Atlanta – Interface Inc. has announced its latest global EcoMetrics report, demonstrating that the company is making notable progress toward its Mission Zero™ promise, "to eliminate any negative impact the company may have on the environment by 2020."
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Reductions
At the 2006 meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Interface Inc. founder and chairman, Ray Anderson publicly announced a commitment to make the company a "climate neutral" enterprise by 2020, based on GHG reductions of 6.7 percent per year over the next 15 years. The company met and exceeded its 2006 CGI commitment goal, reporting GHG reductions of 7.7 percent for the past year, bringing its absolute GHG emissions reductions to 60 percent over 10-year period. Reductions were accomplished through improved process efficiencies (37 percent); renewable energy credits (10 percent); and a landfill gas project at InterfaceFLOR Commercial in LaGrange, GA (13 percent).
"Each of our global businesses is committed to our Mission Zero promise to eliminate any negative impact our companies may have on the environment by 2020," says D. Neel Bradham, vice president of business development and head of Interface's sustainable strategies team. "Mission Zero demonstrates our commitment to our stakeholders that Interface will focus on environmental and social sustainability in ways that help us seek economic prosperity, and 2006 was a stellar year for us. We showed continued progress with GHG emission reductions, while production and sales increased dramatically. It is truly a testament to the dedication of our associates worldwide that we have found creative ways to continue to meet over one-third of our GHG emission reduction goals through on-site efficiencies and process changes, before relying on carbon offsets."
Also key to Interface's overall strategy on GHG emission reductions is the challenge to reduce its global energy usage to an absolute minimum while increasing product volume and revenue … a somewhat challenging task that Interface has also met with success. The company reports that global energy usage is down 45 percent in its worldwide carpet manufacturing facilities while production volumes have increased.
At the same time, Interface is also making great progress toward its commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, as it recently announced that 16 percent of the energy sourced worldwide in 2006 was from renewable sources such as wind, biomass and landfill gas. Currently, seven Interface facilities worldwide are operating with 100 percent renewable electricity and two other locations are purchasing increasing amounts of green energy in keeping with their facility-specific Mission Zero goals.
Renewable Materials: Highlights from InterfaceFLOR and InterfaceFABRIC
Interface's Mission Zero promise includes a commitment to invest in long-term, raw material solutions that will enable the company to "close the technical loop" on nonrenewable and virgin materials by 2020. The company has increased the amount of recycled and bio-based materials from 0.5 percent in 1996 to more than 20 percent in 2006.
InterfaceFLOR Commercial has launched 27 products with hybrid face fiber blends that combine PLA (polylactic acid, a bio-based fiber) with recycled nylon.
InterfaceFABRIC has introduced and successfully marketed a line of award-winning Terratex® products made with 100 percent PLA fiber.And in 2006, approximately 46 percent of the raw materials used by InterfaceFABRIC were either recycled or renewable.
InterfaceFABRIC increased the viability of the ReSKU® fabric reclamation program and commercial composting for the bio-based Terratex products, and was recently awarded a "New Technologies in Renewables" Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers for a bio-based composting project.
"Our goal is to 'walk the talk' as it applies to Ray Anderson's vision, now embodied through Mission Zero," says Chris Richard, president of InterfaceFABRIC. "We have built a strong following for the Terratex brand and the marketplace values our deep environmental story and our commitment to increasingly sustainable manufacturing environments and processes. We were the first textile company to bring a complete closed loop story and product to market with our ReSKU program, which allows us to take back our customers' fabric and use it as a component for new Terratex products. Innovations like these will continue to give us a market advantage."
Waste Reduction: Highlights from Bentley Prince Street
In 2006, the Interface companies reduced manufacturing waste to landfill by 70 percent as measured from a 1996 baseline.
Interface's Bentley Prince Street broadloom and modular flooring facility in City of Industry California is a three-time internal company award winner for its waste elimination activities and it is a six-time award winner in the California Integrated Waste Management Board's Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) Awards. Bentley Prince Street has achieved a 92 percent reduction in waste sent to landfill since 1996.
"Bentley Prince Street has an integrated recycling program that involves all associates," says Anthony Minite, president of Bentley Prince Street. "This includes monthly 'dumpster diving' to evaluate what is going to the landfill, and appointment of departmental recycling champions. Vendors and contractors are also required to recycle materials they bring into the facility or waste they create."
"All of these projects reflect Interface's firm commitment to sustainability in all of its facets, with great emphasis placed on our internal and external stakeholder relationships," explains Bradham. "Internally, Interface has created a culture among our associates that breeds success in all of our endeavors. Externally, we continue to support the call for immediate action on some of the world's most pressing challenges, with global warming in the forefront. Through our commitments to the Clinton Global Initiative, The Climate Group, the Pew Center for Global Change and many others, we have been able to partner with other like-minded companies and organizations to increase awareness and encourage action on global warming in a manner that is both timely and relevant."
Interface Inc. is a global leader in the manufacture of environmentally responsible floor coverings and other textiles through brands including Bentley Prince Street®, InterfaceFABRIC™, InterfaceFLOR® and FLOR™. The company is committed to giving the marketplace a wide range of choices for specifying Earth-friendly and Environmentally Preferable Product–certified products, with the industry's first climate neutral carpet, Cool Carpet™, and the only carpet product designed using the principle of
biomimicry, the i2™ collection from InterfaceFLOR Commercial. FLOR offers residential carpet products created from rapidly renewable, corn-based polymer (polylactic acid – PLA) and InterfaceFABRIC's Terratex® commercial panel and upholstery fabric is made from fibers containing 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester or 100 percent rapidly renewable PLA. In addition to its commitments mentioned above, Interface is also engaged with the Global Roundtable on Climate Change, the Chicago Climate Exchange and the California Climate Action Registry. For more information, visit www.interfacesustainability.com.
The Clinton Global Initiative, a non-partisan project of the William J. Clinton Foundation, is a catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.