Interface Issues a Call to Action for Companies to Raise the Sustainability Bar

By: Kara DiCamillo

Interface's Mount Sustainability Presentation

Pledging to obtain third-party validated Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) on all of their InterfaceFLOR products globally by 2012, Interface has once again raised the sustainability bar. As part of its “Mission Zero” commitment to zero environmental impact by 2020, this new initiative is yet another step towards the company’s goal. And they are challenging other businesses, large and small, to do the same.

EPD’s were created by an international consortium as detailed documents explaining the life cycle impact of items. By looking at products from their raw material stage to disposal, EPD products are third party certified. They provide a high level of transparency which in turn allows customers to compare products on standardized measurements.

Interface, lead by industry leader Ray Anderson, was the first carpet company to develop EPD’s back in March of 2010, however, at the time it was just for a few of their carpet lines. The company is now taking it a step further to include every single one of their products while giving themselves an even steeper deadline – 2012. Sixteen years in to their journey, this will move Interface a little bit higher on their “Mount Sustainability” in their dedication to achieving “Mission Zero.”

On Interface’s website, the company states their vision quite clearly: “To be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire industrial world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: People, process, product, place and profits — by 2020 — and in doing so we will become restorative through the power of influence.”

And it’s obvious why they are challenging more companies to follow their lead. If more companies create EPDs, more customers will be able to see what all the impacts of various products are and eventually will start comparing them. More than likely, if educated, consumers will lean towards those with lesser impacts. Ultimately, new levels of innovation will be explored and customers will demand more as they begin to understand the impacts of their purchases.

More on how businesses and organizations can learn how to seek greater transparency and about Interface’s “Mission Zero” can be found through the sustainability section the website.

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