Interface Announces Mission Zero Success
Over the past 25 years, Interface has spearheaded significant improvements across key sustainability metrics internally and throughout its supply chain to help meet its net zero objectives.
Since its moonshot Mission Zero initiative in 1996, which set out to achieve zero impact on the environment by 2020, the commercial flooring company has achieved its goal ahead of its original target.
Interface created aggressive sustainability targets after Founder Ray Anderson’s “spear in the chest moment” in 1994. To decrease its environmental influence, Interface focused on reducing impact in three key areas of the business: its factories, products and suppliers. The company reduced its footprint in nearly every capacity including:
- 69% reduction in carbon footprint of Interface carpet tile products
- 96% reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions globally
- 89% renewable energy use across its factories globally, with 100% renewable electricity
- 99%renewable energy use in U.S. and European manufacturing sites
- 46% reduction in energy use per unit of production to make products globally
- 89% water use reduction per unit of production in factories globally
- 92% reduction of waste to landfill across global business
*Note: All numbers are through 2018 and applicable to the production of Interface carpet tiles only
Interface also provides a roadmap for other companies to follow in its “Lessons for the Future” report, and a path to the future for its next moonshot, Climate Take Back, which aims to create a movement to reverse global warming.
“We look forward to creating more positive impacts through our product portfolio,” said Interface CEO Jay Gould. “We are excited to show that it is possible to create a product that is actually beneficial to the environment. If we can do it, anyone can do it. And if anyone can do it, everyone should.”
As of January 2019, every flooring product that Interface sells—carpet tile, LVT and rubber sheets and tiles—is now carbon neutral across its full lifecycle.
“Mission Zero is the embodiment of Ray’s vision for Interface and for the world,” said Gould. “Ray’s dream incited a movement—toward sustainable business and thoughtful consumption. His legacy lives on through the fulfilment of Mission Zero and the work Interface and others are doing every day to endeavour to create a carbon negative future.”
By sharing its progress and mentoring others, Interface sought to measure and distribute these positive impacts using the SHINE Handprint Methodology to translate this influence into metric tons of carbon.
Interface created the conditions needed to exceed its Mission Zero goals in two areas quantified and verified using the SHINE Handprint Methodology: its supply chain and through a landfill gas project.
The impact of these two projects created a handprint of 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) during the years they were active, according to Interface.
“We’ve changed our business to change the world, and we’ve achieved goals we never thought were possible,” said Erin Meezan, Interface chief sustainability officer. “Mission Zero has taught us important lessons about the future. It’s taught us about business models, moonshot aspirations and solving material challenges with science and imagination. Mission Zero set us up to achieve our next impossible mission—Climate Take Back.”
The company is working ardently to develop processes and products that create a positive impact on the world, and in 2018, set out to become a carbon negative company by 2040.