Good Afternoon ,
We are happy to announce the ReStart® Reclamation Program brochure is available for order. This brochure has been revised to replace the previous Johnsonite and Tandus Centiva brochures, and now details the overall Tarkett Restart® Reclamation Program.
This brochure highlights the Tarkett process of recycling, Frequently Asked Questions about the program, and outlines how to participate. To place an order please contact Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org, using order # 08414. The brochure can be found on Marcom here. This brochure has also been added to Salesforce.com.
If you do not have a specific login assigned to you please use the following credentials:
Tarkett Featured in FCW’s Sustainability Issue Cover Story
Diane Martel recently spoke with Floor Covering Weekly about transparency in flooring products. You can read the story, as well as the full sustainability-focused issue, here.
Tarkett Launches New Product Documentation Site Powered by ecomedes™
With the launch of a new sustainability documentation tool, Tarkett is harnessing the power of the web-based ecomedes technology platform to help architects and designers identify, evaluate, and document flooring products that fulfill the environmental goals of their projects.
This free tool helps simplify and streamline sustainable decision making across a wide variety of product data. The new service is accessible 24/7 from the Tarkett website. ecomedes is a web-based technology platform designed to make it easier for people to search, select, evaluate and document the best sustainable products which meets their project needs.
ecomedes leverages the product performance data that allows users map products to contribution and compliance toward Federal Procurement Standards, Green Building Rating Systems such as LEED, Living Building Challenge, WELL and GreenGlobes.
To visit the new Tarkett sustainability tool, visit https://tarkett.ecomedes.com/. For more information about sustainability leadership from Tarkett, visit http://tarkett.com/en/content/sustainability-0. For more information about the ecomedes platform visit https://ecomedes.com.
Tarkett Launches Product Transparency Program in Sustainable Minds Catalog
Tarkett North America has partnered with Sustainable Minds (SM) to provide a simple and easy way for architects and designers to find material and environmental product transparency information on more than 850 Tarkett products across all its North American brands — Tandus Centiva, Johnsonite and Desso — and all in one place: the SM Transparency Catalog.
Sustainable Minds, based in Massachusetts, is a B2B cloud provider of environmental product transparency applications, data, and services to help product manufacturers across the value chain design and market greener and healthier products for the built environment.
“Product transparency is increasingly important to our customers who want to understand the environmental and material health impacts of our products, and they need to be able to access that information quickly and easily to make informed decisions,” said Diane Martel, vice president of sustainability for Tarkett. “Transparency, along with the data to support it, is particularly important to project owners who are working to meet rating systems requirements. Our efforts are helping these owners choose healthy products for healthy spaces.”
The SM Transparency Catalog is designed to help architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals easily find products with transparency information that qualify for green building rating systems including: The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), LEED v4, Green Globes, the Well Building Standard and the Living Building Challenge.
SM is the only source providing both environmental and material disclosures from all manufacturers, all environmental product declaration (EPD) programs, and all material disclosure and rating systems, all in one place.
“People aren’t looking for disclosures — they want high performing products with disclosures,” said Terry Swack, chief executive officer, Sustainable Minds. “Working with Tarkett to organize all of its brands and products into one integrated listing informed the development of new options for manufacturers to reinforce or build greener brand recognition within our catalog.”
Every day, across the United States and around the world, manufacturers generate products that sustain life, offer protection from the elements, and give us the comfort of engaging in social activities. After all, creating products that meet the daily needs of the Earth’s inhabitants is the cornerstone of a global economy. How these products are produced – from sourcing materials to finding new life for them after use – becomes increasingly important each year.
Recycling is not a new concept. Throughout time, it has been common practice to re-use and repurpose items rather than purchase new. But as the United States graduated from an agriculturally based economy to the world’s leading manufacturer, the quantity of new goods increased. The industrial and economic growth following World War II meant greater access to new goods at reasonable prices – and a culture of over-consumption was born.
It was not until the late 1960s that the rapid use of resources was recognized in legislation. The National Environmental Policy Act supported the use of renewable resources, along with the concept of recycling resources that were being depleted. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created and it quickly became a popular platform for consumers to support recycling and participate in recycling efforts.
Today, recycling is not just a trend or a popular concept – it’s a must. According to the EPA, in 2012 municipal solid waste (MSW) recovery in the U.S. was nearly 87 million tonnes (Mt), with paper and paperboard comprising 51 percent of recovered materials. And the recycling rate has increased from less than 10 percent of MSW generated in 1980 to more than 34 percent in 20121.
