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Products

Interface® utilizes innovative methods in the design process to move us closer to our goal of designing and manufacturing sustainable closed loop products (FRONT #4).

New thinking, like Biomimicry, offers a fresh perspective on product design, while analysis tools like Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) provide valuable information on our products’ impacts. We’ve also developed strategies for dematerialization and the use of recycled materials to reach our goal of sustainable products.

 

Biomimicry

Biomimicry, using nature as a model to develop sustainable solutions, was introduced to Interface early on in our journey by Janine Benyus. Working with the Biomimicry Institute, Interface has applied biomimicry thinking in product development, resulting in several successful innovations:

  • i2™ Products – By asking how nature designs a floor, Interface developed the i2 line of products, including Entropy, one of our most specified products, inspired by the “organized chaos” of the forest floor.
  • TacTiles® – Inspired by the many examples of adhesion without glue in nature, Interface developed TacTiles, our carpet tile installation system that uses small adhesive squares to connect carpet without the need for glue.
Learn more about Entropy and TacTiles in the Innovations section.

 

 

Life Cycle Assessment

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool used to evaluate the environmental aspects associated with a product or process. It captures the materials, energy and wastes involved in each phase of the product’s life cycle, from raw materials extraction to recycling or final disposal. LCAs measure key environmental impacts including global warming potential, toxicity and resource depletion. The results allow you identify areas with the most significant impacts, and by comparing LCA results of different products or processes, you can determine which has the lower environmental impact.

LCA Diagram

 

Interface began using LCA several years ago to evaluate our existing product portfolio, but our use of LCA has evolved to a more proactive assessment of alternatives during the development process, making it a critical tool in helping us achieve of Mission Zero® goals. We use LCA to help us make material and process decisions, document our footprint reductions, support product certifications, and understand where and how our impacts occur.

 

Dematerialization

Dematerialization is the process of making the same quality product using less material. It can be achieved by using existing materials more efficiently or by substituting with alternative materials.

Dematerializing not only allows you to save on materials costs, but it can also reduce raw material extraction, energy use, emissions, transportation costs and waste.

Interface has implemented several successful dematerialization efforts:

  • Our Interface-US operations have reduced both the face weight and backing weight of its carpet tile products, decreasing the amount of raw materials to produce a square yard of carpet by 10%.
  • Our TacTiles installation system eliminates the need for glue when installing carpet tiles, saving about 3 ounces of material per square yard of installation.
  • The use of Simulated Sample Technology (SIMs) to create printable digital representations of products eliminates the need for physical samples, reducing material use and shipping impacts.