Finding a solution to the ongoing environmental challenge will require more than just work, it will require a transformation. From decoupling our dependency on unsustainable fossil fuels, to ensuring that less raw materials are sent to waste, societies and economies around the world need to fundamentally change. However, as we begin to look forward, it’s important to know alternative systems exist, which could make a difference. One such approach, which might represent a workable solution is a circular economy. At its core, the concept is based around the principle of using less virgin materials, as well as designing waste out of the production process, reducing pollution and keeping products and materials in use and naturally regenerating. Mark Bauer, our Environment Specialist at Forbo explains more here.
At Forbo, we’re committed to the ideals of a circular economy and have been implementing measures to promote it for some time. As such, many of our daily operations now function with this concept in mind.
In fact, we produce some of our most popular product collections, such as Marmoleum, which is made from 97 per cent natural raw materials; around 62 per cent of materials used to create the sustainable flooring solution are renewable, with 29 per cent of these being rapidly renewable (meaning it will grow back within one year).
However, truly circular solutions incorporate green design principles into more than just the materials they are made from. That’s why we’ve worked so hard to include sustainable choices into our everyday manufacturing processes. To this end, we have devised our ‘4R’ framework. In short, the endeavour looks to reduce, re-use, recycle and renew products and materials at all stages of their life cycle.
In fact, the Marmoleum range is a great example of the principle in action. Combining natural ingredients or materials in an efficient modern manufacturing facility, powered by renewable electricity, results in a product family that is carbon neutral (cradle to gate).
On top of all that, with the solution offering more than 20 years life expectancy, those specifying Marmoleum can reduce the waste previously associated with changing the flooring every couple of years. At the end of its life cycle, Marmoleum can be removed, reused and recycled.
Additionally, wherever possible, post-industrial wastes from the solution are reused and put back into the range. Similarly, some waste produce, such as jute and backing papers are given to social enterprises who are able to upcycle them. In turn, this builds on our zero waste to landfill and incineration mission.
Circular by nature, solutions like Marmoleum present us with an effective way to decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources. The natural solution enables businesses to incorporate truly environmentally friendly solutions within a building, without having to compromise on style or performance.
Innovator & artist, Daan Roosegaarde, and CEO of the World Green Building Council, Cristina Gamboa, shared their inspirational outlook at the first Forbo Flooring Systems international webinar, entitled A vision for a CO2 neutral future.
During the webinar, the two guests also urged for change to start sooner rather than later. Gamboa: “Constructing a world that destructs, is no longer valid.”