FLOORS & FLOOR COVERINGS
MAY 8 | BUILDING PRODUCTS
to the repairs and maintenance of floor
coverings. While it is important to consider the
environmental impact of the original products
installed, the maintenance process can negate
any hard work carried out at the specification
stage. When installing broadloom carpet, if the
floor becomes dirtied or damaged, the whole
floor covering needs to be replaced. With carpet
tiles however, only the damaged tile needs to be
replaced, safeguarding the environmental impact
of the product throughout the life of the building.
In order to prolong the life of floor coverings
within a building, reducing repairs and
maintenance and the consequent environmental
impact, entrance matting can be installed. Studies
show that more than 70% of dirt and moisture in
buildings is tracked in by pedestrian and wheeled
traffic, something that can be significantly reduced
through the use of entrance matting, extending
the lifespan of the floor covering. By doing so,
floor coverings remain in better condition for
longer, limiting the carbon impact of the building.
Moreover, as entrance matting is generally hardwearing
and durable, it will only need replacing
every three to 10 years.
We would also encourage architects and
specifiers to use floor coverings that are graded
as environmentally friendly. At design stage, it is
possible for BRE A+ rated floor coverings to be
specified for installation within a building. BRE is
the industry standard environmental assessment
method and the industry leading accreditation
system for sustainable buildings and construction
materials. In order to achieve BRE status, products
are assessed from cradle to grave, evaluated on
environmental impact across the entire lifespan of
The accredited environmental rating scheme is
set out as an ‘A+’ to ‘E’ ranking system, where ‘A+’
represents the best environmental performance,
or least environmental impact. By evaluating the
performance of materials and building systems
against their environmental impacts, specifiers are
able to select products on the basis of personal
or organisational priorities, or take decisions
based on the performance of a material against a
particular environmental impact.
Specifying BRE A+ rated products doesn’t mean
sacrificing style. Suppliers are designing style-led
products that meet BRE requirements, allowing
architects to utilise products that combine good
aesthetics with a limited environmental impact.
In terms of product distribution, there is a lot that
can be done to reduce the impact transportation
has on the environment via some simple steps.
For example, an approved stockist of CFS products
recently made a commitment to reduce its carbon
emissions by reviewing its delivery fleet and
trunking operations. Thousands of deliveries are
undertaken each week and by refining journeys
and geographies, the company will be able to
reduce miles travelled by 200,000 per year,
resulting in an estimated reduction of 216 tonnes
of CO2 annually.
The optimisation of its deliveries will also mean
the company can take three vehicles off the road
and reduce general stem mileage, with no negative
impact on deliveries to customers.
If such a change in logistics was made by
all of the distributors of products within the
built environment sector, we would be able to
significantly reduce our carbon emissions without
changing the products we specify, or how they
are manufactured. If possible, we would also
encourage distributors to upgrade their fleet to
more environmentally friendly vehicles. This is
something we would recommend distributors
should re-assess, to see the carbon savings that can
be made, without impacting the supply chain.
Companies within the construction industry,
no matter how large or small, can look to the
Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) for
advice and guidance on reducing their energy
usage, limit their environmental impact and
becoming a more environmentally responsible
business. Compliance with ESOS can be achieved
by attaining ISO 50001 certification.
In the next five to 10 years, we expect to see
unprecedented growth in the investment towards
making flooring – both in terms of manufacturing
and delivery – more environmentally friendly.
As technology advances, so do the methods of
manufacturing, which are often thought of as very
expensive and complex. There are, however, more
simple steps we can take today, that can have
a positive impact on the environment and the
industry we work in.
As a sector, right across the supply chain, we
must become more sustainable and start to play
a wider role in the way we work day-to-day.
From examining the manufacturing process, to
the logistics of distributing products to site and
recycling waste, we all have a role to play. We’ll
be looking closely at the measures we can take
to become a greener, more environmentally
responsible company, and we’re encouraging our
suppliers and customers to do the same.