Two Sides Member Spotlight: Mohawk

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Headquartered in Cohoes, New York, Mohawk is North America’s largest privately-owned manufacturer of fine papers and envelopes which are used for commercial and digital printing, social stationery, high-end direct mail and packaging.

With a culture of innovation reaching back to its beginning in 1931, Mohawk is committed to providing materials that help make every printed project more beautiful, effective and memorable.  A family-owned business since its inception, Mohawk serves the creative needs of designers, brand-owners and printers in more than 60 countries around the globe.

A leader in environmentally and socially responsible paper making since the 1980s, Mohawk sources pulp responsibly, conserves the water its craft relies on and harnesses wind power for its mills. Many of Mohawk’s recycled and virgin papers are certified by Green Seal and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Mohawk was the first U.S. manufacturer of commercial printing papers to match 100% of its electricity with wind power renewable energy credits (RECs) and the first U.S. premium paper mill to shift toward carbon neutral production.

“Mohawk’s commitment to sustainability is rooted in a decades-long commitment to leading the industry with innovation and substance,” says Mohawk Chief Revenue Officer Melissa Stevens. “Our relationship with Two Sides has always been a critical resource in this effort. Working together with Two Sides helps us reach creatives and printers with fact-based information about the impact of paper and printing.”

Every paper manufactured by Mohawk carries the “Mohawk wind power” designation. This means all of the electricity used in Mohawk’s manufacturing operations is matched with renewable RECs from  green-e certified wind power projects. Today, Mohawk purchases enough RECs from renewable energy market leaders to match all of the electricity used in its operations. In addition, Mohawk offers a number of products that are made carbon neutral within its production processes. The thermal energy used  to manufacture these products is offset through the company’s purchase of carbon credits that fund renewable energy or emission‐reduction projects. Through this process, Mohawk is seeking to manufacture these papers with a net zero climate impact.

In 2020,  Mohawk introduced Renewal, a portfolio of papers made with hemp, straw and cotton textile waste. The company’s world-class engineers devised a process that allows its manufacturing operations to alternate between renewable wood-based fiber and alternative fibers on the same equipment to create the beautiful, high-performance sheets Mohawk is known for. The fibers Mohawk has chosen for this line of products are all annual crops which regenerate in a year or less. By using scraps that would’ve otherwise been disposed of, the company is reducing waste and pollution while creating something beautiful.

Mohawk also is an active participant in the local community.  In the early days of the pandemic, this included reaching out to the medical community with an innovative solution for the projected shortage of hospital beds in New York and throughout the country.  When employees started brainstorming about ways to help the local community during the COVID-19 crisis, they set their sights on a niche product usually sold as a way to construct lightweight, sturdy exhibits at trade shows.  The product, called Xanita Board, is manufactured by a startup in Capetown, South Africa and distributed by Mohawk in North America.  Xanita Board is an engineered fiberboard manufactured using fiber recovered from recycled cardboard boxes. Its special construction makes it strong enough to bear weight. It can be cut to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, so no tools are required to build three-dimensional, weight-bearing  structures. The material is also remarkably lightweight and easy to ship.

Mohawk’s executive team reached out to engineers in South Africa to ask them if they thought Xanita Board could be used to easily construct hospital rooms. The team in Cape Town moved quickly. Less than 24 hours later, they sent a complete set of digital “cut files,” which detail how to construct room dividers and patient beds for use in pop-up hospitals to help with patient overflow.

Xanita Board is sold in flat sheets that must then be specially cut. But since time was of the essence, Mohawk partnered with DataFlow, a custom printing and signage company in Binghamton, New York, to do the cutting of this complete field hospital room solution in advance. All the Xanita Board was kept on hand at Mohawk, ready to be converted at a moment’s notice into walls, beds, and other useful structures. When needed, it is shipped with easy-to-understand instructions so it can be built on-site in minutes, requiring no tools and simple nuts and bolts shipped with each kit. Because the boards are made from recycled cardboard, once the need for the temporary structures is complete, the units can be stored for re-use or turned back into pulp for paper.  Click here to learn more about this innovative solution.

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Source: Two Sides