The flooring industry needs to change to reflect the reality of the world in which we live. 90% of the flooring used in UK commercial projects is oil-based - vinyl floors, synthetic carpets and other plastics. These materials are non-renewable, have high carbon footprints and are generally single-use.
The reasons for this lie in the structure of the flooring industry which is dominated by a handful of large, industrial conglomerates. These companies and the products they make were established decades ago at the height of The Age of Oil. So, a reliance on petrochemicals lies at the heart of these businesses. It underpins their profits and shapes their culture and priorities.
The carbon reductions required in response to the Climate Crisis cannot be achieved by tweaks to the 'business as usual' model. The scale and urgency of the environmental challenge require a more radical approach. We are committed to supporting the immediate transition to a low-carbon, biogenic flooring sector.
Reducing carbon - both operational and embodied - is the biggest challenge for all involved in the construction industry. Urgent action needs to be taken across the board in methods and materials to address this. Floor finishes are typically replaced frequently throughout the life of a building and have a disproportionately large impact on whole-life carbon. Conversely, moving to low-carbon flooring materials can deliver immediate and significant reductions in carbon impacts.
These carbon reductions are already within reach. There's a new generation of flooring built on the pillars of renewable raw materials, circular economy principles and transparency in environmental impacts, underpinned by design innovation and proven commercial performance.
Innovative composites from wood, cork and other natural ingredients, plant-based biopolymers and reinvented natural fibres deliver an opportunity to break the dependency on oil-based flooring and to reduce construction carbon footprints.
Single-use flooring is a waste of resources and has a high carbon footprint. Modern manufacturing methods enable flooring that can be deconstructed and reused - multiple times - and many of these have a high proportion of recycled content.
Third party product verification, carbon footprints and other environmental measurements are objective indicators and antidotes to industry green washing. We encourage the universal development and publication of these to enable comparisons to be made.
Hybrid flooring constructions combine materials that bring sustainability, design and performance together in new ways. And modern prototyping and production methods offer design flexibility and rapid customisation potential.
Floors are generally replaced multiple times throughout the life of a building. We advocate the use of hard-wearing materials that can be easily repaired or repurposed thereby extending their working life and reducing carbon.
HOW WE WORK
We minimise our company carbon footprint by keeping travel impacts to a minimum - working remotely as a preference and making essential travel by public transport wherever possible - and employing digital communication in place of physical documents and sampling.
We don't employ salespeople. We are here to advise and to help you to find the closest match to your specific needs; if we can't achieve that, we'll say so. Product and environmental information is provided openly and clearly without greenwashing to allow you to benchmark against alternatives.
We will work with you throughout the project from initial research to installation and beyond.