Interface steps back from using carbon offsets

Global carpet tile manufacturer Interface has announced a decision to stop investing in carbon offsetting projects and initiatives to prioritise direct carbon reductions and carbon storage solutions.

Interface steps back from using carbon offsets

Interface has confirmed that from 30 April, it will discontinue programmes focused on investing in carbon offsetting projects. By 2025, the funding for these projects will be repurposed to invest in innovation that can contribute to direct carbon reductions, or in carbon storage solutions across the supply chain.

Manufacturing and product development changes, raw material innovation and increasing recycled content, exploring biobased materials and identifying supply chain partnerships for decarbonisation and the circular economy are all areas where the money could be reinvested.

“We’re ‘all in’ on solving the climate crisis. We’ve made incredible progress in our 30-year sustainability journey, and we’re committed to achieving our ambitious environmental sustainability goals without carbon offsets,” Interface’s chief executive Laurel Hurd said.

“Carbon negative carpet tile changed everything for Interface. We now know it’s possible to store more carbon than we emit – and we believe we can accomplish this across our product portfolio, from carpet tile to resilient flooring. We want to challenge ourselves and others to become carbon negative, enterprise wide, without offsets. We hope to continue to inspire the industry to join us to make an even bigger impact through our collective action focused on absolute carbon reduction.”

Case study: Read how Interface expanded its cradle-to-gate carbon-negative product offerings in Europe.

Back in 2018, Interface set a goal of becoming carbon negative by 2040. By 2030, Interface aims to achieve validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) goals to halve absolute Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services, and to reduce business travel and employee commuting emissions by 30%, all from a 2019 baseline year.

Interface offers the lowest carbon footprint carpet tile products in the industry, based on publicly available emissions data in Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Interface’s carbon negativity commitments form part of its Climate Take Back strategy, which outlines how businesses can “rethink carbon as a resource”. It paints a vision of dispersing materials into “products and goodness”, developing “factories that sequester carbon like forests” and supply chains that have a net-positive impact on people and the planet.

The decision arrives as the SBTi struggles with the publish backlash following discussions on the use of offsetting in corporate target delivery. The SBTi stated earlier this month that it will soon publish updated guidance on how companies can use ‘environmental attribute certificates’ including carbon credits to account for the delivery of their climate goals, specifically those relating to Scope 3 (indirect) emissions.

Late last year, OVO decided to considerably reduce its reliance on carbon offsets in order to focus on energy efficiency for its customers.

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