According to the Deconstruction Institute, demolition and renovation of building in the U.S. produces approximately 124,670,000 tons of debris annually. Part of the debris like wood, paper, paperboards and metals are recycled at low rate and materials like plastics are finishing to landfills.
But we need to do more. Resources are becoming scarce. Each year the Global Footprint Network3 marks Earth Overshoot Day, the day when the human population has exhausted the resources that the Earth can regenerate in a given year. On August 19, 2014, we hit Earth Overshoot Day. It comes earlier and earlier each year. This means that for the remainder of the year, as a planet, we are operating at an ecological deficit. We are buying into the future of every man, woman and child, depleting valuable natural resources, including water, soil, plant and animal life, to support lifestyles of modern consumption – using nearly 18 months of resources every year. This is not something new.
It’s been happening for decades, with the trend for over-consumption more common in wealthy countries, such as the United States. With trends of such high consumption, is recycling enough? In some ways, the concept of recycling may actually encourage over-consumption. There is the thought that if materials and resources are recycled, then the supply is infinite. Is there a more fundamental approach that should be followed to ensure that we make the most of our resources and recycling efforts?
Design with Good Materials
The best way to ensure that the manufacturing and recycling process yields reusable, healthy products is to start with good materials and to work within the concept of closed-loop circular design. The goal is to optimize resources by choosing materials that demonstrate a strong level of respect for people and the environment, and that can be recycled to enter a manufacturing cycle (technical cycle) or that can be biodegradable to re-enter the biosphere (biological cycle).
Regardless of a product’s country of origin, good materials must be at the foundation of the manufacturing process. It is critical, not only that materials are secured from verifiable resources, but also that the materials that go into each manufacturing process are completely vetted for future recycling and/or re-use.
Closed-Loop Circular Design in a Circular Economy
The linear cycle of accessing resources to produce products, using products, and then throwing them away, is giving way to infinite or repeated re-use of resources from the beginning to the end of use through closed-loop circular design. This transition from a “linear economy” model to a “circular economy” model is an evolutionary process and one of the best ways to protect the resources of our planet through recycling and re-use of materials.
Additionally, closed-loop circular design, based on the recycling of our resources, has strong economic implications globally. For example, in 2012, approximately 32 Mt (million tonnes) of plastic waste was generated in the United States. From this 32 Mt, 90 percent (29 Mt) was sent to landfills and roughly 10 percent, (3 Mt) was recycled. Of the 3 Mt, 14 percent (0.4 Mt) was sent to China for recycling. If we consider, on average, that the price of virgin plastic is around $1000 per Mt, it means that every year in the U.S. we are sending roughly $30 billion dollars of plastic waste to landfills. Moreover, we are sending materials valued at approximately $400 million dollars out of the country in exchange for a fraction of its reusable value.
Based on these figures, when you consider the value of recycling these materials within the U.S., the switch from a linear economic model to a circular one may offer tremendous economic advantages, not only for the companies that apply this paradigm, but also for the local communities, where jobs may be created to manage the recycling process or to manufacture new products from recycled materials. The drive for efficient handling and use of recycled materials spurs innovation, a key to long-term economic growth. Investments in recycling equipment and the companies themselves also filter through the economy and contribute to economic growth.
Two factors strongly affect recycling and re-use of materials:
- The fundamental ingredients or components of manufactured goods
- The availability of recycling and reclamation methods and systems that enable the re-use of materials.
One of the best ways to ensure the recycling and re-use of manufactured products is to establish a verifiable chain of custody, beginning with the fundamental ingredients included in each manufactured product. Countries experiencing rapid growth, such as China, rely on affordable waste materials to meet growing production needs. In fact, according to the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), between 2006 and 2012, plastic waste imports in China increased from 5.9 Mt to 8.9 Mt – a 66 percent increase over six years.
However, the quality of the recycled materials used in manufacturing can be questionable in countries without strong controls over waste materials, recycling and remanufacturing processes. If systems are put in place to verify the source of recycled materials and control the quality of ingredients, products produced in any country from good ingredients can again be recycled and reused successfully over time in a closed-loop process without compromising human life, health or the environment.
