Interface, Inc. (Nasdaq: TILE), the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet and a leader in sustainable business, debuted a new third-party certification from GreenCircle Certified, LLC and spotlighted its Climate Take Back mission at the 2016 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo last week in Los Angeles.
After months of audits, GreenCircle developed two GreenCircle Certified Environmental Facts (“nutrition facts”) labels for Interface’s GlasBac and GlasBacRE products with Nylon 6 or Nylon 6,6 yarns. These products make up the vast majority – nearly 97 per cent year-to-date in 2016 –of carpet tiles that Interface manufactures and sells in the United States. Interface is the first flooring manufacturer to receive this certification, which provides third-party validation of both product-level environmental and human health attributes, and factory-level environmental footprint claims in an easy-to-read, accessible format.
GreenCircle is an internationally recognized third-party certification entity whose thorough evaluation process provides independent verification that sustainability claims related to an organization’s products and operations are honest, valid, and verified. GreenCircle is ISO 17065 compliant, following industry requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services, and is recognized by both the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and the International Living Future Institute as a valid third-party certification entity.
“We saw a problem with the existing sustainability information available today – either too dense for a product specifier or customer to parse through, or too simplistic to provide the information necessary to make an informed decision,” said Annie Bevan, vice president, Certification Services, GreenCircle. “Our Certified Environmental Facts labels solve this problem, giving interested parties quick access to the data they most need.”
Similar in format to the now ubiquitous Nutrition Facts Label on all packaged food, GreenCircle’s Certified Environmental Facts label allows customers to quickly review metrics including carbon footprint, percent of recycled content, renewable energy, material ingredients and related certifications such as NSF-140, Green Label Plus, and LEED v4 credits. For example, through the certification process, GreenCircle has verified that these standard Interface products are made from at least 66 per cent recycled materials, using 99 per cent renewable energy.
As part of an ongoing pilot program with the United States Department of Defense, the GreenCircle Certified Environmental Facts label is used to connect product manufacturers with federal purchasers and is recommended in the GSA-DOE Verification Guide for Federal Purchasers of Sustainable Products with the goal of meeting federal procurement requirements set within the Executive Order 13693.
The progress Interface has verified at the factory and product level is a result of a 22 year focus on its Mission Zero goal of eliminating its negative impact on the environment by 2020. As the labels show, Interface is within striking distance of achieving these goals and is now looking to go beyond by announcing a new mission, Climate Take Back. The mission is focused on transforming Interface again to reverse global warming – and engage the support of industry, customers, partners and sustainability leaders to make it happen. Interface announced the new mission in the second quarter of 2016, and continued the conversation with Greenbuild attendees.
Interface acknowledges the importance of engaging its customer base; indeed its sustainability journey was inspired by a customer inquiry. Since 1994, Interface has made significant progress toward eliminating its negative environmental impact and has redefined the effect manufacturers can have on the environment.
Interface Chief Operating Officer, Jay Gould, spoke to C-level executives in an invite-only session at Greenbuild 2016 about how Interface and the broader green building industry can begin to reverse global warming, beyond simply reducing carbon footprints. He shared ideas of how Interface will work to do so within its business and discuss the path for others.
“We are up against one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today: global warming,” said Gould. “It’s no longer enough to focus on reducing our negative impact on the environment – we must get the best minds together, including green building leaders, innovators, technologists, entrepreneurs and others to make positive changes. To progress, we must engage all stakeholders, including investors, employees, customers, partners and the world at large, to help us build better business models.”
Image courtesy of Interface