants that reuse all of their material scrap. Commercial use
    of Lutradur ECO is rapidly rising as contractors seek new ways to improve the sustainability of
    their own building and construction designs.
  • Freudenberg Household Products, headquartered in an environmentally certified building in
    Aurora, Ill, manufactures recycled household and institutional cleaning products, including
    recycled broom fibers. The company established a joint venture with SP Berner Plastics Group S.L,
    to consolidate production of recycled mop and broom components such as handles and bristles. The
    consolidation has reduced the company’s carbon footprint by eliminating 22,800 tons of CO2 that
    would have been produced by shipping bristle fiber stock from Italy.
  • 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.
  • Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, in Plymouth, Mich., is pursuing dozens of technological
    innovations aimed at reducing the company’s reliance on scare natural resources, lowering vehicle
    emissions, improving engine and transmission performance, supporting development of wind and solar
    energy and incorporating more recycled content in its products. The organization’s Low Emission
    Sealing Solutions (LESS) components use one quarter of the energy a conventional radial shaft seal
    uses, thereby reducing fuel consumption and lowering vehicle emissions. The company’s FluoroXprene®
    fluoroelastomers are a unique group of newly-developed materials that bridge the technology gap
    between PTFE and rubber while substantially reducing CO2 emissions and energy usage. FluoroXprene
    materials are completely recyclable. The company is also pursuing ultraviolet (UV)-curable sealants
    that will reduce energy consumption, lower Co2 emissions and reduce cycle times.
  • Freudenberg Filtration Technologies, in Hopkinsville, Ky., uses 100 percent post consumer
    recycled plastic to create the material used in its high-quality commercial and industrial Viledon®
    air and liquid filtration systems. The company’s Viledon® Hydrotexx ECO is green filtration media
    made from PCR polyester and offers consumers in the pool and spa market a green water filter
  • Chem-Trend, based in Howell, Mich., has developed technology to substitute water for solvents
    as a release agent carrier across all of its product lines. The transition from chemical solvents
    to water in this process has eliminated the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in
    the solvents while ensuring excellent release performance and process adequacy.
  • A number of Freudenberg North America companies, including Kluber Lubrication (Londonderry,
    N.H.), Freudenberg Information Technologies (Morrisville, N.C.), Vibracoustic (Plymouth, Mich.),
    Chem-Trend and FNST are implementing environmental projects in their facilities that range from
    installation of more energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems and production
    machinery to using recyclable shipping containers and sourcing vendors who offer their own green
    products and supplies.

Posted on June 26, 2012

Source: Freudenberg North America LP/PRNewswire