Interface, Inc. has announced its latest global EcoMetrics showing progress the company is making towards reducing its environmental footprint. In 2005, Interface increased its use of renewable electricity to 22% in its global manufacturing operations, compared with 6% five years ago.
This achievement represents a concerted effort to support growth in the renewable energy market. Five of Interface’s global manufacturing facilities now operate with 100% green electricity made renewable through the purchase of certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) derived from wind and biomass projects. The company’s global sustainability metrics, representing end-of-year 2005 data, are now posted.
Interface began its mission to become a more sustainable business in 1994 and has since tracked data in areas including waste reduction, energy consumption, use of renewable energy, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water intake, product reclamation, safety performance and social sustainability. The company has made significant progress over 12 years but continues to explore technologies and innovations that will further reduce its footprint.
“Renewable energy is one of the key indicators for Interface as we move further along the journey to sustainability,” said Michael D. Bertolucci, president, Interface Research Corporation. “Our success on this front represents multiple internal and external stakeholders collaborating to identify and develop viable strategies to increase use of alternative energy, thereby leading to a more sustainable future.”
In 2005, Interface’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for the USA and Canada were independently verified by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), as required by Interface’s membership in the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). On an absolute basis, Interface worldwide reduced its GHG emissions by 35% from its baseline through improved efficiencies and direct renewable energy purchases. Interface further reduced its GHG emissions by 8% through the purchase of Green-e certified RECs and another 13% from a landfill gas to energy project in LaGrange, GA, resulting in a net absolute GHG reduction of 56% worldwide.
In 2001, Interface committed to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change to reduce non-renewable energy use per unit of production by 15% and increase the use of renewable energy to 10% of total energy by the end of 2005. As of year-end 2005, Interface had exceeded those goals, with non-renewable energy use down 27% and renewable energy as percent of total energy at 13%.
Another area showing improvement is the company’s carpet reclamation program, ReEntry®. Through ReEntry, Interface reclaims carpet from customers when it is no longer needed, and diverts it from landfills. In 2005, more than 18 million pounds of carpet were diverted globally via options including recycling (71%), energy capture and conversion (28%) and repurposing the carpet via charitable donation (1%). More than 85 million pounds of carpet have been reclaimed since 1995.
Interface reclaims vinyl backed carpet tile products as feed stock for its GlasBac® RE recycled vinyl tile backing products, all of which are third party certified to be Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) by Scientific Certification Systems. In 2005, Interface manufactured 423,000 square yards of GlasBac RE, bringing the total to more than 2.2 million square yards since 2000. Realizing that nearly 50% of a carpet tile is vinyl backing that is petroleum and energy intensive, Interface Flooring Systems launched its new Cool Blue” carpet backing process in 2005, providing opportunities to add new sources of waste materials into the mix that were previously restricted due to technological constraints. Cool Blue is increasing production volume in the GlasBac RE business and providing opportunities for Interface to advance on the path to sustainability by further unhooking its processes from nonrenewable fossil fuel-based raw materials.
Interface was recognized by a number of third-party sources for its progress in 2005, including:
* Interface Flooring Systems received the U.S. EPA’s 2005 Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) Energy Partner of the Year Award for the landfill gas to energy project it initiated with the City of LaGrange, GA.
* Interface was recognized in the Medinge Group’s 2006 “Top Brands With a Conscience” List.
* Terratex® bio-based environmental panel fabrics were listed in the 2005 BuildingGreen Top 10 Products list.
* Interface, Inc. was once again listed on Business Ethics’ annual Top 100 Corporate Citizens List, moving up 41 points over last year’s ranking to achieve #24 on the list.