October 1, 2007
Green Carpet Matrix
Metropolis asked ten leading commercial carpet-tile manufacturers about their most sustainable products.
This carpet matrix is a graphic snapshot measuring the environmental efforts of leading commercial carpet-tile manufacturers. We asked ten companies to tell us about their greenest products, and then we grouped that information into eight categories, ranging from percentage of recycled content and third-party verification to unique social initiatives.
In gathering the information (a somewhat arduous task), we soon realized that the results could never constitute a ranking system—the Top 10 Greenest Carpet Tiles!—since each company uses different metrics to measure sustainability (and presents them in ways that best showcase its products). Consequently, an 18 percent on this chart might be every bit as sustainable (or unsustainable) as another company’s 80 percent in the same category. The lines between good intentions, green branding, and greenwashing are awfully blurred these days. Nevertheless, the matrix is a useful tool, showing different approaches to the same ultimate goal: a more benign environmental impact.