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Modular carpet maker Interface updates EcoMetrics data
23
Apr '13
Interface, Inc., the global modular carpet company that has pioneered sustainable business practices since 1994, has just released annual data updating its metrics portfolio to include information on progress towards environmental and social goals.

Highlights include updated EcoMetrics data as well as an expanded portfolio of SocioMetrics, including highlights from a project to document sustainability engagement at Interface facilities around the world, "I Am Mission Zero."

"As we continue our progress towards Mission Zero, we recognize that our biggest asset in terms of innovation is our people.  Our mission is carried out every day in factories around the world and in local communities by people who are bringing Ray Anderson's sustainability vision to life, yet we didn't have a way to track or measure that impact," explains Erin Meezan, vice president of sustainability for Interface. 

"Over the past two years we have been working to document and celebrate our unique culture and to find ways to continually improve employee engagement, specifically around the idea of accelerating innovation."

Meezan's comments refer to a documentary project called "I Am Mission Zero" that captures the diverse ways in which the company's values are manifested in its local markets, and which provided data upon which a social engagement baseline is being developed.

In addition, Interface is updating its EcoMetrics data.

"While we have been tracking a wide variety of environmental data since 1996, we are beginning to focus on and report material impacts that are most closely related to our product footprint. We know our EcoMetrics data tells us how efficient we are, but our footprint tells us how effective we are," said Meezan.

Highlights from the most recent data include:

- The carbon footprint of the average Interface product is down 19 percent since 2008.  This reduction was achieved primarily by increasing the use of recycled raw materials in products and by improving process efficiency to cut required raw materials and waste.  About 70 percent of the carbon footprint of carpet tile is in the raw materials and manufacturing stage. The remaining 30 percent is associated with the carpet tile's delivery and installation, maintenance, and end of life.

- 49 percent of the total raw materials used by the company in 2012 were recycled or bio-based, including 36% of yarn and 51% of carpet backing.

- In 2012, Interface's ReEntry 2.0 recycling program diverted 15 million pounds of carpet and carpet scraps from the landfill, bringing the 18-year total for ReEntry 2.0 to 268 million pounds diverted.

- Energy use per unit of production is down 39 percent since 1996. Renewable sources provide 36 percent of the energy Interface uses.

- Greenhouse gas emissions per unit of production from manufacturing facilities are down 41 percent since 1996. Direct use of green electricity in Europe, improved efficiency and process changes have contributed to this reduction.

- Water intake per unit of production is down 81 percent since 1996.

Interface made significant progress toward its pledge to provide EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations that detail the entire life cycle impact of a product) on all its standard products.  Currently there are 48 registered EPDs for its products made in Europe, US, Australia and Thailand.

Interface

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