The ability to authenticate ingredients throughout the life of a manufactured product helps to determine the best method of recycling. When ingredients are clearly documented, it becomes much easier to determine how a product can be broken down for re-use. Having this information available may reduce the energy expended in the recycling process and may also pave the way to the development of new materials that can be manufactured from materials that are being recycled or repurposed.
The second critical factor in a closed-loop system is the ability to reclaim used materials. Systems must be in place for collecting and sorting resources after use to ensure that materials move successfully through the recycling process rather than into landfills. Many cities and municipalities do not have systems available for reclaiming used materials (especially when talking about reclaiming commercial materials) such as flooring, roofing or other building products. It is clear that manufacturers must become more involved at both ends of the process by choosing good components that can easily be recycled and by developing reclamation programs that simplify and encourage recycling.
When manufacturers adhere to the principals of infinite or repeated re-use of resources – from the beginning to the end of use of products – through closed-loop circular design – users can make responsible choices. Often, due to budget constraints, consumers make product purchase decisions based on what they can afford rather than good materials being used to manufacture the product or the recyclability of said product. And, at times, these budget constraints can prevent consumers from purchasing healthier products as costs for sustainable products can be higher. Consumers should not be required to make a trade-off between quality of life, planet protection and performance and design. As manufacturers, it is our responsibility to address all of these values.
Managing the Chain of Custody
Increasingly, manufacturers are challenged to produce quality products that can meet the needs of their customers while also complying with industry and government mandates for disclosure and confirmation, verifying that products are produced with safe materials that can easily be recycled or re-used.
To ensure transparency in the manufacturing process, raw materials for all manufactured products should be followed and verified. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is one such example of a successful industry-wide system that verifies the chain of custody for manufactured products produced from raw wood resources. In this process, source materials are verified and documented from the location of growth through the manufacturing process and into the sales distribution channel.
The verification process is based on a voluntary, market-based approach to improving forest practices worldwide. Through a chain of custody (COC) designation, the council verifies the source of the raw materials, certifies the manufacturer producing the finished goods, and also certifies the sales channel through which the product is taken to market before the COC symbol may be applied to a wood-based or paper product. This verification of chain of custody ensures that architects, designers, building owners and consumers can rest assured that the raw materials in the manufactured products they choose come from sustainable forests and are manufactured and handled in a manner that meets industry-accepted sustainability standards.
A documentation process can provide the information necessary to determine the best methods by which a manufactured product can be successfully recycled or re-purposed. With verified ingredients, a path to technical recycling or biological re-entry into the biosphere can be clearly established, ensuring a closed-loop process. By following a model similar to that established by the FSC, a system can be established whereby all materials and ingredients are verified and documented through the entire chain of custody for any manufactured product.
While complete documentation is needed throughout the chain of custody, some methods for verification of materials are already in place. For example, manufacturers may participate voluntarily in documented verification processes, such as the development of an Environmental Health Statement (EHS) for each product they produce. An EHS is a third-party assessment of the material content of a product. The EHS addresses the environmental and human health risk of a finished product by providing valuable ingredient information along with associated environmental and health quality data. An ecological and toxicological assessment is performed and reviewed by a third party – the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) – which was founded by Professor Dr. Michael Braungart. The EHS is based on the Cradle to Cradle® (C2C) science-based material assessment methodology which is easy to understand and widely accepted in the building and design industry.
Dr. Braungart believes strongly in a process of “striving to be more good and not less bad.” According to Braungart, “Cradle to Cradle is about inspiration, celebration of the human footprint. It’s not minimizing negative impact, nor optimizing existing bad practices. This is a step-by-step journey, which needs solidarity, transparency and commitment from all stakeholders – manufacturers, suppliers, consumers – as well as creativity and innovation to design high-quality and eco-effective products.”
Dr. Braungart believes that the C2C approach could be an “innovation engine” for manufacturers rethinking the choice of raw materials that are safe and good for people and the environment, and for architects, designers or specifiers to select sustainable solutions, thus contributing positively to the well-being of the environment and the people in it.
Manufacturers share the responsibility of being good stewards of the resources available on our planet. And as community members, employers and inhabitants of this planet, we have a vested interest in ensuring that resources remain available into the future. With nine billion people projected to inhabit our planet by the year 2050, resource constraints, and consumer aspirations for quality of life, healthy living and complete trust could limit business activities unless we work pro-actively to take the future into account. As manufacturers, we must consider a different approach to the way we think about responsibility.
