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Creating Better Environments

From how they are made to how they perform, we make truly sustainable floors
that are good for people, good for buildings and good for the environment.

Marmoleum Live Forward

Sustainability

Sustainability as core business

Ever since we began making floor coverings, starting with linoleum more than 100 years ago, we have been committed to creating better environments in all the spaces in which people, work, live, interact, relax, heal, learn and play. Today, with a vastly increased range of choices, we remain every bit as passionate about sustainable floor coverings.

Through years of intimate contact with our customers and end users, we understand the built environment and the impact our products have on it. Based on this, we focus on advancing products and solutions whose life cycles comply with the circular economy model. We operate transparently, in line with the objectives and goals of our sustainability strategy.

The result is the most responsible and sustainable portfolio of state-of-the-art floor coverings for you and your environment, wherever you are.

Ultimately, what matters is what our priorities are.
What will be our legacy: missed opportunities or ecological sustainability and wellbeing?

Transparant information, third-party verified

Transparency is critical to achieving sustainability. Transparency demands that companies share information about the contents of their products, how they are made and the impact they may have on the environment, users and the community. As early as 1996, Forbo Flooring Systems began working with Leiden University in The Netherlands, to establish a transparent overview of every possible impact of our linoleum products.

Today, we offer impact information for every Forbo product by life cycle assessments and environmental product declarations that are independently reviewed.

EPD transparancy

a complete product portfolio with 100% transparency forms the ultimate sustainable solution for our customers

LCA process elements overview

Life cycle assessment is where it all starts

A life cycle assessment is a comprehensive system for measuring the environmental impacts of the life of a product. The measurement is standardized and equal for all types of products. While system boundaries, quality of data and weighting factors play a role in the overall assessment, our LCAs are accepted once they have been verified by an independent third party.

Environmental product declarations

While LCAs are created for product categories, environmental product declarations (EPDs) go one step further by stipulating the LCA for one particular product. Forbo Flooring Systems was one of the first companies worldwide to have completed full EPDs for every product and collection.

With our EPDs we decided to go further than the standard in the market. Our EPDs also include a transparant declaration of the impact on human health and eco-toxicity.

You can find the product declarations in our download center

Marmoleum EPD

we provide unique transparency about human health impact and eco-toxicity in our EPDs:
all that is needed to minimize the impact on our earth and the people that live on it

all our EPDs are independently reviewed by a third party
More information about third party UL

Tessera Struktur carpet tiles

Annual sustainability report

We published our first Sustainability Report way back in 2005. This contained information about our production locations and product portfolio. Today, our annual Sustainability Report is drafted according to GRI guidelines and covers every aspect of the triple bottom line – the environmental, social and economic dimensions that underpin a consistent strategy to achieve the sustainability goals we have set out in our environmental management systems.

You can download our most recent Sustainability Reports by clicking on the buttons below.

  • Sustainability Report 2019

    Download
    Sustainability Report 2019

  • 2018 Forbo Flooring Systems Sustainability Report

    Download
    Sustainability Report 2018

  • DOWNLOAD SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2017

    Download
    Sustainability Report 2017

Collaborations and partnerships

Forbo Flooring Systems partners with international associations and bodies in setting up pilot projects and alliances in which innovations and new developments can be tested and introduced. They are particularly valuable when it comes to developing for the circular economy.

We work with European institutions such as the European Resilient Flooring Manufacturers' Institute, the Multilayer Modular Flooring Association, the European Carpet and Rug Association and other industry leaders such as the Green Building Council, universities and innovative start-ups. All to continuously improve the environmental profile of our company and product portfolio.

In 2021, Forbo Flooring Systems has joined the global action network World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), to help transform the building and construction sector across three strategic areas – climate action, health & wellbeing, and resources & circularity.
More information about our collaborations

World Green Building Council Logo
environmental recommendations

Environmental recommendations

Many of our products have high environmental and health recommendations ranging from Red list free, Blue Angel, Nordic Swan to TUV and many, many more. Just last year Forbo Flooring Systems received the following sustainability awards:

Germany - Prüfsiegel für Gesicherte Nachhaltigkeit
The seal for assured sustainability is awarded by the German Institute für Nachhaltigkeit und Ökonomie and awards all aspects of a sustainable enterprise from “A to Z”.

