As the world’s leading commercial flooring manufacturer, Mohawk Group never stands still. Its motto of “Believe in Better” is woven through every facility, emphasized in every department, and crafted in every product and process. And this same attitude is behind the company’s commitment to sustainability.

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While other businesses were vaguely pondering sustainability, parent company Mohawk Industries was putting the minds of its employees, its money, and its energy into finding ways to make a difference. It was not an overnight process for a company with more than 37,000 employees in 30 countries, but gradually the company is seeing results.

It is reducing the amount of resources that it uses in its manufacturing processes: Since 2015, its facilities have reduced the amount of water consumed by 277 million gallons. Since 2010, its plants also have reduced GHG intensity by 12.8%, energy intensity by 1.9%, and water intensity by 35%.

Mohawk is also increasing the amount it recycles: 7.1 billion pounds of recycled waste, 500 products with recyclable materials, 5.5 billion plastic bottles recycled annually, and 148.5 million pounds of carpet diverted from landfills with its ReCover recycling program since 2007.

“Mohawk’s sense of responsibility to product transparency encourages us daily to look for ways we can meaningfully set the bar higher for sustainability through innovative products with reduced environmental and social impacts,” said George Bandy, vice president of sustainability at Mohawk. “We seek to produce products that leave not a carbon footprint, but a handprint that gives back more than it takes from the resources of our planet.”

This attitude led to the creation of commercial division Mohawk Group’s Lichen Collection, a modular plank carpet system that has become the first floorcovering to achieve the International Living Future Institute’s Living Product Challenge Petal Certification. Living Products are free of toxins, regenerate nature, and improve the quality of life.

Lichen Collection by Mohawk

Mohawk employs seven hundred fifty associates in the thirty-six-acre facility manufacturing commercial carpet tile. In achieving the Place Petal, Mohawk looked for ways to create a healthy coexistence between the manufacturer and the natural environment.

What makes Lichen a true Living Product, both inside and out? It began with the design. Mohawk Group commissioned Jason F. McLennan, of McLennan Design and founder of ILFI and the Living Product Challenge, to work with its design team to create the collection. Like Mohawk, McLennan believes that we can be agents of restoration and regeneration, creating a world better than how we found it.

Inspired by the idea of “Nature’s Carpet,” the team looked at natural assemblages of rich multihued, multitextured lichens from extreme climates as the foundation for the look of the collection. “Using biophilic design principles to create the Lichen Collection helps to enrich our connection to the natural world,” said Jackie Dettmar, vice president of design and product development for Mohawk Group.

Lichen consists of three pattern types. The anchor of the collection is a large-scale field of lichen “blooms” that change in shape and form by colorway. Other patterns include a transition style that has less bloom and a style that is solely textured ground. They can be used together as a system or separately, depending on the desired configuration of texture and color.

Lichen Collection by Mohawk

Lichen is nature’s carpet, and comes in every color of the rainbow. Using a new yarn system of clean bright colors and heathered yarns, the design of Lichen Collection is based on actual Lichen species found in nature.

Innovative precision tufting technology was used to craft the collection, so the textures and colors are more pronounced. Lichen is made with Mohawk’s Duracolor solution-dyed premium nylon yarn for permanent stain resistance, and comes standard on EcoFlex NXT, Mohawk’s Red List Free backing. It is installed with Mohawk’s FlexLok tabs, the only Red List Free installation system in the marketplace. Additional sustainable attributes include an average 55% recycled content, NSF 140 Gold and Green Label Plus certified for IAQ.

Lichen has a net positive impact for people and the environment through innovations in materials, manufacturing, and community involvement. It is manufactured at Mohawk’s Glasgow, Virginia, carpet facility, which is located in biodi­verse and environmentally robust surroundings that allow the employees to experience nature in their daily lives. The setting is a certified wildlife habitat and, since 2011, an official Appalachian Trail Community. Part of all Lichen sales go to support the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which is dedicated to protecting and preserving the beauty and cultural heritage of the 2200-mile trail, as well as to the World Wildlife Fund for the preservation and conservation of natural habitats.

To save more water than is used to make Lichen, Mohawk retrofitted 140 showerheads in the dormitories at Morehouse College in Atlanta with low-flow fixtures. This partnership will result in the savings of an estimated 1.2 million gallons annually.

Not only does Lichen come with total ingredient transparency through its Declare Label and has Declared Red List free status, but Mohawk is utilizing responsibly sourced packaging with an average 45% recycled content for the tiles.

With the Lichen Collection, Mohawk Group is setting a higher standard to help ensure products contribute to healthy spaces, are designed to inspire, and will give back to the environment more than they take.

Lichen Collection by Mohawk

To meet the net positive material health imperative, Mohawk conducted an inventory research for all of the raw materials that are in Lichen’s supply chain to verify the absence of any red listed chemicals.

“Lichen isn’t a singular, isolated accomplishment for our talented design team, but a sign of more offerings on the way,” said Dettmar. “Lichen has been a strategic opportunity to introspectively look at different ways we can have a net positive impact on people and the environment, leaving a handprint as we seek to touch the built environment like never before.” 

About Mohawk Group

Mohawk Group, the world’s leading producer and distributor of quality commercial flooring, delivers industry-leading style, cutting-edge innovation, unmatched service and superior sustainability. As the commercial division of Mohawk Industries, Mohawk Group has a heritage of craftsmanship that spans more than 130 years. The company’s enduring family of brands—Mohawk, Karastan and Durkan—are widely regarded as the most trusted names in the commercial flooring business. Together, these brands function beautifully, delivering the perfect flooring solution for all markets and price points. Rounding out its esteemed product offering, Mohawk Group also offers a full spectrum of hard surface flooring products and installation accessories that exceed the most rigorous performance standards. For additional information about its proven design solutions, and to learn more about what is next from Mohawk Group, visit or call (800) 554-6637.

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Mohawk Group

Mohawk Group, the world’s leading producer and distributor of quality commercial flooring, delivers industry-leading style, cutting-edge innovation, unmatched service and superior sustainability.