The industrial sector accounts for a significant portion of the world’s environmental impacts, including approximately half of global energy use.i Manufacturers can help manage their energy and water consumption and waste production, as well as associated costs and environmental impacts, by improving the efficiency of the facilities as well as of the production process.
Tarkett designs, manufactures, and sells vinyl, carpet, wood, laminate, sports, and other specialty flooring products for the residential and commercial markets in Europe, North and Latin America, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Asia-Pacific. Tarkett has been deploying a sustainable development strategy transforming its business towards a purposeful and collaborative circular economy model, positively impacting people, planet, and profit. As part of this sustainable development strategy, Tarkett seeks to eco-design its products to optimize the use of resources at each stage of their life cycle in accordance with Cradle to Cradle® principles and to make a positive contribution to the environment and human well-being.
In the framework of its “closed loop circular design” approach, based on four pillars (good materials, resource stewardship, people friendly space, reuse), Tarkett works to optimize the use of resources during manufacturing operations. Tarkett monitors key performance areas relating to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water use, and waste generation on a monthly basis through the operational excellence and cost-efficiency World Class Manufacturing (WCM) program deployed within the plants worldwide.
Response — Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Facilities)
As part of its efforts to manage energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, Tarkett has taken a number of actions across its production facilities. These activities include a significant biomass project, through which the wood flooring production plants use sawdust as a raw material for generating their own energy.
- Since 2012, the wood floor production plant in Orzechowo, Poland, has produced wood bricks, which are sent to a nearby power plant to be transformed into electricity.
- Starting in 2014, the industrial site in Kalush, Ukraine, which produces both vinyl and wood flooring, began recovering its wood dust. The dust is used to fire the boilers for the vinyl and wood floor production lines, which previously used gas.
- The laminate flooring production site in Mytishchi, Russia, can reach temperatures up to 45°C. The factory now recovers its wood shavings post-production to be used as fuel for the air conditioning system.
- In the Narni, Italy site dedicated to linoleum, Tarkett improved its oven isolation systems while using biomass boiler instead of gas. The plant also uses 100% of renewable energy for its administration building based on geothermal system and solar panels.
- In December 2013, the Farnham site in Canada obtained authorization from the local authorities to process atmospheric emissions without using a regenerative thermal oxidizer. This should permit a reduction in the use of natural gas and in greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2015.
- In Brazil, the Jacarei production site had been sourcing its mineral filler used for the production of vinyl flooring from a distance of more than 700 kilometers. The plant switched to a supplier located just 60 kilometers from the site, dramatically reducing the transportation distance and thus lowering its transport-related greenhouse gas emissions.
- Complementary initiatives were also implemented increasing the use of renewable energy or local sourcing.
Results — Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Facilities)ii
In 2014, Tarkett's energy consumption increased by 5 percent per square meter of manufactured product against a 2013 baseline. However, during the same time period, close to 55 percent of Tarkett’s factories reduced their energy consumption per square meter of manufactured product, and Tarkett's 34 manufacturing sites in operation also decreased their energy consumption by 4 percent in absolute terms.
Meanwhile, Tarkett recorded a 3 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in absolute value from factories and administrative buildings in 2014, while overall greenhouse gas emissions increased by 6 percent per square meter of product. This slight relative increase is primarily due to the fact that when production volume decreases, there is not necessarily a proportional decrease in energy consumption, due to factors such as the fixed costs.