Interface announced this week it has reached a series of major sustainability milestones at its European manufacturing facility in Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands. As of January 2014 the plant has been operating with 100 percent renewable energy, using virtually zero water in its manufacturing processes and has attained zero waste to landfill. This is a key achievement for the facility and a significant step forward for the company as it strives towards Mission Zero — Interface’s pledge to eliminate any negative impact it has on the environment by 2020 and by doing so, become a restorative enterprise.
“2014 is a landmark year for us in many ways as we celebrate 20 years of Mission Zero, and these figures from our European manufacturing operations show just how far we’ve come and what can be achieved with the right mind set and ambition," said Rob Boogaard, CEO of Interface in Europe. “However, while our achievements are to be celebrated, this is certainly not a time to be complacent. For us, Mission Zero is not simply about reducing our own direct impacts — it’s also about taking full responsibility for the entire lifecycle of our products. Our goal is to cut the umbilical cord to oil, with the result that 44 percent of our raw materials in Europe are already recycled or bio-based. We’ve come a long way but our Mission continues.”
A number of other companies have made bold, net-zero commitments in recent months: The Hofmühl Brewery in Eichstätt, Bavaria announced in October that, thanks to a combination of a solar thermal system and bioenergy (generated from brewer grains, yeast and other typically wasted matter created during beer production), the facility is not only supplementing its energy supply but making it completely self-sufficient, and it expects to become a net-zero facility by 2018; in November, Walgreens opened its first net-zero pharmacy in Evanston, Ill.; and Lego Group announced in December to running on 100 percent renewables, and becoming net positive, by 2016.