Norway - the Eco-Lighthouse Award
Eco-Lighthouse is Norway’s most widely used certification scheme for enterprises seeking to document their environmental efforts and demonstrate social responsibility.

China - Shanghai Design
The 2019 Major Brand Affecting China’s Lifestyle in Ten award. The jury based the award on Forbo Flooring Systems’ level of product innovation, aesthetic value, ecological construction and sustainable development.

United States - Marriott Sustainability Achiever 2019 Award
Under the Marriott Sustainability Assessment Program, product materials are evaluated, along with manufacturing practices, distribution, use and disposal.

Commitment

Commitment & stewardship

Forbo Flooring Systems has been at the forefront of sustainable entrepreneurship for over three decades. We were the first in using Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). This remains our transparent way to calculate the environmental impact of our raw materials and processes, plus the product life cycle. We have a long-term sustainable vision that has led to a first concrete step in our 2020-2025 strategy. We follow a ‘compliance plus’ policy that creates a stimulating and innovative environment that leads to ingenious solutions and unique sustainable features.

our compliance plus policy is our commitment to go above and beyond government regulations and requirements

Sustainability Strategy

Forbo's Sustainability Strategy has a horizon: we have the ambition to have mastered the challenges of the circular economy and to become a zero-waste company. At this moment it is not yet clear how governments and legislation will influence the pace in coming years. But for sure, in order to meet our long-term ambitions, steps are required now.

Therefore we have started our Sustainability program 2025. This program lays out the actions that need to be undertaken in the first five years until end 2025 to make the desired progress in the goals we have set ourselves. There are seven main goals in the categories Circular economy and People. You can find more information about these main goals on the Goals tab on this page.

Sustainability program logo
SA 8000 logo

Social accountability

The SA8000 standard is our commitment to realizing a guaranteed fair treatment of workers.

Our supplier requirements program imposes requirements on our suppliers as a legally binding document. Our approach also involves close cooperation with individual suppliers. This is realized through meetings, on-site visits and supplier assessments that involve audits conducted by our purchasers or responsible managers.

These assessments ensure that our suppliers properly observe human and labour rights, occupational health and safety requirements, environmental performance goals and responsible business practices in their daily business.
More information about the SA 8000 certification

Green design principles

When it comes to product design and production, Forbo Flooring Systems follows the 4R principle of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Renew for all our collections. The design process is central to reducing raw material requirements, reusing factory waste, recycling old products and employing renewable raw material. Following green design principles means working with circular economy principles in mind as well. Through this, the focus extends to options for product construction and to include end of life solutions. Forbo’s in-house designers are the true engineers of our environmental profile.

truly sustainable flooring starts in the design phase through a mindset of truly caring about our future

raw materials used 2019

Reduce & Renew

Depletion of resources is an important topic. Using natural resources which renew themselves and that can be harvested as annual crops are the preferred solution. This is followed by the use of renewable and recycled material. Forbo Flooring Systems measures its performance and continuously strives to improve these ratios.

Recycle & Reuse

Our focus on reuse and recycling has led to very good results in recent years. We have increased the recycled content in our broad range of products like Marmoleum, Allura and Eternal. We are proud to say that we have a broad portfolio of products that contain a high level of recycled or reused content.

As a result of our dedication an ever growing assortment of easy to reuse flooring solutions come available to fit the future circular economy model. Our portfolio covers a broad range of applications in tile, plank or sheet format. All these innovative flooring solutions need no adhesive while they can perform under heavy conditions and are easy to remove at end of life.
Sheet project vinyl Modul'up adhesive free sheet vinyl in 3 versions: Decibel (19 dB), Compact and T.E for damp subfloors
Luxury Vinyl Tiles Allura adhesive free tiles and planks in 3 versions: Click, Puzzle and Ease
ESD and industrial flooring Colorex tiles in 3 versions: Plus EC, Plus Basic and Plus R10
Entrance matting Coral Click

recycled and reuse 2017-2019
Reducing CO2 emissions

Committed to turn climate change

By using LCA Forbo Flooring Systems measures its greenhouse gas emissions from ‘cradle to gate’ for all its products. This includes the entire chain from raw material extraction and processing, transportation to the manufacturing site, manufacturing and finishing the product to the point where it is ready to ship to our customers.

