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Living Product Expo: Tarkett pushes boundaries of sustainable building

October 9/16, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 9

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.43.16 AMPittsburgh—There are flooring companies that like to stake their claim to the “green” label when, in reality, their products mostly meet baseline certification for sustainability. And then there are those few companies that take responsible manufacturing to an entirely different plane.

That short list includes Tarkett.

From eco-design and installation to recycling and reuse, Tarkett has demonstrated over decades a commitment to continuously developing products with the planet and people in mind.

Tarkett North America has applied cradle-to-cradle principles to product development since 2011 and today holds more product and material certifications (175) than all other flooring manufacturers. “Having so many products and materials cradle-to-cradle certified demonstrates our commitment to both the built environment and the planet as a whole,” said Diane Martel, vice president of environmental planning and strategy for Tarkett North America.

Martel was a presenter at the Living Product Expo in Pittsburgh in September. She took part in a seminar titled: “Can PVC be made into a Living Product?” PVC, which is used in most manufacturing of vinyl flooring, has several advantages, including low cost and ease of replacing individual tiles. However, PVC is not inherently green, experts say. In fact, it has been called “the poison plastic” because the emissions from PVC—at certain levels—can create health hazards such as dioxins and furans, two of the most toxic chemicals on the planet.

During the discussion, Martel argued that PVC could be a sustainable product if done responsibly. “It’s about cleaning up the chemistry of PVC. We’re taking other people’s wastage streams and finding potential use for it. PVC is extremely easy to recycle. We should be closing the loop on PVC.”

By “we” she means the flooring industry at large. Tarkett wants to work with other companies to find solutions that will benefit the planet. “We can only solve this if we collaborate and people adhere to something that is actionable and reasonable,” Martel explained. “We find that opening the door to collaboration and cooperation is really the path to take. You have to be in a place where everyone is rowing the same direction. As a company, as an industry, as a planet and as a world, we have to be doing that.”

Tarkett will be doing its part. “We value our position as a global leader in sustainable flooring, and see these certifications as a way to guide our industry toward creating products that are better for people and better for the environment,” Martel added.

Among Tarkett’s achievements:

  • It is a partner of the World Economic Forum on circular economy, climate change and quality of life in the urban environment.
  • It was the first flooring producer to deploy phthalate-free vinyl flooring in North America.
  • Tarkett launched fully transparent Material Health Statements in 2016.
  • The company continually improves the chemistry within products to improve the built environment, including removing ortho-phthalates from products and developing Eco-Ensure, a fluorine-free soil protection technology for all Powerbond and modular products.

Sustainability’s evolution
When Martel took on her role as VP of sustainability a decade ago, she said sustainability was a lot about the planet (i.e., waste reduction, water reduction) but today it is a more balanced, holistic approach.

Rudi Daelmans, director of sustainability for Tarkett, said sustainability is evolving to what he termed “system thinking,” where everything is connected—the nutrients in the water, the safety materials, indoor air quality. “It is still evolving. It is a continuous drive toward sustainable business, which will drive innovation and new products. Staying on top of things and concentrating on sustainability makes you push your boundaries. If sustainability drives innovation you will have a company that is profitable and lasting.”

On the subject of innovation, Tarkett recently launched a backing material through its Tandus Centiva brand called ethos Modular with omnicoat technology. According to the company, ethos products are PVC-free and made from recycled PVB film commonly found in the abundantly available waste from automobile windshields and safety glass. In addition, ethos Modular is cradle-to-cradle certified Silver v3.1 and SCS Global Certified NSF 140 Platinum. Depending on the specified product, the total overall recycled content ranges from 26% to 51%. ethos is 100% recyclable through Tarkett’s ReStart program.

Paul Evans, vice president of R&D, Tarkett North America, said ethos addresses one of the most long-standing issues in new construction and renovation, namely moisture or other adverse flooring conditions that require costly delays in time as well as the potential for testing and remediation.

“Just as importantly, we make the backing using PVB derived from the recycling of film found in windshields and other safety glass, because a product that’s good for the health of those who use it and is made with respect to the environment begins with quality materials sourced properly.”

 

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Regulations help to keep wood viable

by Matthew Spieler

In the world of green, wood, by and large, is considered one of the more environmentally friendly products out there: It’s renewable, can last for generations, can be repurposed into something else and contributes to the overall health of the planet—both in a living and decaying stage.

