Working Toward Sustainable Manufacturing with Manufacture 2030

When you’re on a mission to reverse global warming, collaboration is critical. Sometimes collaboration can seem like a buzzword and less of a business strategy. How do we choose the right opportunities and the right partners to collaborate for maximum impact? Often, the most impactful collaborations occur with partners outside of our industry. And the benefit of having early partners to help define solutions means that at the implementation phase, there’s a group ready to accelerate scale. That’s where Manufacture 2030 comes in.

Erin Meezan, Interface VP and Chief Sustainability Officer:

As we begin to explore and implement actions to achieve our Climate Take Back mission – our mission to reverse global warming and create a climate fit for life – we’re excited about partnering with Manufacture 2030. Manufacture 2030 is an online community dedicated to cross-industry collaboration on resource efficient manufacturing. Their goal is to halve the resources used in global manufacturing by 2030. We see this as a valuable opportunity to participate in a community with forward-thinking businesses and access an online platform to exchange ideas. It’s also a great way to engage our suppliers and support them in their own sustainability efforts.

We see the M2030 platform as a place where we can  learn from other manufacturers about things like reducing energy consumption in manufacturing, more efficient transportation strategies and engaging employees in our sustainability goals.

At Interface, our sustainability journey started 25 years ago with a commitment to eliminate any negative impact our company might have on the environment by 2020. We called this Mission Zero. We’ve learned a lot along the way, and are close to achieving our original goals, with progress that includes:

  • Energy – Energy efficiency at manufacturing sites has improved by 43% since 1996
  • Renewable Energy88% of energy used at manufacturing sites is from renewable sources
  • GHG Emissions – Greenhouse gas emissions intensity at manufacturing sites is down 96% since 1996
  • Materials58% of the materials in the products we sell are from recycled or bio-based sources
  • Water – Total water intake intensity at manufacturing sites is down 88% since 1996
  • Waste – Waste sent to landfills is down 91% since 1996

Collaboration has been at the heart of many of our initiatives to drive sustainability at Interface. We co-founded the Net-Works global partnership with the Zoological Society in London to harvest waste fishing nets to create recycled nylon for our products. We’re also a member of the NextWave initiative spearheaded by Dell, dedicated to reducing ocean plastic. This cross-industry collaboration, aimed at reducing commercial-scale global ocean-bound plastics, is using the collective wisdom of diverse manufacturers to design solutions and utilize waste materials. Both Net-Works and NextWave show how companies can learn from diverse partners and help implement larger scale solutions across sectors.

Harvesting waste fishing nets for recycling. Image © Interface and the Zoological Society of London

Plastic waste washing up in a community in Danajon Bank, the Philippines. Image © Interface and the Zoological Society of London

As we begin work on our Climate Take Back mission, we’ll need to create and leverage similar collaborations to address one of the biggest issues facing humanity: global climate change. We’re taking an open source approach to sharing ideas and strategies, starting with releasing our research on and framework for thinking about how to address this in our business. As we look to engage others in our industry and beyond by sharing solutions and case studies, we’ll need platforms like Manufacture 2030.

Because advancing global sustainability is not one company, industry, or sector’s responsibility alone. We will need tools and platforms to cross these boundaries. We’re excited about the Manufacture 2030 platform to help us foster cross-industry collaboration, and we invite others to join us.

M2030 – Martin Chilcott, Co-Founder and Chairman of 2degrees:

Manufacture 2030 was launched by 2degrees, a leading technology company specializing in resource efficiency software solutions, as a platform to leverage the power of business to tackle some of the world’s biggest environmental challenges. If we are to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we need to collaborate at a scale never attempted before.

This partnership is extremely important to Manufacture 2030 and our members. Interface is a hugely influential icon in sustainable business and innovation in manufacturing; to have such an established and successful business use our technology is fantastic.

We’re delighted to be able to support Interface and their suppliers with our unique cloud-based tool M2030 bee. This will enable a group of Interface suppliers to overcome the challenges associated with improving the resource efficiency of their operations, with access to hundreds of tried and tested efficiency gains, tips, advice and case studies, all validated by industry experts and all in one place — all at the click of a button.

Through the M2030 Community, Interface will work with other manufacturers and sustainability experts to exchange best practices, learning and insights into their Mission Zero journey and current work toward Climate Take Back.

Drawing on the experience and expertise of the crowd, Manufacture 2030 enables manufacturers to surface knowledge, implement and share it and learn faster from each other. Practitioners from dozens of industries and hundreds of manufacturing companies — from food and drink to textiles and pharmaceuticals — are able to work together toward their common goals.

Some of our most recent collaboration successes have included:

  • One of the UK’s best-known supermarkets and one of the largest smoked salmon production facilities in Europe sharing knowledge with a global pharmaceutical company on approaches to zero waste to landfill
  • A potato supplier finding inspiration from a farmer diversifying into vodka production
  • A seafood supplier vouching for a waste treatment specialist to a Scottish cheese manufacturer around their shared issue of water effluence
  • A Dutch chocolatier and a British cider maker swapping their experience to implement an innovative river-based condensate system.

The opportunity to work in partnership with Interface, given their extensive experience of cross-sector collaboration through their Net-Works and NextWave projects and impressive global progress in areas such as renewable energy, water and waste, is hugely exciting. Their cutting-edge approach to resource efficiency is underpinned by an eagerness to share expertise with other manufacturing brands that is essential for achieving our shared environmental goals. So, it’s my very great pleasure to invite other manufacturers to join Interface on our Manufacture 2030 platform. To collaborate, just click here.

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