Interface’s transparency – in brief!

An unshakable advocate of EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) for its products, with 90 per cent of its portfolio covered by the sustainability documentation, Interface is now the first floor coverings manufacturer to adopt the newest assurance of transparency:  the EPD Transparency Brief.

Likened to a nutrition label, it summarizes the environmental impact and health of the company’s carpet tiles in a one-sheet that is intended to become a global industry standard and a tool for customers to understand, compare and contrast the values of a product’s lifecycle-based environmental impact to another’s.

This simplified, at-a-glance Brief was developed by UL Environment in partnership with Perkins+Will, and it was launched this week at the AIA National Conference in Washington, D.C.  The brief was developed as a first attempt by the U.S. business unit of Interface and is available for all products that have EPD’s under the UL system.  

According to Lindsay James, Director of Strategic Sustainability at Interface, “Verified life-cycle product data fills a critical market need, allowing users to select products based upon the sustainability attributes that are most important to them – not the attributes that are most important to the manufacturer. At Interface we are proud to take the lead in making the sustainability information about our products and their processes available to the public and easy for users to digest.”

The EPD Transparency Brief created by UL Environment makes it even easier for designers, specifiers, contractors and end-use customers to discern the validated sustainability merits of products such as recycled content, VOC emissions, end-of-life options, and climate footprint, without any opportunity for marketing spin or greenwash. And it provides the context for understanding why specific attributes are important.

James explains, “I often ask clients, ‘Do you really want recycled content, or do you want the reduced environmental footprint that you assume recycled content offers?’ With the verified data in an EPD, specifiers can understand if, for example, recycled content is reducing the product’s footprint. They can use the EPD to learn if transportation actually has a material impact on the product’s climate footprint.”

John Wells, President and CEO, for Interface Americas adds, “Interface is extremely proud to have been pioneering sustainability and conducting Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) for over 10 years.  Our Sustainability Mission does not stop with the best practices within our own manufacturing processes, but it extends to the world, educating and influencing the practices of industry at large.  The more stakeholders demand this level of verified transparency from manufacturers across the board, the more positive impact we have on the earth. We are happy to lead the way.”

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