It is in the interest of every manufacturer to develop policies and manufacturing methods that operate within the constraints of our natural resources. Finding methods to turn waste back into resources as quickly as resources are consumed is one of the most effective ways of managing our ecological footprint. Participating in the movement to verify the chain of custody for all components of manufactured products is just one way to build a healthy, sustainable future.
For more information on what is new and not new with PVC, a white paper was prepared by Perkins+Will, in partnership with Healthy Building Network (HBN), as part of a larger effort to promote health in the built environment. Indoor environments commonly have higher levels of pollutants, and architects and designers may frequently have the opportunity to help reduce or mitigate exposures. You can read the white paper here.
Tarkett has announced that it will begin purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) equivalent to all electricity usage at the company’s North American headquarters and manufacturing sites in Ohio, adding an estimated 30 million kWh of demand to the marketplace for carbon neutral energy generation every year. ENGIE Resources – the third-largest non-residential electricity provider in the United States – will supply RECs that allow Tarkett to demonstrate its commitment to intentional business strategies and practices that support stewardship and respect for the planet’s resources.
“Our business model is rooted in the fundamental principles of a circular economy – to optimize resource consumption while reducing waste and avoiding pollution,” said Diane Martel, Vice President of Environmental Planning and Strategy for Tarkett North America. “ENGIE Resources has worked with us to understand where we are taking our business in terms of our environmental impact, and has created a portfolio of high quality investments in renewable power projects. It’s an advantageous solution as it is not always possible to power our plants with green electricity directly.”
By purchasing a free market instrument like RECs, Tarkett is enabling the development of domestic sources of renewable energy, which help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each Green-e® certified REC represents the environmental attributes or benefits associated with a specific quantity of energy generated from a renewable source, such as solar or wind.
“We take great pride in working with customers like Tarkett to promote sustainable operations,” said J.D. Burrows, Vice President of Marketing for ENGIE Resources. “Virtually every aspect of Tarkett’s business strategy – from its product offerings to its growth objectives – is driven by an incredibly strong commitment to promoting environmental and social responsibility. We’re honored to green the energy consumption of a company so committed to sustainability, and we look forward to building a long-lasting relationship as its preferred retail electricity supplier.”
Tarkett passionately believes in building a business that takes equal account of its impact on people, planet and profits, while transforming to a circular economy business model powered by Cradle to Cradle® principles. Tarkett works with the Cradle to Cradle® consultancy EPEA, lead by Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, to assure its materials and processes are rigorously tested against C2C’s human health and environmental criteria.
Background on PVC
Worldwide, about 45 Mio tonnes of PVC are produced each year. PVC is used in many different applications for things like toys, packaging and coated papers. PVC has historically been associated with many issues, and therefore attacked from different sides.
Tarkett has taken the raised issues seriously and addressed them by designing our products with good materials by substituting phthalate plasticizers and heavy metal based stabilizers, while take back systems for the safe and productive post-use management are established.
Changing the paradigm
Historically, there was a good reason for the invention of PVC and its patenting on July 4, 1913. PVC was industrially developed as a way to manage chlorine, a byproduct of the caustic soda production from the separation of rock salt.
The magnitude of the issue can be illustrated by looking at the market: Caustic soda is one of the most demanded chemicals with a production volume exceeding 60 million tons/year, with increasing volumes. As a byproduct, almost the same amount of chlorine is produced annually.
Caustic soda is a consumable with no opportunity to be kept in technical cycles. The demand is difficult to meet with production routes other than the chloralkali process. In effect, likely more than 98% of caustic soda and 100% of chlorine are produced this way. As long as the demand for caustic soda prevails, a transitional chlorine management solution is obviously needed.
Against this background, EPEA has come to the conclusion that it is preferable to sequester chlorine in PVC applications with positively defined composition that can be managed after-use. More information can be found in this fact sheet on PVC.
Approval Rating Satisfaction Increases
According to a research study by Accountability Information Management, architects said that they are 15 percent more satisfied with vinyl today, and interior designers said they are 28 percent more satisfied. Vinyl’s sustainability registered the greatest increase in satisfaction – up 30 percent. Architects and designers also said they are more satisfied with vinyl’s impact on the environment and its ability to meet their clients’ needs. You can read more in this article from VinylInfo.org.