Mark Bauer, Environmental Specialist at Forbo Flooring Systems
Over the last few years, the UK has experienced both droughts and flash flooding caused by torrential downpours, as well as long hot summers. And while many rejoiced when the sun remained for longer than usual, this is unfortunately one of the effects of global warming and if we continue to live like we do now, then the world will continue to change – and not for the better.
With this in mind, many companies are now revaluating their manufacturing processes in order to make a positive difference to climate change. In fact, some are implementing carbon offset schemes or trying to manufacture CO2 neutral products, but what exactly does this mean and how will it help specifiers reduce their carbon footprint?
Carbon offset schemes area way of offsetting the CO2 generated in the production or life of a product, by investing in renewable energy technologies, for example. Whereas a CO2 neutral product means that the carbon produced during the manufacturing process is sequestered by a similar amount, thus resulting in an overall neutral balance.
However, it’s not only manufacturing companies that can make a difference. Specifiers can also make a positive environmental difference by making conscious decisions when it comes to choosing products for a project, for example by choosing a product that is CO2 neutral or purchasing from a company that operates a carbon offset scheme. Although, it is vital that suppliers can prove the validity of any environmental claims and one way to find this out is to look for manufacturers that are backed by an independent Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). EPDs are an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products.
For example, Forbo is always striving to reduce its carbon footprint and recently it was pleased to confirm that its Marmoleum 2.5mm is now independently EPD confirmed as manufactured CO2 neutral, without the need for carbon offsetting.
The independent EPD documents the life cycle process of Marmoleum and shows that the CO2 produced in the extraction, transportation and manufacturing process of 2.5mm Marmoleum is balanced out by the removal of CO2 through the growing of its natural ingredients such as flax, jute and rosin tapped from pine trees.
For specifiers who want to minimise the environmental impact of buildings, Marmoleum is a go-to product. For example, if Marmoleum 2.5mm is used on a 10,000sqm project, it could typically equate to a 66,200kg/CO2 saving, when compared to a PVC vinyl floor.
For more information please visit www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/CO2neutral