Last year the whole Forbo Flooring Systems portfolio measured an average of 0,27 kg of CO2 per kg produced. This is equivalent to a
4 to 6 km drive with a medium plug-in car. Our commitment is to ever decrease this number.

A portfolio meeting green design principles

We measure the share of recycled content in all our product categories with the aim to increase it where possible.

With the waste left in our factories we are looking at various ways to increase the recycled content in all of our products, this is not only done by recipe alterations but also by introducing new production techniques.

PVC micronization is one of the concepts which is promising and which proves to work in some of the pilots we carried out in 2019. Our continuous improvement to reduce waste is to convert where possible to digital printing concepts.

Recycled and reused

The circular economy

The circular economy model is a must-do

Biobased solutions create a better future for our planet. But when biobased is not an option, circularity provides the next best alternative – as long as the life cycle impact is measurably better. At Forbo, we are committed to transforming all our linear processes and products so they support the circular economy.

The key focus points in our transition are:
• advance the use of renewable resources
• maximize product use
• reclaim materials and waste

we are committed to contribute to the circular economy with our flooring solutions

Circular economy model



Source: PBL Environmental Assessment Agency

Circularity is challenging

The circular economy requires to transform our thinking. This starts in the design phase of our products. This covers sourcing more sustainable raw materials, the efficient use of energy and ways to reduce waste as part of the initial product design concept.

Second, it is important to make sure that the products’ use is maximized so that, ideally, it becomes a service.

In the final stages of a product’s life, its recyclability and reuse must be assured. This concept is captured in the term ‘extended producer responsibility.’
Learn more about our circular initiatives

Circular logo
Back to the floor new logo

Back to the floor

Forbo Flooring Systems is actively offering installation waste take-back programs where the sustainability balance for logistics makes sense.
We have several schemes for vinyl in Sweden and France and schemes for all linoleum, carpet and vinyl in the UK and The Netherlands.

Post-consumer waste is a greater challenge for the industry as such in terms of collection and transport as well as the selection and processing. Forbo Flooring Systems is an active participant in the EU funded Circular Flooring Project which aims at developing a pilot to enable the recycling of post-consumer vinyl waste into virgin PVC granules.

To be ready for that achievement we offer loose-lay solutions that enable ‘clean’ post-consumer recycling.more information about our loose-lay solutions

Recovinyl

Forbo Flooring Systems is actively participating in the European Recovinyl project. This project aims to increase the recycling of vinyl flooring by increasing the volumes of PVC recycled and increase the use of post-consumer vinyl. The focus is on technology development for recycling, sorting technologies and ways of collection.
More information about Recovinyl

Recovinyl
logo carbon negative

Becoming carbon negative

Our generation is the last one that can slow down or reverse current climate developments. If we don’t take drastic action today, it will become much more difficult and costly to do so in the future. The worst-case scenario is that climate change will be irreversible. Using responsible materials and taking responsible measures can drive a positive change.

Among other aspects, the circular economy model strives to achieve a carbon neutral environment that would, ultimately, reverse the rise of the global warming.

At Forbo, we do not believe that using offsets (the purchase of CO2 certificates, forests and so on) represents a good way forward. Instead, the effort should be to reduce CO2 emissions throughout the life of a product. Forbo’s linoleum is a good example.

Well-being

Healthy interiors

Floor covering is integral to every interior. It is omnipresent from the moment you get out of bed through taking a shower, having breakfast, going to school or work, relaxing, doing sport, dining, dancing, being entertained and so on. Floor coverings provide comfort, safety, reduce noise, provide a barrier to allergies and create a general feeling of well-being.

Our floors check all the boxes. The rolls and tiles we deliver create better environments: spaces that make you feel comfortable, safe and secure.

The dynamics of a building

Healthy buildings are very much part of sustainable development – sustainable development in which the individual is central.

