Australia generates 67 million tonnes of waste a year. Out of that, 37 million tonnes get recycled and energy is recovered from 2 million tonnes. That amounts to a total of 58% of all general waste being recovered. Even though over the last ten years, the recovery rate has increased from 50% to 58%, waste generation overall continues to rise, driven largely by the growing population. With waste being responsible for approximately 2% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions, improving resource recovery capacity is one of the country’s biggest environmental priorities.
And whilst the wider move towards the circular economy requires a continuous collaboration between Australian governments, industries and businesses, some in the Australian construction and design market have embraced the importance of shifting their business models from ‘take, make and waste’ - to ‘make, use and reuse’.
Interface’s ReEntry® recycling model keeps waste from going into landfill by reusing reclaimed materials on an ongoing basis. Through the ReEntry program in Australia, reclaimed flooring from Interface can be used as flooring again – or separated into component materials to be reused into new flooring products. The model is Interface’s means to creating a circular economy as they look outside of waste-to-energy to keep emissions from entering the atmosphere and waste to landfill.
The ReEntry program is a key element of Interface’s Mission Zero goal, which now makes a key component to their new Climate Take Back® mission – their ambitious commitment to reversing global warming. ReEntry closes the loop of doing no harm and now removes the reliance of virgin raw materials and any materials of concern. Its aim is to keep carpet out of landfills - and reduce their carbon footprint. On the cusp of achieving their goal to eliminate any harm the company has on the environment, Interface has taken their dedication to lowering their carbon footprint to the next level by committing to take an industry leadership role in the reversal of global warming. And the ReEntry model is a big part of that commitment, keeping true to the circular economy model where value is maintained across its whole product life cycle.
Interface’s ReEntry program has been responsible for diverting material waste by maintaining responsibility for products, even at the end of their life cycle. Over the last 3 years alone, Interface has recycled or repurposed with a second life more than 9 million kilograms of postconsumer carpet worldwide. And because Interface look for opportunities to reduce and eliminate waste across all of their business, their waste reduction has resulted in a 92% decrease in waste to landfills from their carpet factories since 1996.
A great example of ReEntry's impact within the built environment is a recent commercial tower project in Canberra. Knight Frank and Real I.S. partnered with Interface to take all of their end of life carpet lifted and through the ReEntry program, diverting all 42,000-square-metres of old modular flooring. Helping them meet their sustainability goals by reducing the environmental impact of their refurbishment. The project saved the used carpet from going to landfill and prevented it from going to waste-to-energy, successfully managing material waste and creating an example circular economy.
Interface is poised to achieve their Mission Zero® goal to eliminate harm they may have on the environment. Today, all of the flooring products that they sell – carpet tile, luxury vinyl tile and rubber – are carbon neutral across their full life cycle. Their commitment to working on reversing global warming puts them at the helm of progressive businesses with sustainability driving both operations and their commercial success. Their array of flooring products is an excellent choice for partners who value style and quality but want to make a positive impact on the environment - and be an active participant in the circular economy Interface is creating.
Interface is a proud sponsor of the 2019 Sustainability Awards, to be held at The Star in Sydney on 7 November 2019. Learn more about Interface’s 100% carbon neutral flooring products here.