Raising the floor on innovative carbon solutions __ Liz Minné __ Interface

Ecogradia
Raising the floor on innovative carbon solutions __ Liz Minné __ Interface
Loading
/

Raising the floor on innovative carbon solutions __ Liz Minné __ Interface

Sponsored by

Sponsored by

Ecogradia
Raising the floor on innovative carbon solutions __ Liz Minné __ Interface
Loading
/
Apple PodcastsSpotify

Imagine a world where your carpet reduces atmospheric carbon. In this episode, discover how Interface is making this a reality. Liz Minné discusses a range of innovative strategies that redefine our expectations of flooring.

Liz is the Head of Global Sustainability Strategy at Interface and leads the company’s push towards carbon negativity. Armed with a PhD in Environmental Engineering, she also oversees Interface’s global disclosure on environmental metrics.

Dive into the future of sustainable manufacturing as Liz reveals how Interface is pioneering carbon-negative solutions, transforming waste into resources, and radically rethinking production processes to meet ambitious environmental goals.

Episode outline

00:04:35 “We at interface have really taken the chance to dive into innovation, and one of the amazing things that we came out with […] was this carbon-negative carpet tile.”
00:04:35 Innovation at Interface
00:07:28 “We had a wonderful effort that was done […] where they were taking rogue fishing nets in the waterways and […] recycling that.”
00:08:22 “Over our long history we have offset 6.5 million metric tonnes of carbon. […] Our reduction in carbon footprint for our carpet tile has gone down about 79%.”
00:10:05 “We’re going to further invest within our business using that funding that we were using towards carbon offsets […] so that we can drive down our impacts in terms of their actual emissions. So no offsets.”
00:13:20 “If you look at our whole product portfolio, 52% of the materials within those products are recycled or bio-based.”
00:16:22 Renewable energy
00:16:42 “Across the board for our manufacturing, 79% of our energy use is coming from renewable sources.”
00:17:39 “Interface likes to be a source of outsized impact. So how can we also impact the places that we’re in to motivate change to lower impacts?”
00:18:39 “We’ve looked into how could we create a factory that is indistinguishable from the forest that would have been there.”
00:20:30 Flooring in the circular economy
00:28:50 “Our post-consumer carpet that came back through this process in 2022 was 4.3 million pounds, and that’s in one year.”
00:32:48 Interface as environmental influencer
00:37:04 “What we want to do is make people accidental environmentalists. So you did something good for the earth without even realising it.”

 

Summary

The drive to reduce carbon emissions is accelerating — most noticeably among large corporations. Achieving ‘zero’ carbon, especially for a manufacturer of building products, amounts to a total rethink.

Now imagine that the goal is to be carbon negative and to make products that sequester carbon. How does that journey even begin?

Interface has been a leader in sustainable manufacturing since the 1990s. Today, they are a beacon for low-carbon manufacturing.

For their Atlanta HQ, Interface repurposed a 1950s office building, reducing embodied carbon by avoiding new construction materials.
© Bruce Quist

Last season, we heard from Nigel Stansfield (Interface’s Chief Innovation and Sustainability Officer) about the company’s long journey to zero impact. In this episode, Liz Minné makes the case for carbon negativity.

Liz is the Head of Global Sustainability Strategy at Interface. She oversees a bold agenda to make the company carbon negative by 2040.
Courtesy of Interface

Three million years have passed since the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide was at today’s level. Liz details Interface’s creation of a carbon-negative carpet tile. It’s a product that upends industry standards.

Interface’s breakthrough was developing the CQuest™Bio Backing, a bio-based material that significantly reduces the environmental impact of their carpets.

The CQuest™Bio Backing is a non-vinyl backing made with biopolymers, as well as bio-based and recycled fibres, which are net carbon negative.
Courtesy of Interface

Many firms achieve carbon neutrality through purchasing offsets. Interface has been part of this trend, offsetting 6.5 million metric tonnes since 2003.