Despite all its positive environmental attributes, illegal logging here and abroad, mismanaged forests and unfriendly environmental manufacturing processes have force governments and non-government agencies and organizations to put forth numerous regulation and rules surrounding the material—from laws, such as the Lacey Act and California’s CARB to standards like the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGNC) LEED rating system and third-party certifications such as from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)—in order to ensure the product is not only available for generations to come but is safe to bring into home and offices environments. Continue reading Regulations help to keep wood viable

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New NSF International product category rule reports and compares environmental attributes

Ann Arbor, Mich.— NSF International, an independent global organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the commercial flooring, construction, food, water and consumer goods industries, collaborated with multiple flooring trade associations to develop a Product Category Rule (PCR) for the flooring industry. This flooring PCR provides both a science-based and internationally recognized method for reporting the environmental impact of resilient, carpet, laminate, tile, and wood flooring products. Continue reading New NSF International product category rule reports and compares environmental attributes

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VersaWalk: MP Global's new versatile, eco-friendly underlayment

Norfolk, Neb. — MP Global Products, the manufacturer of QuietWalk underlayment for floating wood and laminate floors and other eco-friendly fiber underlayments, recently introduced VersaWalk, a multi-use sound reduction impact isolation and insulation system designed specifically for nail-down or glue-down wood flooring, luxury vinyl tile, floating engineered wood, and laminate flooring. It’s green, high performing, and versatile – float it, nail it, or glue it. Continue reading VersaWalk: MP Global's new versatile, eco-friendly underlayment

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Tennant introduces sustainable soy-based urethane coating

Minneapolis — Tennant Company, a leader in designing, manufacturing, and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world, announces the launch of the floor care industry’s first known sustainable urethane floor coatings that are 50% soy plant-based and specifically designed for manufacturing, industrial, and warehousing facilities. Eco-ITS coatings are bio-based urethane floor coverings made using a 95% plant-based BiOH polyol supplied under an exclusive agreement with Cargill. Continue reading Tennant introduces sustainable soy-based urethane coating

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Producers seek to gain ground in commercial

Budgets and building brands are the buzzwords

by Emily J. Cappiello

Although hardwood is one of the most sought-after flooring products in the residential market, there are still challenges in commercial. From designing to meet the needs of a completely different market to building brands, the wood category is still seeking to develop itself as a staple on the commercial side.  Continue reading Producers seek to gain ground in commercial

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First ever certified sustainable tile products unveiled

After 5 years developing an all-encompassing multi-attribute sustainability standard for tile and tile installation materials, the very first certified sustainable products are being announced.

Cumulatively, eight major manufacturers of tile and installation materials have hundreds of products that are already certified or will be certified by the start of Coverings on April 17, with yet even more of their products still in the evaluation process and expected to earn certification this year. At least six additional manufacturers have started the certification process for hundreds more products that are expected to be certified within the year. Continue reading First ever certified sustainable tile products unveiled

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Coverings Design Showcase emphasizes installation

Sustainability top of mind for tile and stone show

Orlando, Fla.—A trio of design ideas incorporating tile and stone will come to life next month as part of Coverings 2012 with the presentation of this year’s Installation Design Showcase.

Scheduled for April 17 to 20 at the Orange County Convention Center here, Coverings is more than an exhibition of tile companies showing their latest wares, noted Bart Bettiga, executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), a Coverings co-sponsor. “The Installation Design Showcase exemplifies the true mission of Coverings: To bring all segments of the tile and stone industry together and amplify how these materials can transform both our living spaces and our world.” Continue reading Coverings Design Showcase emphasizes installation

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Recycling effort exceeds expectations at Surfaces 2012

Dallas — Being green is no longer a trend or fad – it’s a way of life. This was dramatically demonstrated last week at the recently completed SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas (S2). For the first time, S2 partnered with Mountain Re-Source Center and Tile Partners for Humanity on a recycling initiative focused on post-show product donations at the close of the three-day event, held January 24-26 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The outstanding results of this inaugural program speak for themselves and exceeded all expectations. Continue reading Recycling effort exceeds expectations at Surfaces 2012

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If it’s Good for the planet, it’s Good for Profits.

Anthony Minite, President, Bentley Prince Street, Inc.

After reflecting on our first big trade show of the year, I think we all need to come clean about sustainability. It seems every manufacturer is claiming to be the leader in sustainability and backing it up with huge advertising and marketing campaigns. It’s time to talk about making an honest commitment to sustainability. You can talk all you want and blast it on the biggest billboards and in the glossiest magazines, but without proof, it’s all just talk.

Since Bentley Prince Street is committed to responsible manufacturing, we have nothing to hide and see no need to confuse the marketplace with an inundation of green claims and labels.  For this reason, we provide third-party verification of our sustainability claims with Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Continue reading If it’s Good for the planet, it’s Good for Profits.