Tarkett’s commitment to the environment
Our commitment to the environment is woven throughout our business and articulated around two larger perspectives. For the long-term, Tarkett has embraced the Cradle to Cradle challenge and has engaged since 2011 in a partnership with the German Scientific Institute EPEA. In parallel, for continuous improvement of operations, products and their use, Tarkett has fully implemented Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) from sourcing to end-of-use. This has been achieved by partnering with the Henri Tudor Public Research Center in Luxembourg.
Tarkett’s commitment to the Cradle to Cradle principles marked a change in how our floorings are designed and manufactured. With this closed-loop approach, we look at four major steps: the choice of good materials in the design of the products, the responsible use of resources to minimize impacts on the environment, the well-being of the people during product use and maintenance and the recycling at end-of-use for designing new products with good materials.
Even though Tarkett has embarked on a long journey, several product ranges have already received a Cradle to Cradle®; certification: Silver for Linoleum and Wood, Basic for Artificial Grass. Some others have received NSF-332 Gold for VCT, Rubber tile, Linoleum, etc. NSF Platinum for Ecolibrium and IQ.
Tarkett environmental responsibility focuses on the four steps of the product life-cycle:
The objective is to develop products that are safe for people and the environment and that are composed of reusable nutrients, capable of re-entering technological or biological cycles. This means using safe materials in the design of products, meeting or exceeding all regulatory standards - such as no substances of very high concern listed by REACH in Europe or by PROP65 in the United States, using bio or phthalate-free plasticizers, materials that are natural or recycled and materials that are not contributing to VOC emissions. For example, we use walnut and oyster shells in the new Ecolibrium wall-base range, and castor oil in iQ Natural vinyl.
Water closed-loop systems and new cleaning methods have been implemented in many manufacturing plants to reduce the use of fresh water.
Decreasing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions also is a major focus area. Other initiatives range from the implementation of co-generation to the use of saw dust for heating.
Water and energy consumption is tracked at all industrial sites, and reported quarterly. All sites are required to develop action plans to reduce them every year with quantified targets.
Committed to the well-being of people and society, Tarkett flooring solutions are designed to ensure indoor air quality and health. For sports surfaces, product safety is a number one priority.
Tarkett is the flooring industry leader in terms of Volatile Organic Compounds emissions, exceeding all regulatory standards. Globally almost all of our products have TVOC below 100μg/m³ and 9% are below quantifiable level (< 10μg/m³).
In the United States, AAF certified Tarkett vinyl products are neutral for people suffering from asthma and allergies.
Tarkett has also developed product solutions that are eco-effective to maintain. iQ homogeneous products are dry-buffable, resulting in a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions and 40% reduction in non-renewable resource consumption.
Tarkett has a strong history of recycling: it has operated the industry’s largest recycling operation since 1957. Vinyl post-manufacturing waste is very efficiently reused in Tarkett products, thanks to in-house recycling facilities that reprocess flooring waste as input to produce new floors, thus avoiding the use of virgin raw material.
Tarkett has also developed “take-back” programs with installers and other professional customers to prevent post-installation and post-consumer flooring going to landfill. The ReUse (France and Sweden) and ReStart (USA) programs have collected more than 13 800 metric tons of flooring scrap in 2011.
In 2011, Tarkett received the BFM/Ernst & Young Green Business Award for its Sustainable Strategy Development.
Since February 2010, Tarkett has been a member of the KKR Green Portfolio Program. Designed in partnership with the non-governmental organization Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the program requires Tarkett to commit to improving its environmental performance, including in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, waste, water, forest stewardship and chemical product use.