The Interface Story
With innovations like GlasBac® backing, which set the industry standard for performance, and Intersept®, our proprietary preservative, original carpet tile products were strong on technical benefits but weak on aesthetics. It was a practical solution, not a pretty one. But that began to change in 1988 when Interface introduced Quantum—the first tufted loop carpet tile, altering the course of our business and our design capabilities. Learn more about our early history in the image gallery below.
It awakened him to the urgent need to set a new course for Interface. He shook the foundations of the petroleum-intensive carpet manufacturing industry by declaring that Interface was committed to becoming the world’s first environmentally sustainable—and, ultimately, restorative—company. Hear the story directly from Ray in the video below.
Starting the Journey
Interface initially identified seven key areas–the “Seven Fronts”–where it needed to progress to achieve the vision of Mount Sustainability. Then, building on that framework, we set aggressive zero targets in many areas: zero waste to landfill, zero fossil fuel energy use, zero process water use, and zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The resulting EcoMetrics looked at the material and energy flowing in and out of the company–what we took in and what came out in the form of products and waste. What’s measured is much the same today, including waste reduction, energy use, renewable energy, carbon emissions, and water use. Learn more in the image gallery below.
Entering the 21st Century
We continued experimenting with renewable and recyclable materials and introduced our glue-free installation system, TacTiles®. Meanwhile, our Cool Blue™ process allowed us to use a wider range of materials for our backing and become less dependent on petroleum. We also formally recognized our goal of zero environmental footprint as Mission Zero®, giving a name to the journey we began in 1994. Find more details in the captions below.
To 2020 and Beyond
With Mission Zero accomplished, we set our sights on an even higher goal—Climate Take Back™. Through Climate Take Back we will create a climate fit for life. One exciting step in that direction was the creation of our CircuitBac™ Green backing, which effectively stored more carbon in its life cycle than it emitted. We built on that with the launch of our Carbon Negative backings–CQuest™GB, CQuestBio and CQuestBioX–in our Embodied Beauty™ carpet tile collection. (Read about our carbon negative journey in The New York Times Magazine.)
We’ve also been exploring new aesthetics. We added a new dimension to carpet tile with our 25 cm x 1 m planks and brought hard surface into the mix with our Luxury Vinyl Tiles and the addition of nora® rubber flooring. Find out more in the gallery below.