What Makes us Green?
So, what is Polyflor doing to protect the environment?
For over forty years, Polyflor has been actively recycling in excess of 97% of all production waste materials back into the production process. This allows the most efficient use of energy and resources and ensures that minimal waste is generated as a result of our operations.
Over the past ten years Polyflor has recycled more than 7,000 tons of post-consumer waste PVC, mainly from the food packaging industry, being at the forefront of development of this method of recycling. This waste is reprocessed and the material is added to our product formulations, in place of 'virgin' PVC, thereby saving resources - and finding an effective use for otherwise unwanted waste material.
Our products are made using materials carefully selected to ensure the required performance standards are met, with the least environmental impact. We ensure that all our suppliers have the best possible environmental credentials and quality systems.
Polyflor has long since discontinued the use of lead and cadmium stabilizers, and improved our formulations, so as to greatly improve indoor air quality. Using the FLEC test, a significant proportion of our flooring products obtains ultra-low VOC emissions results.
Vinyl floorcoverings are known to reduce opportunities for the proliferation of dust mites, pet dander and other allergens that have been associated with asthma. Ease of cleaning makes vinyl a material of choice in healthcare facilities.
We are acutely aware of our environmental responsibilities in terms of how our operations affect local residents. That is why we have invested over 775,000 to improve the local environment. We continue to work with and support the local community as part of our ongoing environmental program.
Polyflor are committed to the conservation and best use of energy in production. This won us the NORWEB Gold Award in 1999 for the utilization of electricity to improve business performance.
It is important, when assessing the environmental effects of a product, that its whole life cycle is considered. Life cycle analysis of flooring has shown that the greatest impact upon the environment is not during production or disposal, but during in situ maintenance. At Polyflor we have taken steps to reduce this impact. The introduction of PUR surface enhancement to our Prestige, Mystique, and 2000 ranges, has resulted in polish-free maintenance regimes, reducing both maintenance costs and environmental impact.
Helping our customers to reduce maintenance costs and reduce the amount of chemical agents used in the cleaning process is a key concern, as part of our product development. The incorporation of SUPRATEC, a unique soil-releasing polymer system exclusively developed by Polyflor and DuPont, into Astral and Design safety flooring can cut maintenance by 60% when compared with traditional safety floors. A daily mop is all that is required to maintain their original appearance - using fewer chemicals, less water and less energy and, greatly reducing environmental impact. This has been independently assessed and ratified by CAMRASO. (Cleaning and Maintenance Research & Services Organization), the independent research and technology organization.
In 2000, we achieved ISO 14001 Environmental system accreditation by demonstrating an ongoing program of continual improvement, monitored on a regular basis.
We actively support the PVC Industry Voluntary Commitment and its target to recycle 25% of collectable waste by 2006, and 50% of recyclable waste by 2008. Polyflor is a member of the UK Resilient Flooring Association Recycling Group, vigorously supporting projects to achieve these targets.
Polyflor is a pioneer of the vinyl flooring industry, renowned for quality, and trusted for safety in hospitals, schools, transportation and businesses all around the globe. We believe PVC to be one of the most rigorously-tested polymers, with well-documented benefits compared with alternative floorcoverings.