Back to Nature Carpet Benefits the Environment

Interface

12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

Interface applied a biomimicry approach to design a carpet that would be more durable and reduce waste.

Author

AIM Team

AIM Team

School

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Professor

AIM Team

AIM Team

Innovation

Interface believes that Mother Nature does know best and the sales of its Entropy carpet tiles are proving that theory to be correct. Entropy was inspired by nature. The Interface design team literally went into the woods for a day to study the natural flooring patterns created by nature and the result was a carpet with chaos and disorder built-in. Using random patterns, non-directional installation and mergeable dye lots, Entropy provides reduced installation waste and extends the lifecycle of an installation. By combining a single, mergeable dye lot with a random pattern, the carpet tiles can be moved anywhere, face in any direction and easily replaced if they wear out or become stained in a way that hides the new tiles among the older ones. Some are made using Invista's Antron Lumena yard which contains some recycled content. Other styles are made with a hybrid of nylon 6,6 and bio-based fiber, which is derived from corn.

Back to Nature Carpet Benefits the Environment

Inspiration

The late Ray Anderson, Founder of Interface, did not believe you can make green products in a brown, polluting factory. The company used a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) model to calculate global warming impacts from its products. The model analyzes raw material acquisition, product manufacture and transportation and how customers use the products. The CO2 impacts were also considered based on material types, energy, packaging and disposal. According to Anderson, no one stands alone on the ecological front and, for Interface, the entire greening initiative has been incredibly good for business.

Overall impact

Interface has a tradition of evaluating the life cycle impact of its products on the Earth, from the raw materials used to make them, to customer use patterns, to their end-of-life fate. As a result, Interface has been able to reduce costs. Finding alternatives to oil-based products is part of their ongoing plan to develop and integrate sustainable practices into every part of the business. Entropy is part of Interface's Cool Carpet option which allows customers to do something about global warming just by purchasing it. Since 2003, Interface has retired more than 250,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions through Cool Carpet sales, winning the EPA's Climate Protection Award in 2003 for its efforts.

Further, interface has partnered with BP to create the Interface Cool Fuel program; a unique opportunity to "zero out" the CO2 emissions caused by the company's business related auto travel. Since August 2002, Interface associates with company cars have purchased and consumed more than 310,000 gallons of fuel using the Interface Cool Fuel Card. For each gallon of fuel consumed, 25 pounds of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere, resulting in Interface offsetting over 3,500 metric tons of CO2. Using the rebate from its fuel purchases, Interface buys CO2 credits.

Business benefit

Employee Recruitment, Engagement and Retention, Market Position, Profitability

Social and environmental benefit

Ecological Flourishing

Interview

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Interface

Interface

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