Not content to rely on this strategy alone, Interface has reduced the carbon footprint of their carpet tiles over three decades by about 79%. The remaining emissions have been balanced with carbon credits.

Liz makes a bold announcement on Ecogradia: Starting in April 2024, Interface will stop using carbon offsets, aiming to meet carbon neutrality entirely through innovative practices.

Interface recycles textiles such as carpets, clothes, and fishing nets into materials used in new carpets.
Courtesy of Interface

She highlights that 79% of Interface’s energy usage is sourced from renewables, even in countries heavily reliant on coal.

Interface not only uses renewable energy but also strives to be a transformative influence in every location. Their aim is to inspire broader environmental changes wherever they operate.

Their innovative “Factory as a Forest” initiative goes a step further. This endeavour explores how to create a factory with an impact indistinguishable from the natural ecosystem that the facility replaces.

Interface and Biomimicry 3.8 developed a methodology that enables facilities to provide the same benefits as natural ecosystems.
Courtesy of Interface

Every year, in the USA alone, over 4 billion pounds of discarded carpets end up in landfills. Against this number, Interface reclaimed 4.3 million pounds of its own products in 2022, looping them back into the production cycle as raw materials for new carpets.

Interface has been actively collecting and recycling post-consumer vinyl-backed carpet tiles for over 20 years.
Courtesy of Interface

Interface’s dedication to innovation marks a profound shift in industry standards. Their commitment transcends traditional practices, showcasing a path towards true sustainability in manufacturing.

Gallery

Images

Episode Notes

Keep reading if you want to deep dive into this interview’s content and get more out of it. You can also find out more about this episode’s guest/s and sponsor/s, and the team that put it all together.

This episode is brought to you by:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The Holcim Foundation helps drive systemic change towards a more sustainable built environment. It was founded in 2003 to define and promote the key principles of sustainability for the construction sector and is committed to accelerating the sector’s transformation so that people and the planet can thrive.

The Foundation has investigated various aspects of sustainable construction via a series of roundtables and conferences with international experts. It has also recognised excellent contributions to this field with the Holcim Awards which are considered the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

Committed to a holistic approach that recognises the equal importance and interdependence of four key goals, the Foundation combines the collective knowledge, ideas, and solutions of our global community of experts with a recognised platform of international competitions to democratise thought leadership for the entire sector.

W  |  holcimfoundation.org

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

 


 

The content partner for this episode is:

Interface

In 1973, Interface’s founder, Ray Anderson introduced a European carpet tile concept to America, starting a commercial flooring revolution that would spread around the world. Now, Interface is a global leader in modular flooring, offering an integrated collection of carpet tile and resilient flooring that includes premium rugs, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), and nora® rubber.

Made with purpose and without compromise, Interface flooring brings more sophisticated design, more performance, more innovation, and more climate progress to interior spaces. Interface’s modular flooring is more than just something you can walk on.

Inspired by everything from the restorative nature of biophilic design to science, art, and heritage, Interface pushes trends for more ideas, more inspiration, and more leading the way. It’s design that makes spirits rise and jaws drop.

Interface is fully committed to becoming a restorative business. From an original industry-defining goal to make zero negative impact, to realising zero wasn’t enough, to designing with circularity across the board, Interface has continued to show change is possible no matter how improbable.

Today, the company is focusing on carbon reductions, not offsets, as it works toward achieving its verified Science Based Targets by 2030 and its goal to become a carbon-negative enterprise by 2040. By working together, setting ambitious Science Based Targets, and investing resources into reducing carbon impact, Interface remains “all in” on becoming a restorative business.

W  |  interface.com

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

This episode is brought to you by:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The Holcim Foundation helps drive systemic change towards a more sustainable built environment. It was founded in 2003 to define and promote the key principles of sustainability for the construction sector and is committed to accelerating the sector’s transformation so that people and the planet can thrive.

