Mission Zero: Measuring Our Progress
Interface's sustainability journey is made more focused by measuring our progress.
Our EcoMetrics™ measurement system is designed to quantify the “metabolism” of our operations. In other words, how much we take, in terms of materials and energy, how much we make, in terms of product, and how much we waste, in terms of wastes and emissions.
- Renewable Energy – 87% of energy used at manufacturing sites is from renewable sources
- GHG Emissions – GHG emissions intensity at manufacturing sites is down 95% since 1996
- Raw Materials – 58% of raw materials used to make carpet are either recycled or bio-based
- Water – Total water intake intensity at manufacturing sites is down 86% since 1996
- ReEntry – Diverted 10 million pounds of post-consumer carpet from landfills
- Net-Works – Collected and shipped 84 thousand pounds of fishing nets to our recycling partner
- Safety Performance – Total Accident Frequency Rate is down 77% from 1999
As part of our Mission Zero® commitment, Interface® has set a goal to source 100% of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this, we have a simple strategy – improve our energy efficiency and increase our use of renewable energy. We have taken an aggressive approach to reach this goal, installing renewable energy systems at our factories, and purchasing renewable energy for our facilities around the world.
Maximizing energy efficiency is the first step in reducing our energy use. Interface has implemented several unique energy saving measures in our factories. Building energy management systems helps us understand and reduce our use of energy. For example, the energy monitoring system used in our Scherpenzeel factory, the Energy Mirror, tracks real-time energy use and prominently displays the results allowing employees at all levels to identify ways to reduce use. We have also replaced and upgraded equipment with more efficient alternatives, including HVAC units and lighting systems, and we’ve installed skylights and solar tubes to allow daylight in and reduce the need for electricity. All of the efficiencies, improvements and, most importantly, kilowatts not used add up to significant progress since we began in 1994.
Total energy use at our global factories is down 43% per unit of product since 1996.
Interface has a goal to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2020. As of 2015, 87% of our total energy use was from renewable sources and six of our seven manufacturing sites now operate with 100% renewable electricity.
Our Renewable Energy Evolution:
- 2016 – 100% of electricity used at manufacturing sites is from renewable sources.
- 2015 – Using Directed Biogas at our Troup County manufacturing sites
- 2015 – Using RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) to make electricity use at our China and Thailand manufacturing sites renewable
- 2014 – Using Certified Green Directed BioGas at our Scherpenzeel, NL manufacturing site
- 2007 – Using RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) to make electricity use at our larger manufacturing sites renewable
- 2003 – Partnered with the City of LaGrange, Georgia to use methane gas from a local landfill as a renewable fuel source for our Interface factory in LaGrange.
- In 2005, Interface won “Energy Partner of the Year” award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) for this project.
- 2000 – Installed a 5 kW photovoltaic array at our Interface factory in Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands
- 2000 – Installed a 17kW photovoltaic array at our Interface factory in LaGrange, Georgia.
Globally, 100% of the electricity used at our manufacturing sites is renewable. This electricity is made renewable through the purchase of market-based renewable energy instruments such as Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in North America and Asia, or from Guarantee of Origin (GOs) in Europe, and then applying these instruments to our grid sourced electricity. We receive renewable electricity directly from our supplier in the UK through the supplier’s own internal allocation and we generate electricity on-site through two solar photovoltaic arrays.
In total, 78% of the thermal energy used at our manufacturing facilities is renewable. It is made renewable through using of directed biogas in our North American and Netherlands manufacturing sites, and direct use of landfill gas in our LaGrange manufacturing site.
In 2016, our 87% renewable energy is made up of green gas (45%), green electricity (42%), landfill gas and on-site solar PV arrays (less than 1%).
Addressing our greenhouse gas emissions is a key component of our Mission Zero® commitment. We are striving to become a carbon neutral company by measuring, reducing and offsetting our carbon emissions. In addition, we implemented employee programs to help address their emissions and we sell carbon neutral products through our Cool Carpet™ program, one of the first in the world.
We have reduced our net greenhouse gas emissions per unit of product from manufacturing sites by 95% from 1996 to 2016 through diverse strategies including process efficiencies, energy efficiencies (such as lighting and equipment replacement), fuel switching, direct use of renewable energy and use of market-based renewable energy instruments.
[Net GHG emissions are gross emissions less the carbon benefits of market-based renewable energy instruments such as Directed Biogas and Green Gas Certificates for thermal energy, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for electricity in North America and Asia and Guarantee of Origin (GOs) in Europe.]
We’ve gone beyond the walls of the factory to examine all aspects of our business for opportunities to reduce and eliminate waste, including product design, packaging and transportation.
Our waste reduction efforts have resulted in a 91% decrease in total waste to landfills from our carpet factories since 1996.