Interface Ends Carbon Offsets, Boosts Direct Reduction

Close-up of Interface Carbon-Negative Area Rug in a bedroom setting

Since 1994, Interface has pioneered sustainable practices, leading the charge toward zero negative. (Photo Credit: Interface)

by | Apr 24, 2024

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Interface, Inc., a global flooring solutions company, has long been recognized as a sustainability pioneer. Starting its transformation in 1994, under the leadership of Ray Anderson, Interface embarked on a mission to eliminate its negative impact on the planet earlier than most with its initiative, Mission Zero, setting aggressive sustainability targets and spurring a fundamental shift in the company’s operations, product development, and supply chain management.

Through decades of relentless effort, Interface reduced waste, energy, and water usage across its factories, created the ReEntry Reclamation and Recycling program, and developed the world’s first carbon-negative carpet tile. Achieving its Mission Zero goals well ahead of its 2020 target, Interface then implemented its Climate Take Back plan to reverse global warming and become a carbon-negative enterprise by 2040.

The company’s pioneering work has been featured in the 2021 documentary “Beyond Zero,” currently playing inflight on Delta Airlines— and is a must-watch for those interested in corporate sustainability leadership.

Interface’s Carbon Reduction Strategy

This week, Interface announced the intensification of its approach to combating the climate crisis by focusing on direct carbon reduction and enhanced carbon storage. As the urgency to address environmental impacts increases, Interface is steering away from carbon offsets, a shift signifying a robust commitment to its long-term environmental goals.

The company’s revised strategy aligns with its ambitious targets to halve its absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, from a 2019 baseline, under the guidance of the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Additionally, Interface aims to reduce its Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services by 50% and lower emissions from business travel and employee commuting by 30%.

Laurel Hurd, CEO of Interface, emphasized, “We’re ‘all in’ on solving the climate crisis. We’ve made incredible progress in our 30-year sustainability journey, and we’re committed to achieving our ambitious environmental sustainability goals without carbon offsets. Carbon negative carpet tile changed everything for Interface. We now know it’s possible to store more carbon than we emit – and we believe we can accomplish this across our product portfolio, from carpet tile to resilient flooring. We want to challenge ourselves and others to become carbon negative, enterprise wide, without offsets. We hope to continue to inspire industry to join us to make an even bigger impact through our collective action focused on absolute carbon reduction.”

Pioneering Carbon Negative Products

Interface’s reputation for producing the lowest carbon footprint carpet tiles is supported by public emissions data from Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). The company has achieved significant progress through decades of innovation in carpet tile manufacturing, raw material sourcing, and product lifecycle management while implementing extensive reuse and recycling programs worldwide.

Interface plans to continue reimagining product development and enhancing manufacturing processes in every area by increasing recycled content usage, reducing resilient products’ carbon footprint, and boosting biobased materials’ use across all product categories. It is also expanding partnerships and initiatives to address Scope 3 emissions and promoting commercial adoption of circular models throughout its product range.

Liz Minné, Head of Global Sustainability Strategy at Interface, outlines the company’s carbon strategy as “Avoid, Reduce, Store, Inspire.” She adds, “We’re doubling down to store more carbon than we emit across our entire enterprise. We’re avoiding and reducing emissions throughout our product manufacturing, our business operations, and our supply chain, and working to store more carbon in our products. We’ve been charting this course for 30 years, and we won’t stop until we achieve carbon negativity, without offsets, by 2040. And we hope we inspire others to do the same.”

As of April 30, 2024, Interface will phase out its Carbon Neutral Floors™ and Carbon Neutral Enterprise programs to redirect investments toward its decarbonization goals in the evolving climate solutions market. Until the end of 2024, Interface will provide verified carbon credits for all customer purchases.

Interface’s dedication to transparency and accountability is evident in its third-party verified calculations and carbon footprint data, including comprehensive life cycle impacts of its products and detailed emissions reporting. These efforts showcase Interface’s unwavering commitment to setting new standards in environmental sustainability within the industry.

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