The Foundation has investigated various aspects of sustainable construction via a series of roundtables and conferences with international experts. It has also recognised excellent contributions to this field with the Holcim Awards which are considered the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

Committed to a holistic approach that recognises the equal importance and interdependence of four key goals, the Foundation combines the collective knowledge, ideas, and solutions of our global community of experts with a recognised platform of international competitions to democratise thought leadership for the entire sector.

W  |  holcimfoundation.org

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

 


 

The content partner for this episode is:

Interface

In 1973, Interface’s founder, Ray Anderson introduced a European carpet tile concept to America, starting a commercial flooring revolution that would spread around the world. Now, Interface is a global leader in modular flooring, offering an integrated collection of carpet tile and resilient flooring that includes premium rugs, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), and nora® rubber.

Made with purpose and without compromise, Interface flooring brings more sophisticated design, more performance, more innovation, and more climate progress to interior spaces. Interface’s modular flooring is more than just something you can walk on.

Inspired by everything from the restorative nature of biophilic design to science, art, and heritage, Interface pushes trends for more ideas, more inspiration, and more leading the way. It’s design that makes spirits rise and jaws drop.

Interface is fully committed to becoming a restorative business. From an original industry-defining goal to make zero negative impact, to realising zero wasn’t enough, to designing with circularity across the board, Interface has continued to show change is possible no matter how improbable.

Today, the company is focusing on carbon reductions, not offsets, as it works toward achieving its verified Science Based Targets by 2030 and its goal to become a carbon-negative enterprise by 2040. By working together, setting ambitious Science Based Targets, and investing resources into reducing carbon impact, Interface remains “all in” on becoming a restorative business.

W  |  interface.com

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

As mentioned in this episode

If you heard it in this episode, we likely have a link for it right here. Click on any topics, people, buildings, places, products and/or technologies listed below to learn more about each of them.

00:03:55 “…Yesterday was Earth Day, and so…”
“Earth Day: The Official Site” | EARTHDAY.ORG
00:04:32 “…your carpet become carbon negative…”
“Net-zero, carbon-neutral, carbon-negative … confused by all the carbon jargon? Then read this” | The Conversation
00:05:06 “…what’s called cradle-to-gate…”
“Cradle-to-Gate in LCA – What is it & How does it work?” | Ecochain
00:06:16 “…that are storing carbon long term…”
“What is carbon sequestration?” | National Grid
00:08:05 “…by buying credits or offsets…”
“The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Carbon Credits” | CarbonCredits.com
00:13:27 “…recycled or bio-based…”
“The third wave of biomaterials: When innovation meets demand” | McKinsey & Company
00:07:34 “…called Net-Works, where they were taking…”
“Interface | Net-Works: turning waste nets into carpets” | YouTube
00:15:10 “…to as scope one emissions. These are…”
“Scope 1 and Scope 2 Inventory Guidance” | US Environmental Protection Agency
00:15:15 “…your operations. Scope two are the…”
“Scope 1 and Scope 2 Inventory Guidance” | US Environmental Protection Agency
00:16:36 “…sourced renewable natural gas in several…”
“Alternative Fuels Data Center: Renewable Natural Gas Production” | US Department of Energy
00:18:36 “…called Factory as a Forest. So we’ve…”
“Factory as a Forest: Reimagining Facilities as Ecosystems” | Interface
00:20:31 “…bit about scope three emissions, and these…”
“Scope 3 Inventory Guidance” | US Environmental Protection Agency
00:21:45 “…with a bitumen backing. And…”
“Bitumen” | Britannica
00:22:36 “…detailed life cycle assessment process…”
“Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) – Everything you need to know” | Ecochain
00:28:45 “…as a circular economy. What…”
“Circular economy: definition, importance and benefits” | European Parliament
00:37:55 “…yet. Embodied carbon or life…”
“What is Embodied Carbon?” | US Environmental Protection Agency
00:35:59 “…have signed up to Science Based Targets…”
“Science Based Targets: Ambitious corporate climate action” | Science Based Targets
00:38:20 “…of the GHG emissions of the…”
“Overview of Greenhouse Gases” | US Environmental Protection Agency
00:38:49 “…’90s, the Mission Zero started with…”
“From Mission Zero to Climate Take Back: How Interface is Transforming its Business to Have Zero Negative Impact” | UN Climate Change
00:39:25 “…we had a report called “Lessons Learned” that…”
“An Early Adopter’s Guide to Sustainability: 5 Lessons Learned” | Sustainable Brands
00:42:08 “…in line with the Paris Agreement…”
“The Paris Agreement” | UN Climate Action
00:04:35 “…We at Interface have really…”
“Interface Commercial Carpet Tile & Resilient Flooring” | Interface
00:19:28 “…Nigel Stansfield, who I…”
“Corporate Governance: Nigel Stansfield” | Interface
00:33:50 “…is that Salesforce was actually…”
“Salesforce.com” | Britannica Money
00:38:52 “…started with Ray Anderson in the…”
“About Ray” | The Ray C. Anderson Foundation
00:40:05 “…report is Walmart who actually…”
“Walmart” | Britannica Money
00:15:32 “…plants in Australia and China…”
“Australia” | Britannica
00:15:33 “…plants in Australia and China…”
“China” | Britannica
00:15:34 “…USA, Northern Ireland, and the Netherlands…”
“United States” | Britannica
00:15:34 “…USA, Northern Ireland, and the Netherlands…”
“Northern Ireland” | Britannica
00:15:35 “…USA, Northern Ireland, and the Netherlands…”
“Netherlands” | Britannica
00:16:56 “…places like Sweden where the…”
“Sweden” | Britannica
00:20:04 “…in our Minto factory in Australia…”
“Minto” (New South Wales, Australia) | Wikipedia
00:37:37 “…of say, Indonesia, present an…”
“Indonesia” | Britannica

