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Johnson Controls Unveils 'Earth-Friendly' Automotive Headliner - Comprised of 50 Percent Plant-Based Material - at Detroit Auto Show

15 January 2008

Press Release Source: Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls Unveils 'Earth-Friendly' Automotive Headliner - Comprised of 50 Percent Plant-Based Material - at Detroit Auto Show

Company's Ecobond headliner reduces 'carbon footprint' with natural material, lower weight and no glass content

DETROIT, -- Johnson Controls is committed to sustainability and creating "environmentally friendly" automotive products, as reflected in the new Ecobond headliner that is in the final stages of development at the company. The Ecobond headliner is a lightweight solution -- comprised of 50 percent biomaterials by mass -- that fully meets customer requirements for strength, performance and acoustics.

Johnson Controls is showcasing the Ecobond headliner -- and many other innovations -- at the company's 2008 North American International Auto Show exhibit in room D2-15 of Detroit's Cobo Center.

"With our existing processes and resources, we have created and manufactured an ingenious, earth-friendly headliner from sustainable materials -- an outstanding product that meets the performance and cost expectations of our customers," said Byron Foster, who leads the North American interiors business of Johnson Controls. "Additionally, the Ecobond headliner is made from natural fibers instead of glass, making the final product a lightweight, bio-based product, which can help increase fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions, and is easier to recycle at the end of the vehicle's useful life."

The production process for the Ecobond headliner relies on soy-based adhesives, a soy-based urethane core foam, and natural fibers -- reducing the need for non-renewable resources. The headliner is made via the use of an existing technology that Johnson Controls established for its Polybond(TM) process. Soy-based polyols are blended with petroleum polyols to create a foam core.

Natural materials -- including hemp, flax and kenaf -- replace the fiberglass that is traditionally used in headliner production. Finally, a soy-based urethane is used to bond materials and create a semi-rigid product. The Ecobond headliner satisfies customers' design requirements for stiffness, toughness and acoustics. It also is lighter than standard thermoplastic headliners. Using the new Ecobond approach is not expected to add costs to the headliner production process.

By utilizing soy and other abundant and renewable plant-based materials, Johnson Controls is working to fulfill its sustainability goals, with initiatives that benefit its customers, the general public and future generations. Other earth-friendly products from Johnson Controls include EcoCore natural-fiber door panels, as well as soy-based seating pads, which will be featured on numerous 2008 model-year vehicles.

"Given the auto industry's strong focus on green initiatives, we have an excellent opportunity to use sustainable resources, while creating appealing products that meet our customers' needs," Foster said. "Leveraging the momentum of the Johnson Controls seating team, we have extended the use of soy-based materials to other, high-quality interior products."

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI - News) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 140,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. Our commitment to sustainability drives our environmental stewardship, good corporate citizenship in our workplaces and communities, and the products and services we provide to customers. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com/.

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Stemergy bio-fiber is focused on producing and supplying renewable bio-fibres - derived from annual stem fiber plants such as flax and hemp - to the expanding global bio-fiber marketplace.