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April 15, 2008


Paying For Renewables

DuPont, Mohawk find consumers will pay more for products made from renewable materials

Michael McCoy

Nearly seven out of every 10 U.S. consumers are willing to pay more for products made with renewable resources, according to a new survey sponsored by DuPont and Mohawk Industries.

RENEWABLE RUGS Mohawk's SmartStrand carpets contain polytrimethylene terephthalate made from a renewable DuPont monomer.

Mohawk recently started making its SmartStrand line of residential carpets with DuPont's Sorona polymer. Sorona is a polyester made with 1,3-propanediol, a monomer that DuPont produces from corn sugar rather than petroleum-based ingredients. SmartStrand carpets contain 37% renewable content by weight, the companies say.

"The survey confirms that people are becoming much more savvy, with a growing understanding that being environmentally responsible is more than just recycling or buying products made with recycled materials," says Peter C. Hemken, vice president and general manager for biomaterials with DuPont Applied BioSciences.

According to the survey, 65% of respondents are willing to pay at least $5.00 more for a $100 product that is made with renewable resources. On average, consumers are willing to pay $8.30 more for a $100 product that uses renewable resources.

Mohawk says these findings are borne out in the marketplace. "Our retailers are telling us the SmartStrand line is the best selling residential carpet they have on the sales floor today," says David Duncan, vice president of marketing for Mohawk Residential Carpet.

The survey, which queried 1,001 U.S. homeowners online between Oct. 4 and Oct. 10, 2007, also found that 86% of women said environmental responsibility is important, compared with 74% of men.

In addition, income and age demographics had no significant impact on survey responses, the companies say. Belying the reputation of environmental consciousness as being a luxury of the wealthy, concern for environmental responsibility and degree of action-taking were similar across all income levels.

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Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society


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