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Interface achieve Mission Zero - November 2019

Interface announce the achievement of "Mission Zero"

No negative impact? - Mission possible. In 1994, inspired by their customers, Interface set out to eliminate their negative impact on the environment. Today, they are proud to have delivered on their Mission Zero® commitment, in part by becoming the first global flooring manufacturer to sell all products as carbon neutral across their full life cycle. Along the way, they have learned a thing or two about business models, solving material challenges and shooting for the moon.

The Beginning After discovering carpet tile in Europe in the early 1970s, Ray C. Anderson recognised its future in modern offices. Open plan office systems were emerging, bringing with them the need to easily access flat wire and Walker duct systems—state of the art infrastructure at the time. In 1973, Ray founded Interface in LaGrange, GA, bringing the concept of free lay carpet tile to America and beginning a revolution in commercial floorcovering. With innovations like GlasBac® backing, which set the industry standard for performance, and Intersept®, our proprietary preservative, original carpet tile products were strong on technical benefits but weak on aesthetics. It was a practical solution, not a pretty one. But that began to change in 1988 when Interface introduced Quantum—the first tufted loop carpet tile, altering the course of our business and our design capabilities. Learn more about our early history in the image gallery below.

Entering the 21st Century Interface entered the 21st century and delivered one innovation after another. In 2000 we redefined modular carpet with the introduction of Entropy® and the emerging i2® category of products. That same year we offered the first commercial carpet collection to use recycled nylon in the face fibre and a 100% recycled content vinyl backing layer. We continued experimenting with renewable and recyclable materials and introduced our glue-free installation system, TacTiles®. Meanwhile, our Cool Blue™ process allowed us to use a wider range of materials for our backing and become less dependent on petroleum. We also formally recognised our goal of zero environmental footprint as Mission Zero®, giving a name to the journey we began in 1994. Find more details in the captions below. To 2020 and Beyond Over our 25-year sustainability journey, we’ve evolved our thinking and our approach. Originally, we focused only on reducing our environmental impacts, but that evolved to include social impacts and new business models. We helped launch Net-Works®, a program that turns discarded fishing nets into supplemental income for community members and 100% recycled content nylon that we use in our carpet tiles. With Net-Works and the continued success of our ReEntry® program, we’re proving that a circular economy is an attainable goal. With Mission Zero accomplished, we set our sights on an even higher goal-Climate Take Back™. Through Climate Take Back we will create a climate fit for life. One exciting step in that direction is the creation of our CircuitBac™ Green backing, which effectively stores more carbon in its life cycle than it emits. We’ve also been exploring new aesthetics. We added a new dimension to carpet tile with our 25cm x 1m Skinny Planks™ and brought hard surface into the mix with our Luxury Vinyl Tiles.

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