Our philosophy on healthy interiors is expressed in our design philosophy, ‘The dynamics of a building’. We use this to provide the most appropriate type of flooring for each space. The result is buildings that are well designed, last longer and are easier to adapt to the occupier’s requirements. Buildings and interiors whose timeless solutions make frequent renovation less necessary, so saving money and reducing waste.

Dynamics of a building - receiving
logo healthy indoors

Healthy indoors

Today more than half of the world’s population, over 54%, is living in urbanised areas. On average we are spending around 80%-90% of our time indoors and this will only increase. The indoor environment and the attention given to green architecture and healthy buildings, is becoming more prominent. As our floors are part of the indoor environment in which people live, meet and work, it is our mission to design and offer products that contribute in a positive way to the health and comfort of the individual.

• our floors are guaranteed free of any banned toxics
• our floors have low to even close to zero product emission
• our products are phthalate free
• our portfolio offers proven solutions against allergens and fine dust

a healthy indoor environment starts with flooring that is truly safe for humans in every aspect

All your senses

Floor covering plays an important role in the interaction between an individual and their interior space.

In research conducted by Forbo Flooring Systems, we created a series of interior spaces, each with a different type of floor covering and measured brain activity. This clearly demonstrated how visual, touch, smell and sound can trigger our five senses.

This has implications for the choice of floor covering used for public places, offices, schools, health care facility, leisure and hospitality and more. Important are the design features of a floor, including colour and light reflection, but also texture, touch, emissions, odours and sound.

5 senses_well-being

choosing the right flooring solution can have significant effects on people's wellbeing

Marmoleum Fresco 3259

Design

Design is one of the most important factors when it comes to creating a sense of well-being. Floor designs not only express the image and dynamics of a work or living space, design can also be used to make
institutional buildings look and feel more like a home.

Personalization by digital printing techniques allow us to make special floor covering productions where design, colour and size of the floor can be created according to the customers specifications, this way spaces can be personalized and become a valuable aspect of the indoor environment.

Floor coverings have the capacity to reflect natural light, making spaces feel open and bright. For each of our collections we supply both NCS colour codes as well as light reflection data so that designers can easily mix and match between colours and materials.

Surestep Original safety vinyl
Sarlon acoustic vinyl

Noise

Noise is a further comfort factor. Unwanted and irritating sounds are one of the most common causes of unease and discomfort. We therefore measure the decibel impact of each of our floor covering types. Based on this, we can advise on the optimal floor covering solution to reduce impact sounds on the floor below and ambient solutions for the space in which you are working. More information about our acoustic flooring

Tactility and comfort

Tactility is an obviously important factor for the floor beneath your feet. Choosing a soft, hard or resilient floor can make you feel comfortable and relaxed or active and able to perform. The Forbo flooring portfolio offers a variety of options, ranging from facilitating walking to moving traffic and heavy loads.
More information about our flooring products

Flotex digital print - custom flooring

Our goals

Roadmap for the next 5 years

Our Sustainability program 2025 is designed to activate Forbo Flooring Systems' Sustainability Strategy.
For each of the seven main areas in the categories Circular economy and People, the sustainability goals for 2025 are explained.

sustainability program 2025
Forbo The Green Road

Goals for the circular economy

Displaying a carbon negative product portfolio
• Achieving a significant reduction of on-site CO2 emissions by 2025

Using renewable energy
• Achieving renewable electricity usage where possible
• Strong reduction of fossil gas usage

Becoming a zero-waste company
• Increasing reuse/recycling of product waste
• Achieving 100% reuse/recycling of office waste

Actively contributing to the circular economy
• Increase EU sales volume that is recycled after consumption
• Increase EU post installation waste that is recycled
• Increase loose-lay sales volume that is being reused and resold in EU
• Design for recycling: increase the recyclability of the products sold
• All products have recycled content (preferable post-consumer)

Goals for the people we are working with

Ensuring ethical and sustainable supply chain management
• Address our suppliers to have a sustainability program to decrease their environmental footprint
• Focus on the materials procured to increase recycled or biobased content

Ensuring that all employees are involved in sustainability
• Circular Economy and Sustainability training has been given to all employees
• Sustainability program implemented and program manager appointed
• Lease cars and other vehicles are non-fossil in countries with an appropriate infrastructure

