Thursday, August 18, 2011

Interface's Award Winning Sustainable Product Innovation

Under the direction of Ray Anderson, Interface inc. worked hard to develop new product lines that are less injurious to the environment. Their progress in redesigning their products and reducing their carbon emissions has been recognized around the world.

Interface’s sustainability successes are defined by innovation. Their commitment to the companies sustainability goals is known as Mission Zero®. The company's mission has fostered an entrepreneurial spirit inspiring innovative thinkers to imagine unique solutions. Mission Zero® has changed the way Interface designs and makes products. They have made great strides towards more sustainable products by using recycled and biobased raw materials and developing ways to recycle their products. They are also redesigning their processes to reduce the resources required to make their products.

Interface inc's business units include Bentley Prince Street, InterfaceFABRIC, InterfaceFLOR Commercial, and FLOR. The company offers a wide range of Earth-friendly and Environmentally Preferable Product-certified products. Interface inc also has the industry’s first climate neutral carpet, and the only carpet product to be designed using the principle of biomimicry. They also offer residential carpet products created from a rapidly renewable sources.

Finding alternatives to virgin petroleum-based raw materials is a big part of Interface’s Mission Zero goal.They continue to explore ways to increase the use of renewable and recycled materials in all components of their products. As of 2010, 40% of their raw materials were recycled and biobased.

Interface's sustainable innovations have garnered a number of awards including the EPA's Climate Protection Award in 2004 for the Cool Carpet, the world’s first carbon neutral carpet. Using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Interface measured the total greenhouse gas emissions created during the entire life cycle of their carpet and then balanced the carbon footprint through the purchase and retirement of offsets.

In 2007, Interface became the first carpet manufacturer to implement a process for the “clean separation” of carpet fiber from backing. This process allows for a maximum amount of post-consumer material to be recycled into new products with minimal contamination through a process called ReEntry® 2.0.

FLOR is a residential carpet created from a rapidly renewable, corn-based polymer (polylactic acid - PLA). In 2009 InterfaceFLOR won several awards including Centers for Companies That Care 2009 Honor Roll and Buildings Magazine Top 100 Products 2009 list.

InterfaceFABRIC’s Terratex® commercial panel and upholstery fabrics are made from fibers containing 100% post-consumer recycled polyester or 100% rapidly renewable PLA.

The FairWorks product line, developed by InterfaceFLOR Europe, brings together sustainable materials to produce beautiful and unique flooring in a socially responsible way. FairWorks began with the creation of an Innovations Network, which included a diverse group of environmentalists.

Entropy is the pioneer product in InterfaceFLOR’s i2 collection is inspired by biomimicry and specifically responds to the question of how nature designs a floor. The unique pattern and coloration of Entropy tiles results in less manufacturing waste.

Since the company's CEO first charted a sustainable course in 1994, Interface has made a powerfully convincing business case for innovation.

Learn more about Interface Inc's products here.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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