Nov. 4/11 2013; Volume 27/number 14
By Ken Ryan
Hicksville, N.Y.—For Tarkett, sustainability isn’t a marketing slogan or even a recent strategy. Environmental stewardship has been part of the corporate culture for the last 55 years from when Tarkett began recycling in Ronneby, Sweden.
“We believe the future belongs to the companies that will make sustainability an everyday practice through their products and manufacturing processes,” said Diane Martel, vice president of environmental planning and strategy for Tarkett. “We consider the impact on the people who live and work in the spaces where our product is installed, along with end of use and recycling.”
Tarkett’s ReStart program, which began in 2003 under the name ReUse, best exemplifies the company’s closed loop, circular design process. “Today we have interest from flooring contractors and consolidators. We also have two distributors, NRF and Erv Parent,” Martel noted.
Erv Parent has worked with Tarkett since 2004. “We wanted to find a way to divert damaged flooring from the landfill and instead recycle it for use in floor covering,” said K.J. Brunner, Erv Parent’s marketing director. “We worked closely with Tarkett to arrange for the material to become part of the recycled content input stream at one of their North American plants. Since 2008 we have been actively collecting used or discontinued samples and returning them to Tarkett for recycling under the ReStart program.”
Since its inception, the ReStart program has recycled millions of pounds of material and diverted it from landfills. Through this effort, the company enables users to recycle product samples, project scraps and unused flooring material. Throughout the production process, materials are internally recycled in a closed-loop process. The recycling of unused flooring material into future products ensures that nothing is wasted or sent to the landfill.
“There is often a challenge for specifiers to select materials that balance their aesthetic, functional and environmental objectives for the project,” said Mark Bischoff, regional business manager for Johnsonite, Tarkett’s commercial company. “Our ReStart program allows owners and designers to successfully achieve that combination.”
Tarkett’s products are developed with a goal of 100 micrograms per cubic meter on emissions, Martel said. Some of Tarkett’s products with emission levels lower than 10 micrograms per cubic meter have gone through asthma and allergy friendly certification. “Currently, we have Fiberflor and IQ and ID Inspiration on the commercial side already certified. In our indoor lifestyle, it is important to use low or very low emitting products.”