Over a 25 year sustainability journey, Interface has evolved its thinking and approach. Originally, the global commercial flooring company focused solely on reducing its environmental impacts, but efforts have evolved to include positive social impacts and new business models.
Through the action and initiatives outlined below, Interface is proving that a circular economy is an attainable goal.
What Interface did
Interface pioneered a business model that made the earth a key stakeholder. The company set itself the goal of Mission Zero, working towards a zero impact on climate by 2020.
The company successfully achieved Mission Zero by becoming a carbon neutral company in 2018 and has set course on a new and equally challenging mission of becoming carbon negative by 2040, through its Climate Take Back goal.
Through experimenting with renewable and recyclable materials, Interface leads the way in reducing the carbon footprint of its products and currently every flooring product it offers, whether carpet, Luxury Vinyl Tiles, or rubber, is 100% carbon neutral.
In a positive stride towards Climate Take Back, the company has created CircuitBac Green backing, which effectively stores more carbon in its life cycle than it emits.
Impacts and Outcomes
Interface believes that the way to reverse global warming is by changing how it thinks, focusing on four key areas:
- Live Zero – Do business in ways that give back whatever is taken from the earth. Interface is transforming from a company built on oil to one built on renewable energy
- Love Carbon – Stop seeing carbon as the enemy and start using it as a resource. Interface is actively exploring raw materials that use waste carbon or sequester carbon to make its products. It has created a prototype of its first carbon-capturing tile, and is investing money to further research into technical, ecological and social solutions that aim to reverse global warming.
- Let Nature Cool – Support the biosphere’s ability to regulate the climate. Interface believes that it needs to change its business practices and allow nature to do its job, to cool. The company is exploring new practices that allow its factories to run like ecosystems. Pilot programme, Factory As A Forest, aims to find a way that goes beyond doing less harm, and proactively does more good.
- Lead Industrial Re-revolution – Transform industry into a force for climate progress. Interface believes that what is needed now is an industry that works with nature, not against it, and creates new business models to drive positive change.
Programmes like Interface’s Net-Works™ initiative, which sources material for carpet tiles from discarded fishing nets, shows what can be accomplished when new thinking is applied to sourcing materials. Not only do old nets get a new life, the villagers who collect the nets enjoy a cleaner environment and a new measure of economic independence.
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