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Mohawk Group, Humanscale sponsor series on workplace design

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 4.04.04 PMCalhoun—Mohawk Group and Humanscale broadened the conversation on sustainability last week with a series of talks, “How Transparency is Changing the World,” illustrating how manufacturers are creating designs that contribute to healthy spaces, demonstrate product transparency and give back to the earth. Jason F. McLennan, founder of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and the Living Product Challenge, was the series’ featured speaker.

The Living Product Challenge is a platform that not only sets the highest standards for commercial manufacturing practices and procedures, but also strategically strives to reconcile the relationship between humanity and the natural world. End users, architects and designers were given a behind-the-scenes look at how Mohawk Group and Humanscale became the first two manufacturers to achieve the Living Product Challenge in their product categories: flooring and furniture, respectively.

Interest in Living Products is growing in the workplace, which makes up the largest percentage of all interior spaces. “With research showing we spend 90% of our time indoors, designers and end users in the workplace segment are keenly aware and highly selective when specifying products for their space,” said Mark Oliver, vice president of workplace and retail segments, Mohawk Group. “They require more thoughtfully-designed products to ensure the happiness and well-being of their employees and associates. They also realize the product selections they make can have an impact on the environment around them and prefer selecting products that have a net positive impact on the environment versus those that are more wasteful. Workplace design today is leading the charge in high styled, highly sustainable manufacturing, and we at Mohawk are proud to be at the forefront.”

Mohawk received the first Living Product Challenge Petal certification in flooring for its Lichen carpet planks. Meeting the program’s place, water, and health and happiness petals, the biophilic-designed collection is on track to give more resources back to the environment than it uses during its entire life cycle. The company is poised to do more.

“We see the Living Product Challenge as almost a moral obligation,” Oliver said. “At Mohawk, we believe in better. As the leading flooring manufacturer in the world, it is our responsibility to lead, to innovate and to never be satisfied with the status quo. Mohawk isn’t done with simply launching one Living Product.”

Humanscale was awarded full Living Product Certification for its Diffrient Smart chair and Float table. Jane Abernethy, Humanscale sustainability officer, says Mohawk Group and Humanscale are fitting partners in this series on sustainability. “We share a vision that manufacturers can be part of the solution to our environmental issues, the tenacity to overcome many obstacles in pursuit of this vision and the willingness to change our operations to make this vision a reality.”

The talk series is meant to celebrate and appreciate those working toward greater sustainability and to educate those seeking to become involved. “We need to reset the conversation,” Abernethy said. “Often, environmental or social concerns are pitted against economic concerns—especially when people are afraid of change. Instead, the Living Product Challenge looks at how manufacturing can be part of the solution to social and environmental issues. Then, the world is made better off as the business grows.”

Mohawk is thrilled with the relationship with ILFI and Humanscale, Oliver said. “Imagine: an end-use customer could have a full Living Product suite if they used our flooring and Humanscale’s furniture,” he said. “We look forward to continuing this event series throughout 2018 and talking to more people about the benefits of sustainability.”

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Mohawk Group's Light Lab receives ILFI certification

Mohawk Group Light Lab Design CenterDalton—Mohawk Group’s Light Lab, the company’s recently renovated design studio, has received Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) Living Building Challenge 2.1.

The ILFI’s Living Building Challenge is a building certification program, advocacy tool and philosophy that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today. The Challenge is comprised of seven performance categories called Petals: place, water, energy, health & happiness, materials, equity and beauty. Petal Recognition is given to projects that satisfy the requirements in three categories of the Living Building Challenge, when at least one is water, energy or materials.

“We are incredibly excited to be the first in the state of Georgia, as well as the first building product manufacturer, to receive the prestigious Living Building Challenge Petal Certification from the ILFI,” said Rochelle Routman, vice president of sustainability, Mohawk Flooring. “For quite some time, Mohawk has used Declare, ILFI’s ‘nutrition label’ program for products, as a way to report and disclose information about the ingredients in the products that we make. Now we’ve set an even higher bar in sustainability as we have extended ILFI’s rigorous sustainability standards to our newly renovated design center by achieving certification through the Living Building Challenge.”

The 33,000-square-foot Light Lab is a mid-century modern building  here that features 365-degree views of landscape and natural vistas. Built in the early 1960s as the headquarters for World Carpet, the building has been used most recently as a showroom space for Mohawk Flooring North America residential products. The conceptual design of the interior renovation for Light Lab was provided by students from the Savannah College of Art and Design and the building is now home to all of the product design teams in the Mohawk organization. Light Lab has satisfied the Living Building Challenge requirements for the site, health, materials, equity and beauty Petals.

“Mohawk’s petal certification further demonstrates the company’s progressive attitude and unwavering commitment to both sustainability and ILFI’s transformational programs, including the Living Building Challenge, Declare and the Living Product Challenge,” said Amanda Sturgeon, chief executive officer of the ILFI.