This year, to commemorate Earth Month, we are focusing on sharing best practices, lessons learned and next steps on our Climate Take Back™ journey to reverse global warming. By sharing our goal of becoming a carbon negative company by 2040, we hope to encourage others to rethink their processes and products to create a positive impact on the world.
Our Climate Take Back mission aims to create a climate fit for life by focusing our efforts on four key areas: Live Zero, Love Carbon, Let Nature Cool and Lead the Industrial Re-Revolution. Throughout April, we’ll dig into each area to highlight the specific strategies we use to run our business in a way that’s restorative for the planet.
We start the series with a deeper look at how we live zero at Interface and work with partners, suppliers and customers to reduce our collective carbon impact.
Climate Take Back is our mission to reverse global warming.
What “Live Zero” means for the interface
According to climatologists, global warming must be kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less to maintain a livable environment and avoid the worst of climate change. To do this, we need to radically decarbonize our current systems. Companies must go beyond simply reducing their carbon footprint – they must aim for zero.
Live Zero conducts its business in a way that gives back what it takes from Earth; in other words, having no negative impact on the environment.
mission zero® was our journey to transform our business so that it had no negative impact on the planet by 2020. From the beginning of this journey until we declared success in November 2019 ahead of our original goal, we reduced our absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 95%.
Today, we remain focused on developing processes and products that create a positive impact on the world, and we are committed to reducing our Scope 1, 2, and the most significant part of our Scope 3 emissions. by 50% by 2030, a goal validated as science-based by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Our work to understand, measure and reduce our Scope 3 emissions through strategic partnerships and programs is a key contributor to the success of Mission Zero and our climate recovery efforts.
SBTI approved our scientific objective in September 2021.
Importance of scope 3
Measuring and reporting Scope 3 emissions is essential for companies to reduce the carbon impact of their operations. Most companies remain focused on scopes 1 and 2, which are directly under the control of the company; however, understanding and tracking Scope 3 is key to setting goals consistent with what science requires to keep global temperatures within safe levels.
Scope 3 emissions occur as indirect emissions from the company’s value chain, which includes supply chain operations and the use of the product or service. These types of emissions are particularly critical for manufacturers as they assess the impact of their supply chain. In fact, according to CDP data, “supply chain emissions are on average 11.4 times higher than operational emissions.” This underscores how critical it is for organizations to include Scope 3 emissions in their carbon accounting in order to accurately set reduction targets.
A company cannot live zero if it does not include all types of greenhouse gas emissions in its efforts. Interface has publicly shared our Scope 3 emissions since they were first verified in 2019, and we continue to take steps to improve our emissions data. In fact, our progress on Scope 3 emissions can be found in our annual Climate Disclosure.
Interface shares our annual greenhouse gas emissions, including our scope 3 emissions.
The power of partners for decarbonization
At Interface, we strongly believe in the power of engaging suppliers and other leading companies to reduce our carbon impact, especially when it comes to Scope 3 emissions.
For example, as part of Mission Zero, we asked suppliers to partner with us to create sustainable solutions. This included encouraging the nylon manufacturer Aquafil® make nylon with recycled materials to reduce the carbon footprint of our products. Aquafil then sold the recycled content nylon to our competitors and other industries, helping us create a wider impact outside of Interface.
Today, 50% of the flooring materials we sell come from recycled or biosourced sources. Additionally, we have reduced the carbon footprint of our carpet tiles from cradle to door by 76% since 1996, which includes raw material extraction through manufacturing. Engagement with our suppliers has been key to reducing our scope 3 carbon emissions and establishing a circular economy. model for our products.
Working with our entire value chain, we have changed our raw materials and put in place the technology and systems needed to use recycled materials. This led to the creation of our ReEntry® Take-back and recycling program, which keeps flooring materials out of landfills and reuses them for future products. Through this program, we are able to recover all Interface carpet tiles and Sound Choice™ LVT products, diverting millions of pounds of waste from landfills each year. Since 2021, Interface has reduced waste sent to landfill from our manufacturing sites by 85% since 1996.
© Christopher Payne/Esto
How to get suppliers more involved
Another way to engage suppliers in carbon reduction efforts is to demonstrate demand for more sustainable products and processes. For example, Salesforce showcased its Sustainability Expo, which requires the company’s vendors and vendors to meet specific climate commitments, including committing to their own science-based targets (SBTs) by 2024. Salesforce has assessed the environmental impact of Interface’s flooring products and found that our efforts aligned with its mission to create more sustainable built environments. (Read more about this in our recent case study.)
“We have already seen a reduction of 20% [in embodied carbon] compared to our baseline,” said Amanda von Almen, manager of sustainable built environment at Salesforce. “The very low intrinsic carbon value of the Interface carpet is an important contributing factor.
Salesforce’s global design standards consider the carbon footprint of its design materials.
Interface lives zero
Building strategic partnerships and engaging others in our Mission Zero and Climate Take Back journeys are just a few of the ways we are making meaningful progress towards Live Zero.
Stay tuned for the rest of our Earth Month series to learn more about the other parts of Climate Take Back and how they’re shaping up in Interface.