December 7, 2020
Sustainable From the Ground Up
With PVC-free carpet backing products as well as a commitment to recycling old carpet, Tarkett sets a new standard for sustainable flooring.
Tarkett was a sponsor of the Metropolis Perspective: Sustainability 2020 Symposium.
Behind Tarkett’s commitment to great design is a belief that inerior spaces should support, inspire and connect the people who use them. The company calls this philosophy Human-Conscious Design™, and it helps guide decisions from product design, to performance requirements, to considerations around health and wellness. Because businesses are as unique as the people who operate them, every design project comes with different requirements and challenges challenges as we work to ensure that those newly designed spaces will support the people who use them. Not just a few people—all people.
That shared value of support and inclusivity was front-and-center for a redesign of the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As the largest event center in Northern California, the recently expanded property offers more than 504,000 square feet of exhibition and conference space. The team included a diverse group of stakeholders in decisions from the beginning. Together, they were able to discuss how design—especially the flooring layout—could help them with day-to-day operations and support their sustainability requirements as a city-owned property.
San Francisco has established strict requirements for all government facilities regarding healthy, sustainable flooring materials that support both healthy indoor environments, and overall social responsibility. Tarkett’s ethos® Modular with Omnicoat Technology® is one of only three carpet tile products the city has approved for its non-PVC backing, 45 percent total recycled content, low TVOCs and a lack of hazardous chemicals. After months of strenuous research, San Francisco officials found that ethos met or exceeded all their high standards for people and planet safety, as well as their dedication to circular economy. Between 2004 and 2018, Tarkett diverted close to 23,500 tons of PVB film from 22.8 million windshields in the making of ethos Modular, and the carpet tiles are 100 percent recyclable at the end of their useful life.
In addition to installing healthy materials, the Moscone Center team was committed to maintaining their floors with sustainable practices. Tarkett’s Eco-Ensure was a great start to the endeavor. This fluorine-free, PFAS-free soil protection comes standard on every soft-surface product made by Tarkett North America, and is Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Platinum. Tarkett is also working with Moscone’s staff to develop a customized maintenance program for the entire facility—including the spaces that are not finished with Tarkett flooring products. The Moscone maintenance program details everyday cleaning procedures for both hard and soft surface flooring. There’s a common misconception that effective maintenance routines must involve harsh chemicals, but testing has shown that natural solutions do the job as well or better than traditional chemicals.
Before the new sustainable products could go in, the old carpet had to come out. As part of Tarkett’s commitment to a circular economy, its ReStart® take-back program recycled 153,574 pounds of carpet removed from the facility during renovation. This helped the Moscone Center become the only convention space in the nation to achieve LEED Platinum status. It’s also received a Leading Edge Award for its design excellence related to sustainability and resilience.