InterfaceFLOR is going for full product transparency for its range of carpet tiles, having developed a European environmental product declaration (EPD).

The independently-validated EPD discloses an unprecedented level of detail about the lifecycle impacts of the company’s carpet tile. And the company hopes that it will transform the way in which building materials are bought, sold and marketed.

Customers in the building and architecture industry are being “misled by a wave of partial and selective claims about green credentials” says InterfaceFLOR – and there is a need for higher marketing standards where claims are based on life-cycle assessments (LCA) of products.

The manufacturer has used LCA to measure and reduce the environmental impact of its products and processes for many years, and carries out an LCA on all its carpet tile products.

But the newly developed EPD will go even further. It will make LCA information, which is European industry standard and third-party validated, available to the public. The target is for the business to have EPDs available for its entire product range by the end of 2012.

“The EPD is more than a green label, revealing all the ‘ingredients’ of a product, where they come from, and the environmental impacts throughout its lifecycle,” says Ramon Arratia, sustainability director for Europe.

This includes everything from energy and material consumption to waste generation and emissions.

“Most of the focus in sustainability reports is on the company’s own operations, but most of the impacts aren’t captured because they are in other parts of the product lifecycle,” adds Arratia.

“The power of full product transparency is to create competition on real product sustainability performance, rather than the current false battle for the greenest communications.”

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