The carpet tile maker Interface set a deadline of eliminating its impact on the environment by 2020. Now the goal is in sight, the company wants to go even further than Mission Zero
Interface, the carpet tile maker, was a pioneer of the application of ideas of environmental sustainability and circular economy in business.
In 1994, in a vision crystallised under the banner Mission Zero, the company said it wanted to eliminate any impact it had on the environment by 2020.
Coming before the Kyoto Protocol and more than a decade before Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and the world’s first carbon market, these ideas were met with extreme scepticism both within and outside the company.
“At the time it was very surprising, almost an unbelievable target to put out there,” said Rob Boogaard, Interface’s CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa in an interview with Ethical Corporation. “To say we wanted to eliminate any impact we may have on the environment by 2020 raised a lot of questions. Twenty-two years ago, we didn’t know exactly how to do it but now we are really homing in on the Mission Zero targets,” he added.
The European business has cut water usage by 93% and its greenhouse gas emissions per square metre of carpet by 98%. The company’s energy requirement is 50% lower than in 1996 and the energy that it does use is either renewable electricity...