Atlanta—Interface has reached Mission Zero success ahead of its original 2020 target. Over the past 25 years, the company drove significant improvements across all key sustainability metrics internally and throughout its supply chain to help meet its objectives. Interface said it also galvanized others along the way to implement more sustainable business practices. This created a positive ripple effect that helped the company not only achieve but extend Mission Zero far beyond its original intentions.
Based on 25 years of effort and commitment in pursuit of sustainability, the commercial flooring company provides a roadmap for other companies to follow in its “Lessons for the Future” report. It also provides a path to the future for the company’s next moonshot, Climate Take Back.
Mission Zero Progress
Interface created aggressive sustainability targets after Founder Ray Anderson’s “spear in the chest moment” in 1994. Working swiftly to develop a plan to reduce the company’s impact on the environment, Interface focused on reducing impact in three key areas of the business: factories, products and suppliers. The company has made remarkable progress in these areas over the last 25 years, greatly reducing its footprint in nearly every capacity, including:
- 99% renewable energy use in U.S. and European manufacturing sites
- 96% reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions globally
- 92% reduction of waste to landfill across global business
- 89% water use reduction per unit of production in factories globally
- 89% renewable energy use across its factories globally, with 100% renewable electricity
- 69% reduction in carbon footprint of Interface carpet tile products
- 46% reduction in energy use per unit of production to make products globall
*Note: All numbers are through 2018 and applicable to the production of Interface carpet tiles only.
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. After significantly reducing the carbon impact of its manufacturing operations and supply chain, Interface compensates for the remaining emissions through the purchase of carbon offsets.
“Mission Zero is the embodiment of Ray’s vision for Interface and for the world,” said Interface CEO, Jay 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 endeavor to create a carbon negative future.”
Proud of the progress made thus far with its moonshot goal Mission Zero, the company set its sights even higher with Climate Take Back in 2016, which aims to create a movement to reverse global warming. 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.
“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.”