Wiping away flooring’s carbon footprint

November 17, 2014

With the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in our midst, I find my thoughts turning more and more to the process with which we build, the products we use and the environmental footprint we leave behind. Greenbuild, which is the premier event for sustainable building, is where professionals, manufacturers and end users can find a host of educational panels, LEED workshops and master classes to address our industry’s environmental impact. It’s the perfect place for companies to come together with unique products and innovative strategies to help transform the way we build. According to Anita Snader, environmental sustainability manager, Armstrong Commercial, “Now more than ever, building industry professionals are working to transform our industry by minimizing the negative impacts and maximizing the positive impacts associated with buildings and the products used to design and construct them.” And several flooring companies agree, creating more opportunities for greener, healthier, more transparent products. For example, Interface has created its Mission Zero, a promise to eliminate any negative impact the company has on the environment by 2020 by using materials and processes that take less from the environment. Mohawk Industries has been working toward transparency for the commercial building industry because of concerns for a healthy and productive office environment. Its commitment to product transparency has inspired the organization to become more aware of its ingredients, which creates a better product and better choice for customers. Mannington’s environmental improvement journey promotes the avoidance of landfill and using materials to displace virgin raw materials. Bentley Mills is reducing its carbon footprint with plans to increase solar and renewable energy capacity. Currently, the company uses 100% renewable energy through renewable energy credits but plans to increase on-site renewable energy to reduce reliance on coal power energy supplied by the grid. Shaw takes a holistic approach to sustainability, which includes a focus on reducing energy intensity and reducing carbon emissions. By 2030, the company plans to reduce energy intensity by 40%. With an eye on consumption and waste, it’s safe to say manufacturers will continue to produce products that strive for the ultimate goal of being green.

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