Carpet Company Finds Way to
Stop Walking Over Environment
ATLANTA -- When people think of ecological hazards, carpet doesn't usually come to mind. But it's estimated that 3.5 to 4 billion pounds of carpet is discarded and becomes solid waste every year.
Ray Anderson, founder of Interface, an international manufacturer of carpet tile and other residential textiles, didn't think much about the environmental impact of carpet either until a few years ago.
Inspired by Paul Hawken's book "The Ecology of Commerce," Anderson made it a goal of Interface to become an ecologically sustainable company by the year 2000.
In addition to creating new carpet display binders made of recycled corrugated cardboard, Interface has introduced recyclable carpet tiles. Given that roughly 70 percent of new carpet purchased goes to replace existing carpet, the new tiles are designed as modules so that just a damaged area can be replaced. The new tiles are installed with peel-and-stick adhesives meaning less toxins for the environment.
The company has found that implementing sustainable practices can also mean savings. By eliminating waste from the manufacturing process, Interface says it has saved nearly $37.5 million, which it has reinvested in research.
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Posted October 22, 1997
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