There are no design features mentioned in this episode.

00:04:55 “…was this carbon-negative carpet tile…”
“First carbon negative carpet tile” | Innovation in Textiles
00:06:47 “…that’s our CQuest™Bio-backed products…”
“Backings: Carpet Tile — CQuest™Bio” | Interface
00:32:29 “…or our LVT or rubber…”
“Backings: LVT — Sound Choice™” | Interface

Host
Nirmal Kishnani

Producer
Maxime Flores

Editor-at-large
Narelle Yabuka

Managing editor
Kruti Choksi Kothari

Senior communications executive
Sana Gupta

Senior editor
Tyler Yeo

Art director (video)
Alexander Melck  |  Phlogiston

Sound technician and editor
Kelvin Brown  |  Phlogiston

Video editors
Guellor Muguruka  |  Phlogiston
Madelein Myburgh  |  Phlogiston

Graphic designer
Stian van Wyk  |  Phlogiston

 

You can follow us and share your views on

If you like this episode and want to hear more, head to one of these podcast directories

Apple PodcastsSpotify

or other listening apps where you follow podcasts. There, you can listen to other Ecogradia episodes and write a review.

Better still, subscribe to our podcast today. Every new episode will be automatically downloaded on your chosen device, ready to be enjoyed offline, anytime, anywhere. And by doing so, you’ll be helping us produce even more great content.

Can architecture heal our planet? In this bonus episode, we delve into the power of regenerative design. From restoring existing structures to rethinking material ownership, find out how sustainability and healing go hand in hand.
All the noise around sustainability can be dizzying. In this episode, Bjarke Ingels returns to discuss BIG’s Plan for the Planet. Can a global framework based on real-world strategies help us achieve better individual solutions?
Follow us on

Recent podcast episodes

Recent blog posts

Recommended episodes from the podcast

All the noise around sustainability can be dizzying. In this episode, Bjarke Ingels returns to discuss BIG’s Plan for the Planet. Can a global framework based on real-world strategies help us achieve better individual solutions?

Leave a comment

Before posting, please review our comment policy here.

0 0 votes
Rate this post
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments