Can waste be turned into a source of wealth? Yes.
According to more than 80 business, government and academia leaders who have made a Waste to Wealth Commitment to help collectively double the UK’s resource productivity and reduce avoidable waste by 2030.
At the recent Waste to Wealth Summit in London, HRH The Prince of Wales – a committed environmentalist and the 2017 GCC Global Leader of Change – delivered a keynote address highlighting the urgent need to tackle resource productivity in the UK. Further, he explained why business is best placed to meet this challenge, “The clock is ticking, and the world is watching. We are the change that we have all been waiting for”.
It’s a challenge Interface, is keen to tackle. We’ve had a long-term commitment to the circular economy, as evidenced by the fact that:
- 58 percent of all the materials we use across our products are already recycled or bio-based.
- Some of our products achieve an even higher level of recycled content: Conscient (87 percent recycled or bio-based content).
- Through our ReEntry service, we work with our customers and partners to bring back products at the end of life to reuse, repurpose, or recycle them or, as a last resort, use waste products to recover energy.
Now we have a new mission, which we call Climate Take Back™, to run our business in a way that will reverse global warming and create a climate fit for life. By 2040, we aim to be a carbon negative company.
What is next?
There is a lot more that the built environment can achieve. Lee Mellor, General Manager UKIME & Nordics for Interface, puts it clearly: ‘There is a significant amount of carpet (around 165000 tonnes) that end up in UK landfill every year! We have a solution which we call ReEntry, a service that creates a circular economy within our sector. The used tiles get used in new fit-outs through our ReUse partners, repurposed or recycled into new carpets. This opportunity is greater than us working alone and we need to work with partners along the supply chain and installation points to work on this together!’
Along with JLL, Interface has agreed to be a Waste to Wealth Champion in the construction sector. As a waste to wealth champion, Interface is dedicated to design out waste from the built environment within our sphere of influence.
The Circular Office in the Waste to Wealth Summit
As a circular office example, Interface exhibited a rug of conscient products at the Summit’s Innovation Zone. The rug was made of CircuitBac™ Green, our carpet tile backing that uses a mix of bio-plastics and recycled limestone filler to create the world’s first carbon-negative carpet backing.
As part of the BITC Circular Economy Taskforce 2018, Interface encourages awareness and demand for circular providers. We’ve also contributed to the BITC Circular Office Guide, which was launched during the Summit. Moving beyond ideas, creating circular offices enables companies to make a tangible difference, here today.
What specifiers, project managers, architects, designers working in the built environment can do?
With so many leaders taking up the charge to turn waste to wealth, customers can demand circular services and products, push innovation in their supply chains to design waste and carbon out and specify reuse as end of life first and foremost.
Have you got ideas to turn waste to wealth in the built environment?