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Posts tagged 'Interface'

Interface speaks at the European Commission energy meeting today

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Rob Boogaard

Earlier this year, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission, started his “European Energy Tour” at the Interface manufacturing site in Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands. Mr. Šefčovič talked to the team about a number of European Commission priorities, one being the European Energy Union which has been formed to ensure Europe has secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. This Union champions wiser energy usage and drives growth and an investment in Europe’s future.

Today, Europe imports more than half of its energy making the EU the largest energy importer in the world and resulting in high energy prices for European industries and consumers. This has driven the Energy Union to champion the following:

1/Letting energy flow freely across borders – Establish a European Energy Union by connecting infrastructure enforcing legislation and increasing competition. This will help drive down costs for businesses and citizens and boost economic growth

2/Securing energy for all citizens – Work to prevent energy shortages, diversifying sources of energy imports and ensuring a united European voice as part of the negotiations to improve energy security

3/Energy-efficient products, jobs and skills for tomorrow – Help to mobilise additional investment in power grids, renewable-energy installations and other energy infrastructure

4/New energy technology – Improve energy efficiency, especially for buildings; with a binding target of 30% less energy use by 2030. Coordinate the Commission’s efforts to ensure the EU reaches its climate and energy targets for 2020 and 2030.

The “European Energy Tour” provided a number of discussion topics for the EU dignitaries and invited stakeholders to understand how the Union would support their environment.

Maros Sefcovic and Rob Boogaard

During his visit with Interface in Scherpenzeel, Mr. Šefčovič saw first hand  that ambitious energy reductions and renewable energy solutions are within reach, asserting Interface’s sustainability leadership in manufacturing and its progress towards ‘Mission Zero’.


The European Energy Tour just finished a few weeks ago and the content collected has helped to inform the first State of the Energy Union report, which is launched, today, November 18th, in Brussels. It  maps the progress achieved and outlines where a political push is needed for 2016.

We are very pleased to learn that Mr. Šefčovič considers his visit to Interface as one of the highlights of his European Energy Tour. As a result, our EMEA CEO Rob Boogaard has been invited to:

1/ take part in the European Commission video that will be used to communicate the State of the Energy Union report

2/ participate in the panel discussion today, 18th November, in Brussels, as a member of the Prince of Wales’ EU Corporate Leaders Group in support of the launch of the Energy Union report.

Having reduced its carbon footprint with more than 90% and running its European operations with more than 95% renewable energy, Interface is pleased to help articulate that ambitious sustainability targets are not only possible; they pay off.  As such, Interface fully supports projects, such as the EU Energy Union project, that quickly bring us closer to a thriving low carbon economy

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Human Spaces

Human Spaces is a portal and resource that collects reports, thoughts and ideas about our relationship with our working environment – A world of biophilic design.

“This initiative is dedicated to humans and the spaces we inhabit. Human Spaces explores the relationship between the built environment and our health and wellbeing. Biophilic Design in the Workplace is the first report on Human Spaces. It explores how biophilic office design affects our productivity, creativity and happiness. We hope you will enjoy. Human Spaces is a collaborative effort.”

Click on the image to download the report – the infographic is here.

Biophilic Design in the Workplace

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The 7 fronts of ‘mount sustainability’

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An excerpt from the publication – Interface the Untold Story of Mission Zero in Europe which details our sustainability journey:

As noted, Interface’s approach is built around the notion of Mount Sustainability, a towering challenge with seven fronts to be scaled. So how were the seven fronts identified?

“They were created from a combination of frameworks that had been developed by some of Ray’s most influential sustainability advisers,” explained Buddy Hay, Assistant Vice-President, Sustainability Strategies, “a group he often referred to as the ‘Eco Dream Team.’ This included Karl-Henrik Robèrt of the Natural Step, Paul Hawken with his focus on the redesign of commerce, and Janine Benyus with her extrapolation of biomimicry to set out the conducive conditions for life.”

By the time of his death, in 2011, Ray Anderson estimated that Interface had travelled 60% of the way to the top of Mount Sustainability, but he warned, “there’s tough terrain still ahead.”