Ensuring we are socially responsible, diverse and inclusive
• Gender, age, cultural and physical background diversity and inclusion policy implemented
• Maintaining and improving our SA8000 certified social accountability management system

Sustainability employees

Products

A sustainable assortment

Due to our commitment to sustainability the Forbo Flooring Systems assortment has some truly unique sustainable solutions. For example our Marmoleum floor coverings that are CO2 neutral when they leave our factory, without offsetting. Our vinyl floors that are truly safe to use and offer great loose lay options, ready for the circular economy. Our textile floors that have a high recycled content, especially our carpet tiles that have a minimum recycled content by weight of 57%. And last but not least our Coral entrance systems that are made with Econyl yarns derived from abandoned fishing nets.
Learn more about our product portfolio by clicking on the links below.

Fast flooring logo

An impressive loose lay portfolio

Never before did we have such a wide range of solutions for products that can be loose laid. We offer loose lay products in sheet, plank and tile format.

Loose lay products not only save time and money during installation, the technology makes renovation work easier as used floors can be removed without having to also get rid of glue and carpet screed.

These loose lay products can be easily recycled and so are fully circular.

Forbo offers loose lay products in the Marmoleum and Vinyl as well as textile product category.more information about our adhesive free fast flooring

Marmoleum: natural and CO2 neutral

Marmoleum, Forbo’s linoleum brand, is a true environmental evergreen.

Made from natural raw materials and produced in a modern and efficient production environment running on green electricity, the production of this floor covering is actually carbon negative from cradle to gate.

For example, 10,000 m2 of Marmoleum (2.5 mm) reduces CO2 emission by 400 kg without any offset!
Read more about our CO2 neutral Marmoleum

Marmoleum Marbled Fresco
Sarlon acoustic vinyl

Vinyl: state-of-the-art performance

Vinyl floor coverings are part of a versatile range of products whose technical and sustainable properties have, over the years, undergone a metamorphosis.

Forbo’s vinyl portfolio represents state-of-the-art quality, manufactured in ultra-modern and energy efficient production plants.

Apart from improving recycled or reused content, further advances have been made in lacquers and dyes, which are waterborne, nowadays, while product emissions have been reduced to near zero and harmful substances eliminated. We offer a commercial portfolio of fully phthalate-free vinyl.

Flotex: high tech textile

Conventional sheet and tile textile floor covering is made of tufted yarns and then finished with a latex or bitumen backing. Forbo’s Flotex collections are different. They are created from 6.6 nylon fibres with an impervious backing that create a dense, comfortable surface that is sturdy and resilient as well. Flotex is available in sheet, planks and tiles. The modular solutions contain a high percentage of recycled material.

Being both hygienic and washable, Flotex is an example of the type of innovation that opens up new segments for textiles. Not only in hospitality, leisure spaces and offices, but also in care and cure facilities, schools and public buildings. More information about our Flotex flocked flooring

Flotex Colour flocked flooring
Tessera Layout & Outline carpet tiles

Carpet tiles: designed for reuse and recycling

Forbo’s carpet tile portfolio features recycled yarn and modified bitumen.

With a minimum recycled content by weight of 57% our Tessera carpet tiles have the highest recycled content in the industry. Some of our ranges, for example Create Space 1, even have a recycled content by weight of 70%.

During floor design, we create random lay tiles so that the parts of the floor that see heavy use can be replaced without this impacting the overall design.

We are experimenting with end of life solutions, especially those that involve separating the tiles’ textile layer from their backing. more information about our carpet tiles

Entrance floors: the most efficient flooring

Well-designed entrance floors not only offer a sustainable solution in and of themselves, they also contribute to the sustainability of the building in which they are used, throughout the life cycle of that building.

Our entrance floor covering can stop up to 95% of dirt from being walked into the building. In this way, entrance flooring can protect the quality of an interior, lengthen the use of a floor and cut down on cleaning and maintenance costs and the use of detergents. We use yarns that are upcycled from old fishing nets for a number of our collections. A true sustainable solution. More information about our entrance flooring systems

Coral Welcome entrance system