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Sustainability as destination is an infectious goal at Interface
Apr '11
Interface Inc, the worldwide leader in design, production and sales of environmentally responsible modular carpet, believes that Earth Day is an important time for individuals and organizations to consider environmental impacts. The company is revealing highlights made over the past year in reducing its own negative impacts on the earth to demonstrate ways other companies can achieve progress toward sustainability.

Among the top accomplishments heralded by Interface President and CEO Dan Hendrix: advancements in recycling and diverting used products from landfills; cumulative reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; committing to greater transparency in the form of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs); and educating employees and other stakeholders about the benefits of sustainability.

"Sustainability as a destination is an infectious goal at Interface and a positive force," said Hendrix. "It's woven into nearly every aspect of our business, proven out economically over the long-term and has changed how we think, operate, communicate and interact. Over the past 12 months, we have made remarkable strides in several areas that all directly tie into our sustainability journey and progress."

After tracking global environmental and social effects over the last 17 years, Interface continues to move away from a take-make-waste industrial model, toward a sustainable business inspired by nature. The company considers indicators such as its physical waste, energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption to be crucial to understanding its progress toward sustainability and challenges ahead.

The organization's journey is driven by research and development in manufacturing processes and product innovation. Interface also considers the significance of social capital and investment in people, including the company's employees and local community members, as critical components for advancement.

"By pointing to progress we hope to serve as an example of what innovation and real change can mean for organizations, for future generations and for the environment," said Hendrix. According to Hendrix, this year's accomplishments fall within strategic areas where the company has made significant progress toward sustainability and include the following:

1. Forty percent of raw materials used were from recycled or bio-based sources. Interface strives to maximize its use of recycled and bio-based raw materials, utilizing thorough compatibility and footprint analysis to evaluate material alternatives. In the past six years, the percentage of recycled and bio-based raw material use has grown from four percent to 40 percent.

2. ReEntry 2.0, a process that reclaims old carpet and converts it into recycled raw materials, diverted 28 million pounds of carpet from landfills in 2010. Since 1995, ReEntry has diverted a cumulative total of 228 million pounds of carpet and carpet scraps. Additionally, the company's ReEntry 2.0 reclamation process recently expanded to the company's European operations in the Netherlands.

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