Beautiful Thinking: Nigel Stansfield’s Story

#BeautifulThinking is powering a carpet tile factory on dead fish heads and chocolate waste

I’ve been working in research and development for some 15 years now and in that time, I’ve come to see the vital role of collaboration and co-innovation in helping companies to achieve radical sustainability goals.

Across many industries, great strides have been made in recent years to enhance efficiency, helping to limit carbon emissions and reduce the environmental footprint of the manufacturing sector.

No company is an island though. To truly reduce their impact on the environment and meet the targets agreed at the Paris Climate Conference in December, manufacturers need to work closely with suppliers, customers and other partners to find innovative ways to further cut emissions across the supply chain. This is what beautiful thinking is all about.

There are many ways manufacturers can collaborate with partners to further improve the sustainability of their production processes. At Interface for example, we have partnered with energy experts to transform our manufacturing site at Scherpenzeel in the Netherlands to allow it to be powered by renewable electricity and biogas. The biogas is produced using fish and chocolate waste sourced locally from food processing companies, making it a renewable and sustainable energy source. In fact, as of 2014 Interface has reduced the Greenhouse Gas Emissions from its global manufacturing facilities by 73 percent compared to 1996.

Combined with our other innovations at Interface, such as the creation of carpet tiles using 100 per cent recycled yarn, we are strides closer to achieving our own Mission Zero target of zero negative environmental impact by 2020.

By working together with third parties in this way, companies across all sectors can pool resources and expertise to find innovative solutions to the issues of efficiency and carbon emissions that pose challenges to us all. In doing so, we can all pull together to have a positive impact on the world around us. That’s beautiful thinking.

Nigel Stansfield, President, Interface Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia (EAAA)

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