Interface halts carbon offsets, focuses on direct reduction

Since its inception in 1994, Interface, Inc. has stood at the vanguard of sustainable business practices, spearheading a movement towards a future where businesses leave a positive, rather than negative, impact on the planet. As a global leader in flooring solutions, Interface recognized early on the imperative of environmental stewardship and embarked on a transformative journey under the visionary leadership of Ray Anderson.

With the launch of Mission Zero, Interface set forth ambitious sustainability goals aimed at eliminating its adverse effects on the environment. This initiative marked a watershed moment not only for the company but also for the broader business community, demonstrating that profitability and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.

Through prioritizing sustainability across its operations, product development, and supply chain management, Interface has redefined industry norms and paved the way for a new era of corporate responsibility. Through innovation and collaboration, the company has continually pushed the boundaries of what is possible, driving towards a future where zero negative impact is not just an aspiration but a reality.

Interface’s unwavering commitment to sustainability has not only earned it acclaim within the industry but also inspired countless businesses to follow suit. By leading by example, Interface has catalyzed a global movement towards more sustainable practices, proving that businesses can be a force for good in the fight against climate change and environmental degradation.

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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