Interface, the world’s largest modular flooring producer and world leader in sustainable flooring, has developed a new carpet tile backing with “the lowest carbon footprint ever”. The new CQuest™Bio backing contains no petrochemicals (virgin oil) and features the highest level of bio-based content at the start of its lifecycle, coupled with 100% recyclability at the end of its service.
Interface products, manufactured in the Netherlands, are distributed and installed in South Africa by KBAC Flooring.
Ton van Kerken, Senior Vice President of the Interface Supply Chain based at the company’s European headquarters at Scherpenzeel, says the process to create the backing began by adding new non-bitumen, bio-based materials and more recycled fillers to carpet tile production.
“The new material content – measured on a stand-alone basis – is net carbon negative and reduces the total product’s carbon footprint. This revolutionary backing is another important step towards helping customers achieve their own sustainability goals. Interface is already planning a more advanced backing – with even more carbon-negative materials – for 2021 as we work towards becoming a carbon negative enterprise by 2040.”
Van Kerken said Interface had, since 1996, reduced the embodied carbon footprint of its carpet tile product by 74%. “This was achieved by modified design and the use of recycled materials, de-materialisation and improved manufacturing efficiencies. Then, through our Carbon Neutral Floors programme, Interface compensated for unavoidable carbon offsets from renewable energy, fuel switching and reforestation projects.”
In 2003, Interface started offering carbon neutral flooring by offsetting the full life cycle of greenhouse gas emissions for carpet tiles and, in 2018, expanded the Carbon Neural Floors eco-programme by including luxury vinyl tile production, and adding nora rubber flooring in 2019.
Interface has now sold more than 379 million square metres of carbon neutral flooring globally, and have achieved over 5.3 million metric tons of third party-verified emission reductions.
“The Carbon Neutral Floors programme forms parts of Interface’s Climate Take Back initiative which commits itself to production that reverses global warming. There is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and as human activity continues to release more and more, the natural world is struggling to keep up. At Interface, we believe we have a duty to help solve this problem, so we’ve invested in product innovation and improved manufacturing processes to lower the carbon footprint of our products at every stage of their life cycle,” Van Kerken added.