Mount Sustainability

The Seven Fronts are:

1 Eliminate Waste Remove all forms of waste in every area of business.

2 Zero Problem Emissions Eliminate toxic substances from products, vehicles and facilities.

3 Switch to Renewable Energy Operate facilities with renewable energy sources: solar, wind, landfill gas, biomass, geothermal, tidal, low-impact/small-scale hydro or non-petroleum based hydrogen.

4 Close the Loop Redesign processes and products to close the technical loop using recovered and bio- based materials.

5 Use Resource-Efficient Transportation Move people and products efficiently to reduce waste and emissions.

6 Sensitize Stakeholders Help build a culture that integrates sustainability principles and improves people’s lives and livelihoods.

7 Redesign Commerce Create a new business model that demonstrates and supports the value of sustainability-based commerce.

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The Interface Pop-Up Showroom

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Interface is preparing to create a stir in Bristol with its latest business innovation – a pop-up showroom.

Over the next few months, customers will be able to visit the showroom to see the company’s latest product collections and sustainability services in situ and attend a series of events.

Congratulations to Tony Ward (@tonyinterface) and the team.

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Cutting the Virtual Fluff – from Martin Brown @Fairsnape

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At the recent Virtual Construction 21 EXPOC21 trade fair, I caught up with Laure Rondeau Desroches @Interface_UK, and held a quick in-show twitter conversation. Being part of the Expo team, and aware of Interface’s pre show enthusiasm, I was keen to know what they thought of the show when the doors finally opened, and virtual avatars were visiting their stand.

d day

 On the concept of virtual events
“We were very impressed by the whole concept of #ExpoC21, how easy and how real it looked. It was innovative, fun and importantly minimal or no environmental or carbon impact. With #ExpoC21 you just did everything as you would in a traditional exhibition, except having a coffee at the bar!”

Yes, we did need a virtual coffee bar! That’s one for the organisers to sort out for future events, but what did virtual visitors experience on the Interface Stand?

On Interface at EXPOC21
“Our wish was to engage people to rethink sustainability and to show that a New Industrial Model is really possible. What if switching to 100% renewable energy was profitable, better for the environment whilst creating jobs?

We were also keen to speak to customers on the Interface stand to share their thoughts on #ExpoC21, and to understand their first impressions too.”

All good stuff, but is this approach just a novelty, or is there a future in virtual events?

On the future of virtual green build events
“We strongly believe in #ExpoC21, this technology enables affordable exhibitions with minimised cost and impact. #ExpoC21 was about the essence of a real life exhibition: discovering latest innovations but in in an innovative way.”

From my experience I would agree, the virtual platform was great way to learn from and share with organisations you may not see at local or national green build events.

The final comment from Laure just about summed it up “I would encourage people to come and join us at future #EXPOC21’s. It’s the start of a new way of doing business!”

And EXPOC21 2015 will no doubt be bigger and better!

Thanks Martin Brown ( to have transformed our Twitter conversation into this nice interview !

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GlobeScan and SustainAbility’s 20th Anniversary Corporate Leaders Report

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GlobeScan and SustainAbility have just released their 2014 survey of expert stakeholders from business, government, NGOs, and academia, across 87 countries.

I’m proud to say that Interface is the only company to be ranked top 5 every year since 1997 by top sustainability experts. That says quite a lot. Firstly, it’s not a consumer survey, it’s the real experts. Secondly, many companies appear in the ranking when they launch a sustainability initiative, but then vanish the next year because it was too difficult to deliver on the performance and strategies set. Interface was recognised when we launched Mission Zero and still people today are recognising us for its performance, which is the most challenging part.

Click on the image to view the report:

Globescan Sustainability Report 2014

More about GlobeScan and SustainAbility:

SustainAbility is a think tank and consultancy that for over 25 years has catalyzed and supported business leadership on sustainability. Through our agenda-setting research and advocacy, we chart new territory and help business leaders and their stakeholders understand what’s next. Through our advisory services, we help clients understand the shifting landscape of risk and opportunity, develop practical strategies and initiatives, and foster authentic, impactful engagement and collaboration with a range of stakeholders. Learn more at

GlobeScan is an international opinion research consultancy.  We provide global organisations with evidence-based insights to help them set strategy and shape their communications. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments and NGOs trust GlobeScan for our unique expertise across reputation management, sustainability and stakeholder relations.

GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries and is a signatory to the UN Global Compact.  Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in Toronto, London and San Francisco. For more information, please visit


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AEP – III International Conference on Leadership and Entrepreneurship

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Ramon stage 1 Ramon crowd

I recently spoke at the AEP conference in Portugal about radical sustainability and the latest work that Interface is doing. The title of my talk was ‘Radical Sustainability Is Possible’. Here are some notes, links to accompanying content, with a copy of my presentation.

The idea of the gathering was to knowledge share within the subjects of “Innovation, Growth and Creating Value via Sustainability”. This was the third international conference from the AEP Foundation and co-financed by the ERDF – European Regional Development Fund, May 8, 2014, in the auditorium of Exponor.

Click on the image to get the full presentation (13mb):

Radical sustainability is possible

Many thanks to Alexandra Camacho and the team at AEP.

Images from the event are hosted on Flickr here

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How do Interface employees think?

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Over the last few weeks Toby Webb from Ethical Corporation interviewed some members of our team and created these audio podcasts.

The interviews capture conversations with key staff members, discussing their roles within the organisation, sustainability, and what makes them tick.

Podcasts (Hosted on YouTube):

Mark Haverlach – Customer Service & Re-Entry Director, talks about logistics here:

And customer service here:

Rob Boogaard – Acting President & CEO at Interface, discusses strategy and sales:

plus engaging policy makers here:

I talk about strategy and progress within Interface here:

Nigel Stansfield – VP & Chief Innovations Officer at Interface, talks about innovation:

Ferdy Thoonen –  – All about account management:

Ton van Keken – SVP Operations Interface EMEA, discusses operations:

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Vote for your 2014 top five trends in green building

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Traditionally, sustainability in the built environment focuses on energy usage. But today, productivity costs are far greater than energy costs in the workplace. Disruptions, bad acoustics, health issues, all contribute to productivity losses. Therefore, architects, designers, facility managers and HR executives are looking at the bigger picture when it comes to designing long-term, sustainable buildings.

In the run up to Constuction21, Interface is exploring the key trends for creating healthy and sustainable buildings.

test 1

Which of these five trends do you think are going to be most important in 2014 and beyond?

Trend 1: Maximize indoor flexibility :
Is this trend increasingly important, as workers break free from 9-5 desk based working?

Trend 2: Integrate low embodied carbon in construction materials:
Is the construction industry on the cusp of completely embracing building materials with reduced CO2?

Trend 3: Increased focus on the acoustic performance of designs :
How critical are the acoustics of a building in relation to improving communication, performance, concentration spans and productivity?

Trend 4: Zero net energy buildings :
Within the building industry is there a greater focus on the net energy use of a building, rather than carbon use on the initial build?

Trend 5: Air quality :
Will buildings of tomorrow contribute to better indoor air quality as well as external air quality? Smog was recently a huge issue in the UK, will buildings in the future filter the air to reduce city smog?

Trend 6: Nature in building design:
As our way of life becomes more urban, will biophilic design increase in popularity as a reaction to this?

Trend 7: A closed loop model :
Will buildings in the future operate based on a closed loop model? For example, using local landfill sites to create their own biogas energy or the heat produced by the local factory to feed their heating system?

Trend 8: Lifestyle focus:
Will sustainable communities become an increasing focus for architects and designers?

Trend 9: Greening existing buildings:
Will our focus in coming years move to making existing buildings more sustainable, rather than creating new green building projects?

Trend 10: Building products for healthy environments :
Is the health of the building user becoming an increasingly important part of the specification process?

Vote for your favorite trends directly on – The results of this poll will be announced by Ramon Arratia on May 14th at 4 pm on a #ExpoC21 live session – sign up here

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Rob Boogaard talks to L’Express about Interface becoming fully sustainable

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L’Express interviewed Rob Boogaard this week about Interface becoming a fully sustainable company by 2020. It’s posted on their website here in French so I’ve copied the core content, translated into English, with the original video below.

“In a rapidly changing entrepreneurial world, the leading players from large companies, NGOs and government tell us their journey, ideas and initiatives that give meaning to their work .

Interface, who specialise in producing carpet tile, have engaged a strategy since 1996 to become the first fully sustainable company by 2020. It’s called Mission Zero.

Here we met and discussed this initiative with Rob Boogaard, President EMEA for Interface.”

Many thanks to all at L’Express.

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