In these fast-paced times, it can be easy to overlook small but meaningful ways to impact the world around us. But not at Mannington. We’ve teamed up with birds, bees and bats (yes, bats) to show how thoughtful, interconnected choices can make a difference in creating a more sustainable future.
Our Salem, New Jersey, headquarters is located in one of the region’s largest tidal wetlands— which is also home to lots of insects. Making flooring doesn’t mix well with a large insect population. The insects were damaging our flooring during production by getting trapped in its wearlayer, so we went looking for a natural alternative to traditional pesticides. That’s how Mannington’s “Purple Martin Project” was hatched.
“Every spring, purple martins travel through New Jersey when migrating north from South America,” says Dave Kitts, Mannington Vice President of Environment. “They’re dependent on humans for housing and are voracious consumers of bugs. So we provide the birds with custom housing next to our Salem plant to encourage them to spend their summers with us and eat their fill of insects.”
Over the years, our purple martin colony has grown to be one of the largest in the region with typically over 300 baby birds born annually. Mannington partners with the New Jersey Audubon Society to demonstrate its commitment to wildlife habitat enhancement and ecological stewardship.
“Cultivating bird migration for pest control has proven to be eco-friendly and effective,” says Kitts. “The birds don’t get every single bug, but the problem is a lot more manageable.”
In Georgia, Mannington Commercial is “going to bat” to address its pest issue. Around the grounds of its Calhoun carpet mill, native Georgia bats reside in custom bat houses built by local Boy Scouts and feast on thousands of insects as part of their daily diet.
“Bats are huge insect eaters but their population is challenged right now due to habitat loss,” adds Kitts. “Experts warn that if we lose bats in this country, we’re in deep trouble because of their value as major bug eaters.”
At the heart of each eco step Mannington takes is our core company value—do the right thing.
One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators -like bees- for a successful harvest. Yet, for much of the past decade, beekeepers in the U.S. and Europe have reported annual hive losses of 30% or higher, creating a honey bee crisis with growing impact worldwide.
In 2009, we installed bee hives at our Salem headquarters to show how an industrial enterprise can co-exist with an agricultural and farming community and positively contribute to both. The hives, overseen by an experienced bee keeper along with Mannington associates, populate crops within a two-mile radius and produce 25-30 gallons of honey each year which are jarred and used by Mannington associates.
The bees created such buzz that three years later, our Burke manufacturing plant in Eustis, Florida, also installed hives and has experienced great success with them, too.
At first glance, small creatures like these may seem insignificant from a global perspective. But what they do matters. That’s why at Mannington, we’re teaming up with birds, bees and bats to help rewrite the story on sustainability in a big way for future generations. To us, that’s doing the right thing.