Eden, N.C.—Mohawk Group and nonprofit Groundswell have teamed up to locate a new smartflower solar energy unit near three Rockingham County Schools in North Carolina—a project that will bring the benefits of clean solar power to the area, create educational opportunities for students and also contribute to Mohawk’s sustainability efforts to leave more handprints than footprints.
The smartflower technology was unveiled on Nov. 29 at a special event here, which is also the home of Mohawk’s historic Karastan woven carpet plant. Planted on the campus of Eden’s Central Elementary School, the smartflower is located adjacent to Holmes Middle School and Morehead High School.
“We are especially proud to be part of this project and be able to invest in the Eden community where many of our colleagues live and work,” said George Bandy Jr., Mohawk’s vice president of sustainability and commercial marketing. “In creating our Living Products, we want to be a strategic community partner and use our handprints to connect the next generation with STEM programs and innovative technologies that support a sustainable future.”
Mohawk Group has engaged in this special partnership with Groundswell to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offset the energy and resources used during some of its manufacturing processes. The smartflower installationin North Carolina is part of Mohawk’s handprinting strategy for two of its latest Living Product Challenge Petal certified flooring products: Pivot Point enhanced resilient tile and Sunweave woven broadloom/area rug.
Both Pivot Point and Red List-free Sunweave, which is crafted from Mohawk Group’s Heathered Hues yarn system, are designed to give more back to the environment than they take during their entire life cycle. Sunweave is manufactured in Eden.
Project partner Groundswell develops community solar projects and subscriber management programs that connect solar power with economic empowerment for the communities served. “Our mission is to build community power, and we’re thrilled to partner with Mohawk to connect this solar installation with the Eden, N.C. community’s vision for empowering its young people through education,” said Michelle Moore, CEO of Groundswell. “North Carolina is a solar leader, and the solar industry creates one in 50 new jobs in America. We look forward to a future where the bright young minds of Eden are powering the solar industry.”
The solar energy project in North Carolina is the second of 10 smartflowers to be established across the U.S. as part of a three-year partnership between Mohawk Group and Groundswell.